By Tim Wildmon
According to Reuters: “Nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012, according to a new poll.”
I wonder if this percentage is any different than any other time in history. Early Christians thought Jesus Christ was returning in their lifetime and that would be “the end of the world.” My guess is the Mayans ran out of ink or chalk or whatever they used. Or, perhaps, they got bored with the whole calendar thing and started sacrificing animals instead. A lot of folks thought Adolf Hitler was the antichrist and that World War II was going to be “the end of the world.”
I am one who subscribes to the biblical pronouncement that one day Jesus Christ will return to earth physically, and only God knows when that will be. There are a lot of “red letters” – and a lot of mystery – in Matthew 24 which is headlined: “Signs of the End of the Age” in my Bible. I will quote a few verses. Again, these are the words of Jesus, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man (Jesus) will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, and with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other…No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (vv. 30, 31, 36).
So, if Jesus said even He did not know when the “end of the age” would occur, why did Harold Camping think he could possibly know the “day or the hour”?
This is not to diminish the reality that there will one day be a final day of earth as we know it – otherwise Jesus would not have spent the time He did talking about it – however we can only know the signs of the times, not the exact day.
I am writing here, of course, about the Christian teaching of what will someday happen, which is probably what most of you reading this subscribe to. At least, you subscribe to the basic idea that Jesus will come back to earth one day. It’s hard to squeeze an allegory out of these descriptive words of Jesus, in my view.
Regardless of what people feel about the end of the world, there seems to be a general uneasiness and uncertainty about the future among people I talk to in person and on the radio. And the message of political and economic volatility, I believe, can be heard when you listen to commentators both here and internationally. These people do not come at these questions with a biblical worldview, but they are saying and writing things that seem to line up with what the scriptures say nonetheless.
I personally believe we are on the brink of worldwide economic collapse. I hope I’m wrong. Europe is already starting to crumble. As for America, the debt our federal government is piling up is a ticking time bomb that will soon bring our proud country to its knees, should that debt continue to grow.
Even with all this potential trouble ahead, I find solace and peace in knowing that God will one day send Jesus back to earth to gather His servants.
This is His promise.
Community columnist Tim Wildmon is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.