Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The End of the World

They say it's coming soon, you know. As early as May 21st, 2011, the day after my birthday, which will make my birthday party the best birthday party ever. But in all seriousness (if you can even seriously assess the inevitable destruction of man), is there any truth to this? Are people just fear-mongering, trying to manipulate public fear in order to indoctrinate potential followers? I have my own crazy (and I'm sure uneducated) theories about the Rapture - the event which marks the official start of The End - but what does the Bible really say about it? There's a lot of artful, creative writing in Revelation, much of it hard to understand, so what I like to do is just go straight to the source and ask Jesus. Turns out He had some stuff to say about the end of the world:

Matthew 26:36-44

36"But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven's angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.
 37-39"The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah's. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.
 39-44"The Son of Man's Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up."

Jesus says "But the exact day...? No one knows that." As we all know there are people claiming to be followers of Jesus who think they know, but alas, Jesus their Lord says they don't. And I assume He's probably ashamed that they don't read His words more often.

I for one am not afraid of May 21st, 2011. Partially because, even if I'm wrong, I know I'm right with God, and partially because I don't believe anyone who says "The world will end at this time." According to the Bible, not even Jesus knows that, so by claiming knowledge of that you are putting yourself above Jesus, which makes you a blasphemer and someone that I can't trust any more than I can stand (which is very little). This has been a great kick starter for cults and religions over the years. A leader says "Follow me and my true doctrine, because the end of the world is coming and only people who follow me will be saved."

There have been 44 documented and failed predictions of the end of the world, most of them religion-based. In the last century there were plenty made by The Watchtower Society of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Since the late 19th Century, the Jehovah's Witnesses were taught that Armageddon would happen in 1914. Membership grew, as you can imagine, in anticipation of this great event. When Armageddon failed to happen in 1914, Watchtower Magazine predicted, "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914; but it would be presumptuous on the part of any faithful follower of the Lord to assume just what the Lord is going to do during that year." Good call on that last part, because it bailed them out of looking like complete clowns again. But, they always need some motivation for people to join so...

The Watchtower Society selected 1975 as its next main prediction. This was based on the estimate "according to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 BCE, likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation." They believed that the year 1975 a promising date for the end of the world, as it was the 6,000th anniversary of Adam's creation. Exactly 1,000 years was to pass for each day of the creation week. This prophecy also failed.

The point is this, people will use the Bible for false motives. They will use it for power and government, for financial gain, for prestige and fame, for just about anything other than what it was intended for. If you ever have any questions about what people are saying concerning the end of the world or anything else, go to the source. Jesus Himself, in the Bible itself, says "You have no idea when the Son of Man will show up." So you can be rest assured that those claiming to know are contradicting the same Jesus they claim to follow, probably because of some selfish motive to get people to join their cooky, twisted Church sect.

I won't go into detail about how I have this theory that the Rapture is a metaphor for death. And since death brings us into eternity, and eternity is timeless, all of us will be caught up at the same time in death, in "Rapture" form. I won't talk about how there are correlations between Jesus' language about the Rapture will be an unexpected occurrence and how death can happen any moment. I just won't, because it's not the point I'm making. The point I'm making is that we can all have our bogus theories about what's going to happen, but we can't jump to conclusions, and we especially can't trust the conclusions of those who contradict their own source.


  1. No, you should talk about all those things mentioned in the last paragraph.
    Do a new blog with that as your point. Sounds scintillating.

  2. Hey Matt in your previous post I wrote you about this because I was confused and wanted to hear the opinion of someone wise like you and do not know if you wrote this for my comment but thank you very much because opened my eyes to not be afraid, and I am now sure that I'm a good person and a good follower of Jesus and I'm ready for whatever comes but do not think the May 21, 2011.

    God bless you a lot and thank you for talking about this issue that I asked.

    PS: The Classic Crime rocks!

    Juan Pablo Ortuño (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1161010573)

  3. Ha! I have the same (though obviously quite unvoiced) theory about the Rapture. It's surely because I haven't read enough, but I have never heard of or met anyone with the same opinion. Eureka.

  4. Very interesting. As a history student I have looked a lot at 'end of the world' predictions through time. It's often hilarious and usually very damaging to other student's perceptions of Jesus. It's sad when people associate Jesus with 'Christianity'.

    One thing I will say is that after studying the Bible a bit, I don't think there is ever an 'end of the world' that everyone fears. The Bible is pretty clear that it's the 'end of this age'. Where Jesus returns and there are new heavens and a new earth. We're called to rule as co-heirs with Jesus on the new earth as the Bride.

    When this happens is a totally unknown matter!

    Your last paragraph is interesting and I want to pray into that more.

  5. Thanks Matt for writing this blog on this particular topic. I heard many End of the World theory before but I never seem to buy into them. I would keep them in the back of my mind and remind myself God is more powerful and omniscient than that. Nobody can claim that they know His plan. Yet at the same time I can't wait for that day to come so that we can reunited with Him

  6. I find your theory of the Rapture to be quite fascinating and actually very logical! Your equation "death = Rapture" and it's explanation make perfect sense to me. I have never given any thought to the "ending of the world" or when it will come. Even though I'm growing old, I passed that half a century mark a while back, I don't even dwell on dying, I prefer to concentrate on the here and now, along with where I am or should be in my walk with Christ. But I do think you have a wonderful excuse for a wild party on your birthday! You could party like it's the END OF THE WORLD! (Then pick up the mess the next day when it's still here!)

  7. I have a question! The Bible is considered to be ultimate truth. Would it be wrong of me to consider that foolish? You say to go rite to the source, but what you are actually saying is go rite to the book that someone else wrote regarding what the "source" said. If I were to go rite to the source (which I try to every day), I would go rite to Jesus....not the bible. Thats not to say that the bible (like most other religious tools such as intercessory prayer, church ceremonies, the eucharist, masses, or whatever other gifts one can choose to help them along in their faith)cant help in seeking and understanding truth...but can one call it THE source of Absolute truth? I would consider that the exact same as Putting someone elses words about Christ above Christ himself and that to be blasphemy.... Can you help me out with this if you have a contradictory understanding the places the bilbe as a necessity over a deep personal relationship with Him? -James Ross

  8. To James Ross,
    I understand your concern. I've thought of this question before, too. However, in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we read, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." I understand that is using some circular reasoning; but I think you have already said that you believe the Bible is at least somewhat helpful in understanding truth. So if ALL Scripture is truly "God-breathed" as well as "living and active" (like it says in Hebrews 4:12), then we can be certain that when we open our Bible each day that the One, True-Living God is speaking to us directly. These are just my thoughts in response to your question. I may be completely wrong, but I hope I helped a little bit.
    God Bless!

  9. To Anonymous / Matt
    I believe the Bilble is much more than "somewhat" helpful. In fact, it is the top prioritized tool for alot of people in their lives with God. I just feel that alot of people treat this God given gift as God. I am a Catholic because I find the concept of the Eucharist very helpful as a tool in my Faith. I believe it is truth, however, i see it for what it is...a gift. Given to help us on the side with our personal lives with christ. I would never say that belief in the Eucharist is necessary in a perfect life with God. I beleive truth in life, morality, virtue and God can only primarily be found through God. And everything else is a gift to help us. The Bible is an excellent gift and has served many people in helping them with their personal lives with Chist. But people talk about it and treat it as if it is THE "Source" of God when God is THE source of God and the bible can be used to help with that. I personally do not read the Bible (i have but I do not find it helpful in my life with christ) and simply only for that reason. I thank God for it as a gift that has helped so many people with him, but I have different ways of helping myself with him that work better for me personally. Would it be right to tell me that I cannot possibly be as close to Christ and live a perfect life if I dont read the Bible? I would never dream of saying that to someone who doesnt believe/use the Eucharist in their personal lives with Christ. The one absolute in a life with God is a personal relationship with him, and in that we serch for understanding in truth regardign life, morality, and virtue. Everything else is a gift for us to serch through and use as our own subjective walking sticks (whatever helps us best) wether it be reading the bible, church, saying roserys, the Eucharist, ect..... any different understandings that you might find important in order to alter my own if you find it faulty?

  10. Well said! I have too the same opinion about this, however I was never taught about what did the Jeovah's witnesses preach was.

  11. interesting thoughts......nice blog.....nice band....

    so, let me get this straight, you don't think the rapture will actually happen??