November 27, 2009

Is the sky really falling in 2012?

End of the world predictions have been happening for decades. The latest is based on the Mayan calendar which ends in the year 2012. From this comes the idea that the world will also end in that year.

I’ve not thought much about this so was prompted this morning by my devotional reading to check it out. One site explains the belief system of the Mayans and their various calendars. It says that they believed in cyclical rather than linear time, and their calendars were connected to numerology, the predictions of shaman priests, the movement of the planets, superstition and the activity of evil spirits.

The Bible has a different version and different sources. It speaks of time as linear, even though many prophecies are fulfilled in stages or in overlapping times. The predictions come from godly men, not calendars or shamans, but men who listened to the Creator and wrote what He revealed to them. Although Jesus said that no man knows when the end will come, He also gave some signs of what will happen before He returns and before the world is transformed. These signs are vague enough that Christians realize we need to be ready all the time.

Mayan superstition isn’t scary, yet people are afraid. And even if some do not buy this current prediction, the end of the world is a frightening prospect. Yet Christians should not be afraid. In fact, fear is not the work of God since 2 Timothy 1:7 says that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Instead, the Bible talks about the end of the world (as we know it) in far different terms.

Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (Isaiah 32:16–18)
This prophecy is for those who know righteousness and live righteously, which is possible only through faith in Jesus Christ. Human sin nature, by itself, cannot attain the righteousness that God approves, but we can do it when we put our faith in Jesus and He lives in us.

Then we discover two things. First, this prophetic verse is true about a great peace in the future when Jesus returns, but it is also true right now. Righteous behavior produces spiritual peace and stability.  James wrote, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable. . . . Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:17-18).

From experience, I also know that contentment, inner calm, a quietness of heart, and tranquility are the result of godly behavior based on following God’s Word and living by the power of the Holy Spirit. Faith in Christ and doing good things overcomes evil (Romans 12:21), but faith also overcomes fear and produces sound thinking.

This is practical. God’s people need not be concerned about 2012 Mayan predictions, nor should anyone else. Our concern should be that we live righteously so that whenever the end comes, the result in our hearts will be peace, quietness and assurance that last forever.


Gary Val Tenuta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LC said...

The deleted comment was not offensive but was made by a person promoting his book. It has been my decision for a long time to not retain those posts. If the author wants to write something again, he is welcome, but without links that involve personal gain.