LEWISVILLE, TX: The world seems obsessed with the possibility of the end of time. Halloween often departs from its original intention as a celebration of the saints to depicting horrible scenes of death and mayhem. Prevalent at the Halloween season are horror movies using ghoulish murder, zombies, and resurrection of the dead to feed morbid audiences. But biblical word pictures of “end of times” are scary and sobering.
Often irresponsible predictions of the end of the world come from self-proclaimed prophets and religious fanatics. However, an emerging group calling themselves the Green New Deal, have entered the world of prophecy usually belonging to religious zealots.
The latest prediction comes from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who made her prediction during an interview with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates (53:28) at the event in New York City celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
She stated, off the cuff, but with an all-knowing confidence,
“Millennials and Gen Z and all these folks that come after us are looking up, and we’re like, the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we going pay for it? This is our World War II.”
For hundreds of years, the hope of Bible-believing Christians awaiting the return of Christ at the end of the age as a day of judgment for both believers and unbelievers.
Predicting the end of times
Now we have the Green New Deal and Gen Z in whose infinite wisdom telling us we can live on a planet that will last for only twelve more years.
That sounds no more creditable than California radio station personality, Harold Camping, who caused a major uproar when he predicted the rapture of the Church on May 21, 2011, and the destruction of the world (final judgment) on October 21, 2011.
Camping died from illness on December 15, 2013.
Or, Survivalist, Patrick Geryl in 2005, who quit his job as a laboratory worker for an oil company because he believed the world would end on December 21, 2012. Geryle pointed to the ancient Maya cyclical calendars that supposedly predicted a catastrophic end in 2012.
Can anyone actually predict the end of times?
Yet it is natural to contemplate the future and especially the end of creation. But really, does the universe function on these flimsy, unsubstantiated predictions? Where can such confidence/authority come from? Christians stand on a derived authority from God—the Bible. Secularists depend on guesswork and one’s own, limited knowledge, or inner “feelings” and the equally questionable “scientific” inquiry.
The twenty-first-century news cycle is consumed with fears that suggest the world could soon be engulfed in a global war. Reports that Iran has the capability to develop nuclear missiles that could reach Israel and the US. North Korea continues on a path to develop nuclear capabilities that pose a worldwide threat. All of which seems to suggest more of a danger than “climate change.”
The biblical “end days” are usually equated with the battle of Armageddon and the return to earth of Jesus Christ. Those who believe the accuracy of the Bible differ on the interpretation of specific biblical prophecies but there is a general understanding of events leading to this conclusion.
What hints does the Bible provide for revealing events that proceed with Christ’s return and the end of this present world?
The restoration of the Land of Israel in 1948 came after almost 2,000 years since the destruction of the Holy City and the Temple. The Six-Day war of 1967 when the Temple Mount was conquered seems to have ended the “times of the Gentiles.” (Luke 21:24)
The modern Israeli Aliyah brings Israel back to their homeland. “In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people [worldwide]….” (Isaiah 11:11).
It appears that the teachings of Christ must be proclaimed throughout the world. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
While there is no evidence from Scripture revealing the date of the end of the world, signs suggest it could be near. Israel has been brought back into the “promised land” and is a sovereign state. Jerusalem remains the center of modern concern. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Matthew 24:7)
An Iranian nuclear attack on Israel could set the world on a destructive course resembling biblical descriptions of the events of the end times—but we don’t know for sure. The Bible’s description of the end of the age is chilling:
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”(Revelation 20:11-15)
Halloween activities are intended to be fun, but the reality of death and judgment is real—not a judgment to be used as an authoritative hammer on those not practicing religious legalism, but accountability for one’s life. While the Bible purposely keeps the times and dates a mystery, it will occur in the midst of worldwide catastrophes. At such time Jesus will come as the judge and savior—a Conqueror. “On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” (Revelation 19:16)
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