Yes, the world is going to end. But not on December 21, 2012 just because of some Mayan calendar as many have predicted. The Bible is clear that it is unclear when the “earth will pass away.”
What the Bible Says About the End
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with an assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35’ Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ‘
“The Earth Will Pass Away”
The world as we know it will, at some point, cease to exist. Jesus is coming back to judge both the living and the dead. It is the proper order of things for such to happen. For us, this fact should cause us to ask some questions: When? and What should I be doing in the meantime?
“No One” Knows the Time of the End, Including the Mayans
Scripture says that no one knows when the earth will cease except for the Father. Because it says “no one,” I trust that means me, you, the Mayans, and anyone else foolish enough to make any sort of prediction regarding the exact day of the end of the world.
We can’t know and, in fact, don’t need to know. The reason that the exact day is not relevant is because knowing or not knowing doesn’t change what we should be doing every day — being prepared as if today is the day of the end. If we did know the exact day, such knowledge would surely change our behavior for the worse.
Think about it. Doesn’t knowing that Christmas Day is December 25 change behavior? All you have to do is to sit in the local Mall on December 24 and watch what happens. There will be hundreds of people scurrying about buying “last-minute” gifts that “need” to be opened the very next day. If Christmas Day was December 30, then the Mall would be full of last minute shoppers on December 29 instead.
Call it procrastination. Blame it on busyness. Claim that we just want to get all we can out of the shopping time before the end of the shopping season. Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that we often wait until we HAVE to do something BEFORE we actually do it. And, I don’t think that anyone would argue against the fact that the Christmas gift bought for someone at 5:45 pm on December 24 under the pressure of a deadline is somewhat of a compromise to one that could have been purchased without the pressure of “I have to get this now or I won’t have anything to give.”
Waiting to do something until we have to do it results in less than the ideal. It’s true.
What Should We Be Doing in the Meantime?
While waiting for Christ’s return and the “end,” we are to be on “watch.” Watching is active not passive. To watch means to be on the look out, to analyze what is happening on the horizon, to prepare ourselves and those for whom we are responsible for what is about to happen.
We often prepare for what we see on the horizon. We hear a weather report that a storm is coming, so we check our flashlights for batteries, board up windows, and go to the store to buy bread and milk. We know that we have a test on Friday so we study. We have a baby on the way so we prepare a room for him. Preparing for what is inevitable is responsible, and necessary.
So, in this section of the book of Mark, Jesus commands us to be ready for the end. We should prepare for His return. Although we won’t know when it is going to happen exactly, at the same time His return should not take us by surprise. We need to be prepared.
Being prepared for Christ’s return means more than this simple blog post can outline. But here are just a few things we should be doing in preparation:
- Live each day as holy as we can. Our mindset should not be “oh, I’ll just commit this sin today and ask forgiveness tomorrow.” No, instead, we should consider that at any moment, including the “right now” moment, Jesus could return. Before you do something ask yourself: “Do I want to be doing this if Jesus appears to me right now?”
- Introduce people to Jesus today, not tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late. Whether Jesus comes back, or by some unfortunate circumstance that results in death, the person you know who hasn’t given his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior may not have another chance. Have that conversation today. You can’t “rely on” another opportunity tomorrow.
Don’t Be Asleep
While there is no reputable proof that the Mayan calendar makes a “doomsday” prediction (see NASA’s website for a video disproving the claim), my prayer over the last month regarding this “event” is that God would use the absurdity of it all to remind us that Jesus is coming back, that the earth is going to pass way, and that we have a responsibility to be prepared when it does happen. Are you ready or are you asleep?