This is a re-post of a blog I wrote in 2012. I just re-read it… I thought it might be worth re-posting. Take a read and tell me what you think.
THE END OF THE WORLD!! I don’t think there has ever been so much noise made over a subject. In this small space over the few minutes or so I’ll show you what I mean by THE END. Remember last year? Harold Camping’s dire predictions? He called it for about the 5th time and was wrong again…. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2011/10/harold-camping-doomsday-prophet-wrong-again/
But he apologized for it, so it’s okay… you know what they used to do to those in Bible times that made faulty predictions? One of my favorite teachers was too nice to him in his blog… http://www.ligonier.org/blog/harold-camping-false-prophet/
I think Camping caused a lot of mess, but maybe there was something redeeming about the whole fiasco. People need to have a grip on matters that deal with eternal destiny. There are two things guaranteed in this life according to Mark Twain… and one of them is death. I would say the other is the fact that there is an end to this age as we know it. I grew up in a traditional church on the east coast and after taking communion they always had what was called the Memorial Acclamation. For those interested in these things…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Acclamation. The words… “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”… just blew by me until I got in my twenties… Christ will come again? Ever recite the Lord’s Prayer? “Thy Kingdom come”. This kingdom stuff is strewn all over the Bible. Very interesting. Don’t you wonder what this is all about? This is all tied into THE END OF THE WORLD as we know it… but, as you will see… there is no end as far as finality goes. Hopefully, I can make some sense out of the nonsense for you by the time we are done here.
There is a fascination in the heart of man like no other it seems when it comes to the END OF THE WORLD (I like to do the caps for dramatic effect). Seems so ominous when I see it in headlines or on the picture boards people wear…
There have been more books, movies, words, and messages dedicated to this subject. I myself have spent countless hours studying and learning about the end times. I surely wanted to make sure I’m pretty clear about the future and what it holds. So do a lot of other people, so it seems… or else you would not be reading this. This is a compelling subject.
Books… did you know the Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey was the best selling non-fiction book of the 70’s? Did you know the Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye has far exceeded any of those sales with about 50 million units sold? John Walvoord’s book about the Middle East crisis keeps popping up every time things get stirred up over there… but with a new cover each round. That has been a pretty good mover as well. Type in a Google search for Last days or End of Days…. about 721,000,000 hits is what I got!
Did you realize that for a day… May 21, 2011 that the End of the World was Google’s hottest topic! http://ipost.christianpost.com/news/jesus-resurrects-on-google-as-harold-campings-rapture-fails-10103/ . It was also recorded that the fellow that was pushing the 2 dates last year made a lot of money over this deal… Google that one… Camping is worth millions and millions. That doesn’t set well with me. Besides upsetting so many folks like he did he cashed in on the hype.
Movies… how many movies have there been? Too many to list here, and too much time for me to research. I know that in church circles in the 70’s there were some really bad ones that we used to scare folks into making a decision to follow Christ… remember Thief in the Night and Distant Thunder… they were really B movies and not a good method for winning souls to our Lord. But for those interested in Last Days cinema: here are the top 10… http://www.moviedup.com/2010/top-10-end-of-the-world-films/ . Remember, even Arnold got into it and made the thriller – “End of Days”. Oh, his Terminators flicks had an end of days flavor to them as well.
Song… even music gets into it and there have been doomsday songs on the radio… Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction was popular when I first started listening to pop music (he has since turned into a great folk gospel artist… I even went to a concert… great stuff!). There is weird stuff when it comes to Last Days music… try that Google search… a little morbid and depressing. But there was Keith Green, who I listened to in the 80’s who was famous for his Last Days ministries… which is still going and doing some great things http://www.lastdaysministries.org/Groups/1000008637/Last_Days_Ministries/LDM/Our_Story/Our_Story.aspx they seem to have some last days stuff that makes sense.
Why all the fascination with Last Days, the End of the World? Why all the googling and ogling? Books? It’s crazy what this subject does to people. Well, here are my thoughts as to why there is such a stir. Hopefully… I can make some sense out of the nonsense. I won’t do a Letterman top ten list… I just have five reasons why the clamor over the subject.
Number 1… I think some people treat the subject like they would a train wreck. There is a weird place in many a human being for the mayhem and destruction… ever see how well these goofy destruction movies do? There is a sick side to human nature… part of the fall I suppose.
Number 2… There is the “Lemming effect” or Pied Piper thing where people just seem to listen to anyone with a grandiose prediction or prophecy. Nostradamus has received a lot of play. Orwell’s 1984, Late Great books, Jim Jones, David Koresh… etc. Even in our churches today, get a guy with a lot of charisma and he can get 20,000 parishioners a week to partake of the cool aid. Sad to say… there are hundreds of thousands a week that follow blindly and don’t ask the hard questions like the noble Berean’s did back in the first century http://bible.cc/acts/17-11.htm They listened, then went home, and checked it out for themselves, and tested what they heard to make sure it was true. Unfortunately… too many lazies that don’t check stuff out for themselves… awful lot of phonies running around these days. The Bible calls them false prophets, warns us about them, and gives implicit warnings as to how to deal with them. There are plenty of scriptural directives as to how to smell one of them.
Number 3… the Fear Factor… there are folks afraid and looking for answers. Fear is one of the worst motivators, isn’t it? So sad that these doomsayers don’t seem to have any good answers, do they? Harold said he was sorry. I do feel sorry for him. Scripture has harsh warnings for those who lead people astray. Don’t want to be in that group of individuals.
Number 4… I think there are those that just are fascinated with the whole thing. It is like these new Play Station games that are coming out. Destruction, chaos, mayhem, war, fighting, darkness, nuclear holocaust aftermath. Didn’t Will smith just make a movie like this? Didn’t Denzel just make one too? Guys think of it as war games and they are just into it. Remember the Terminator series and all the movies that were spawned after it? I don’t quite get this myself. Never have played video games but I see the commercials as you do. There is some kind of market…. And the warning goes at the end of the commercial…rated “M” for mature. How many mature kids are playing these?
Number 5… and the most important… there are those legitimately concerned about the future and their personal eternal destinies. I am. I know I was sure afraid of all the hype surrounding the future… death, end of the world, last days, the apocalypse, etc. That was what drew me to Christianity at first… I was really fearful of the future. There are many that have honest concerns, questions, and misconceptions.
Can we make sense of the nonsense? Where do we turn for some straight answers? Are there any? Or, just weird religious views? Yes… always in the religious category box. Nothing to do with accurate, historical information. Some people just have a bleak view and say you just got to keep the faith brother? Or, that we really can’t know or understand… just have to trust God, the mysteries are in His hands. Well, I’m not buying into that, never have, never will.
There has been sufficient Revelation given (The Bible), accurate Revelation and information that can help us have clear answers and a sure hope for the future. And I’m not going to make it easy in a 1,2, 3 formulaic way for you to have all the answers. It’s not that easy. But I will point you to where you need to go for some healthy information. There is an abundance of Scripture and resources but you have to do some mining, some of your own research. While we are on the subject of five… I have five things you can do to get your own answers about the Last Days.
First thing is some reading… here’s a site for some great books on the Last Days of this age… http://www.monergismbooks.com/Last-Things-Eschatology-p-1-c-588.html The technical term is eschatology… don’t let the big word intimidate you. Just refers to the last days of this age we are living in. Don’t go for the pop end times culture stuff that you find in Wal Mart or Costco. I actually got to meet the author of those books, nice guy, great guy but the Left Behind stuff will do just that to you as far as knowledge goes.
Secondly… realize that it is not the end that’s coming. Not in the sense that we are all toast… its final, we are all going up in a nuclear holocaust. The Bible clearly talks about this age and the age to come… http://www.2pi.info/bible/plan/kingdom/TwoAgeModel.html Type the phrase into a Google search… very interesting results… littered all over the New Testament. There is an age to come.
Third… listen to some good stuff in regards to the End Times. Two places I find some great free stuff: http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/ and http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/category/white-horse-inn/2011-show-archive/
Fourth… test everything yourself. Look it up, study for yourself, question, don’t settle, be diligent. Remember those noble Berean’s in the book of Acts? Find some smart people and volley the subject with them. This is important stuff. What are others saying? What do they believe?
Fifth and lastly… have you seen the end of the story? Like I said earlier it’s not the end, it’s the beginning. There are some great chapters at the end of the 66 book collection called the Bible. Have you read:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. Revelation 21
Throughout the scriptures there is this theme of a new world coming… there is a bright hope, a future, it is not the end, but the beginning. The “curse” will be reversed and things will be as they once were… certainly the way things are now are not the way things were intended to be. Don’t believe in a fall? I challenge you to pick up a newspaper on any given day. That proves my point. Why can’t we all just get along… because we can’t and we won’t until we meet up again with the Prince of Peace.
So… all that to say this… The End of the World? The Last Days? Apocalypse? Left Behind? Armageddon (we didn’t even deal with the big term). What do you think now? Are you going to check it all out for yourself now… without the fear factor? Now the last words about the Last Days as we know them…
“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”
Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
The operative words…. Come, thirsty, free, life. Read these things for yourself if you want to be sure about these last days. There are some clear, concise answers to be found. You can always EMAIL me with any unanswered questions.
Easter is sneaking up on us fast… now that you understand a little more about these end days. When we combine what happened at Easter it’s a pretty complete package. I feel an Easter blog coming on!