Last year with the failed predictions of Harold Camping (once again…and again), we have been reminded by many of the failed prophecies of the past.  Many come from the cults (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists/Millerites).  Y2K was extremely revealing and financially profitable for some video makers.  There were both Christian and secular alarmists on that one.  I have been especially curious about the rise of non-Christian doomsday prophecies that seem to proliferate in our culture — all of them NOT coming from a dispensational premillennial outlook on the rapture of the church. 

The December 21, 2012 Mayan Calendar doomsday end to the world readily comes to mind.  One website I saw that was critical of it mentioned various theories for how the end would come:  a celestial body of some kind (asteroid, planet, comet) coming close to earth, solar flares, or my favorite — geomagnetic reversal.  I probably will not lose a lot of sleep on this one.  When you study the details, all you see is a lot of fluff and fog.  Dr. David Mappes, one of my colleagues at Baptist Bible Seminary wrote an article entitled “An Overview and Ananlysis of Apocalyptic Views Relating to the Year 2012 as the End of the World” that was published in our Spring 2011 edition of The Journal of Ministry and Theology.  It is an interesting read.


Environmental zealots often use doomsday language to talk about the future of planet earth if we don’t get our act together.    Global warming advocates, besides using the issue to get grants for educational research for varioius university departments, come across at times as extreme alarmists.  Al Gore comes to mind (see  Wasn’t he the one that predicted at some point (2006?) that in ten years we would destroy ourselves if we did not take immediate drastic action?  Such predictions are just as fanciful and speculative as any Christian who says he knows the exact day the Lord Jesus will return. 

These tendencies in our culture to embrace doomsday scenarios I believe reflect something that God has placed in all of us.  There is a dark day coming where there will be accountability.  The world will not continue as it always has.  However, Christians should face such truth as taught in Scripture about these things without the dread that the world often expresses in these zany movements.  The last thing that the world needs to see is Christians expressing fear.  We should face whatever comes with courage.

That is one reason why Christians should not back down from studying prophetic details in Scripture.  Many refuse to do so because it has been so sensationalized.  But why is that a good excuse?  Do evolutionists back down because so many of their former “proofs” like Piltdown Man have turned out to be hoaxes?  Do Global Warming fanatics back down because last winter was a cold one?  We should not be embarrassed by any part of the Bible.  God’s Word is God’s Word.  Study it all and present its statements the best you can.  If you do, you will never set dates because that is the teaching of Scripture, although you might long more for the coming of the Lord in your heart.  That is far more important than selling videos about what you think will happen.