Why We Shouldn’t Try to Predict the End

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Why We Shouldn’t Try to Predict the End

Christian Headlines :

According to some predictions, the world was supposed to end this weekend on September 23. It didn’t. So, here we are, still wondering when and how it’s going to happen.

Yet, as Billy Hallowell suggests in an article over at Fox News, maybe we need to figure out a new approach to how we handle the question of the world’s end.

At the very beginning of his discussion of the recent end-times predictions, Hallowell mentions some fundamental biblical teaching about the end times. He writes, “The Bible is more than clear in its theological claim that Jesus Christ will return to Earth at an undisclosed, future time…. [S]cripture makes it clear that no one knows exactly when the so-called ‘second coming’ will unfold.”

In light of the Bible’s clear teaching on these issues, Hallowell notes that it’s actually quite embarrassing to the Church as a whole when people make predictions that attempt to pinpoint a day and a means of the world’s end.

But the September 23 prediction isn’t even the first of its kind. Inspired by this year’s end-of-the-world prediction, contributors at USA Today write about eight different 21st century end times scares. Obviously, not one of them actually worked out as predicted.

Despite these false predictions, the truth remains that the world is going to end someday. In another USA Today article published on September 22, William Cummings explains that, even though the world may not be ending on the 23rd, “[t]here are, however, several scenarios in which humans could be wiped out. And even if we manage to avoid all of those, the sun will die one day.”

He continues on to outline the possibilities, painting a pretty bleak picture of humanity’s future. Near the end, he writes,

Most people have a hard time accepting the inevitable end of the world. “The idea of the end of humanity is just too horrific to entertain,” said psychoanalyst Robert Stolorow. People derive a sense of meaning from being a part of human history either through their descendants or their contributions. “But if human history is going to come to an end, that source of meaningfulness will disappear.”

The reality of the coming of the world’s end is also a truth that we find in Scripture. For the Christian, however, the world’s end is no reason to despair and every reason to invest in the glorious riches we have in Christ Jesus (Matthew 6, Philippians 4). Our meaning and purpose in life does not derive from our life on earth as a part of human history or our ability to produce descendants. Rather, that meaning and purpose comes from Christ. We have new life in him because he has rescued us from bondage to the very sin and death that troubles our world.

So, when it comes to the predictions of the world’s end, Christians have no reason to freak out. Rather, as Hallowell advises, “The best line of defense for those who believe the Bible is to be ready and waiting by following Jesus, living our lives right and sticking to our faith.”

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