By Pastor Jonathan S. Ferriol
“It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine,”
so goes the 80’s song of a secular rock group, R.E.M. But as we can see, the world did not end in the 80’s. Our world, as we know it, is still here and intact. The rock band from Georgia disbanded last year, but the talk about the end of the world remained as popular as ever. And just recently, it is once again, back in the headlines. Thanks to the extinct Mayan calendar, which predicts that our world is going to end (for the umpteenth time!) today, the 21st of December 2012. This prediction has created so much buzz around the world that even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA had to issue an official statement about the subject saying,
“The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.”
I cannot expect much from an extinct civilization, but I am pretty confident that like the predictions of false religious teachers before such as William Miller (of the Seventh Day Adventists) and Charles Russel (of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) as well as doomsayers like Nostradamus, this Mayan prediction is also bound to fail. Actually for Asian countries such as the Philippines, that are several hours ahead of the U.S in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT, this prediction was already a failure!
But it doesn’t mean that our world is already off the hook. On the contrary, it is true that this world will eventually end. And it is not because a primitive calendar or seer saying so, but because the word of God, the Bible, says so! Apostle Peter describes that fateful day this way,
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare…that day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat” – 2 Peter 3:10-12.
The Bible connects the end of the world with the glorious and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth. This day is what the Scriptures typically call as the “day of the Lord” – a day, in which God unleashes his righteous judgement and retribution on an unrepentant generation – 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8, 5:2-4.
Hence, it is vital to understand first and foremost, the connection of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of the world; otherwise, damning mistakes will be made. And since the actual and specific date of the Lord’s return is unspecifiable, then, the actual date of the world’s end is equally unspecifiable, too – Matthew 24:36.
The Bible describes two ways people react to the prospect of the world coming to an end – either they reject it or they are resigned to it. Those who reject the notion of the world ending are called “scoffers.” They blindly hold on this philosophical “doctrine of uniformitarianism,” which is a belief that says nothing cataclysmic ever occurred in the past (like the Flood), so nothing of the same will also happen in the future (like the end of the world!) – 2 Peter 3:3-5.
Meanwhile, there are those who resign themselves to the doom that is coming. They hold onto what philosophers today, call as “doctrine of fatalism.” Fatalism is a belief that man is powerless to his fate, and therefore, he might as well be resigned to it, rather than change its outcome or his current lot in life. In other words, they don’t see any reason at all to be changed or impacted by what is coming in the future, such as the end of the world. Fatalism is the underlying conviction why people in Noah and in Lot’s era chose to indulge in moral banalities, instead of repenting from them – Luke 17:26-29.
Although the Bible warns of God’s future destruction on the unrepentant, yet, it also urges people, especially, Christ true followers, to live their lives more circumspectly and honorably in the light of this dire warning. Apostle Peter says this,
“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives…” 2 Peter 3:11.
To look at death in its face is life’s most sobering moment. The world may not end today, but it sure will someday. Before it comes, be prepared and get yourself ready. Seek the Lord and understand His will in your life. And it is when your life is in Him, you can truly say without a hint of fear, “it’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!”