Natural disasters have been forcefully active all around the world taking the lives of large groups of people. In the first five months of 2011, we’ve seen massive earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, tornadoes, thousands of random deaths in animals occurring all across different parts of the planet. With so much death and destruction, it leaves many people wondering if these are signs of the end of times.
For a small group of Christians looking for signs of the end of the world, calculations and interpretations lead athem to believe that the rapture, as they call it, would begin on May 21, 2011. This was only after their first calculations back in 1994 were proven incorrect. Now we are in the week after that Saturday, and no clothes were found left behind as signs of people being raptured.
Many different people have tried to find hidden codes through the Bible, the stars, or events interpreted as signs. One of the most popular current theories isn’t Christian, it’s based off of Mayan astrology pointing to December 22, 2012. It’s astounding how popular this theory has become on a global scale, even Hollywood found it profitable.
During a session I led at a confirmation retreat this year, a teen asked me if the world really could end in 2012. At first I was really taken back by her genuine worry that it could be true, then I realized how important this teaching moment could be for them. It is more likely to happen tomorrow, I responded. After my response, the majority of the teens looked concerned.
So often we hear the same call for repentance of the past 2,000 years in perpetration of the return of Christ. Still, we almost skeptically live like tomorrow is guaranteed. Personally, I know there are many times I’ve put off going to confession or working to amend the wrongs in my life. Each day we wake up again make us a little more comfortable with the thought that we’ll do the same thing tomorrow and the day after.
Jesus could come today, but He may also wait until after our lives have passed on this earth. Either way, we want to be ready. We often focus primarily on the final judgement, but we forget about the personal judgment we must all undergo before then. The first judgment will be based on how we responded to God’s call to us, and it will result with our souls residing in either heaven or hell. Tough to say, but it’s unavoidable truth.
Death can come to the young, old, rich, poor, sick, and healthy. Instead of trying to figure out how much time we can buy ourselves through searching for an un-calculable date, our time would be better spent spreading God’s love so that more can better respond to it before their time.
I encourage you to take time today to join me in prayer for all those that have died as a result of all of these disasters. Every day it is also good to pray for those that will die today – that their hearts may be focused on Christ, and ready to enter His presence.
“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”