written by Brandon G. Harris
Last week I was watching a show about space on the National Geographic Channel. It was a fascinating program. My imagination was running wild thinking about all the different things we don’t know about space and the galaxy. As expected, they gave no credit to God as being the Creator but I still enjoyed the program. National Geographic is notorious for running commercials that are just as intriguing as the show you’re watching. Most of the time they run commercials about sharks or volcanoes, but this time they ran a commercial about an Ancient Mayan prophecy. The prophecy in question suggests that the Ancient Mayan’s predicted the end of the world on December 21st in the year 2012.
Naturally my curiosity was sparked and off to the internet I went. I began researching this prophecy and discovered that the Ancient Mayan calendar is considered to be extremely accurate by scientists and astronomers. It has predicted solar eclipses and planetary alignments nearly one thousand years in advance. Mysteriously, the calendar stops on December 21st 2012. Considering the accuracy of the aforementioned events predicted by the Mayan calendar, some people are interpreting this date as prophecy to the end of the world. Details regarding the alleged event on the calendar are non existent, but the speculation is running rampant. Some people are suggesting that there could be a massive shift of the earth on its axis, creating floods and earthquakes of cataclysmic proportions. Others think there will be an explosion of a cosmic super nova causing the destruction of earth. By their estimations the Tsunami of 2004 and the chaos surrounding 9/11 would pale in comparison to the pending catastrophe. This prophecy has been allegedly supported by other “oracles” in the past and therefore people are beginning to buy into yet another end of the world trend.
Lightheartedly I entertained the idea for a while and began to think about global destruction. This idea of the end of the world is a topic that has been studied, predicted, and debated for centuries. Since the time the book of Revelation was written by John on the Island of Patmos, generation after generation have believed that they were living in the last days. There is a certain fear and uneasiness associated with the end of the world and rightfully so. Everybody, to some degree is afraid of the unknown. For years, I have been a fan of eschatology, the study of the end times, but this prediction advertised by National Geographic triggered my thought process in a completely different direction.
As I considered this prophecy, I began to think about what the Bible has to say concerning prophecy and the end times. Over twenty five percent of the Bible is prophecy that has come to fruition or is still pending. Not one prophecy in the Bible has ever been debunked. With that in mind we should not dismiss the prophecy of the end of the world contained in scripture, but why do we not know when it will take place? Why is God the Father is the only one who knows? Why would He withhold such information from us?
Let’s take the ball and run with it for a minute. Let’s pretend that the prophecy by the Mayan’s is not just speculative, but could be proven as fact and the world is going to come to an end on December 21st 2012. What would you do with that kind of information? Would you change the way you live your life? Would you run up a bunch of debt and buy all the things you ever wanted before it happened? Would you even bother to make an attempt at happiness or building a family? It certainly provokes a myriad of thoughts doesn’t it?
We were given a very specific task before Jesus ascended to heaven. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Is it really a surprise that God would not disclose a date for “the end of the age?” Once you learn that kind of information you cannot UN-learn it. If the disciples would have been told exactly when Jesus would be returning The Great Commission might have been ignored. The unknown creates urgency to act. I suppose the Ancient Mayans have one thing right. There is going to be a day when time runs out. Despite prophecies, ancient calendars, and even the information contained in the Bible itself, we really only know one thing about the end of the world. It will most certainly happen. Jesus assures us of that, but because we only know one thing, we only have one objective, “GO.”