Pastor Ian encourages us not to be taken in by the doomsday predictions that are so prevalent in our day. Instead of focusing on what we don’t know, we should obey what has already been revealed to us, carry on doing our God-given work, and point those around us to the truth.
Ever since I can remember, everybody has been talking about the end of the world.
In my childhood, Chicken Little stirred up the entire barnyard with the warning, “The sky is falling!” This childhood story prepared me for those times in which prophets would come to our city raising the alarm, “The end is near!”
And then they’d be gone.
On December 21, 2012, the small Turkish town of Sirince ran out of space in hotels and emergency shelters as tens of thousands of visitors responded to the doomsday predicted in the ancient Mayan calendar and flocked to the only place that same prediction claimed would be safe. On December 22 they all went home, where they were also—predictably—safe.
Even secular scientists are predicting the end of the world… although, unless you and I are still living on this earth in 9 billion years, we will never see it.
This year’s end of the world prediction comes courtesy of self-proclaimed Christian numerologist David Meade, who has studied the stars, calculated ‘biblical’ numbers and connected his findings to the prophecy of Revelation 12. His theory, that the end of all things will begin this Saturday, September 23, has been made viral by a fringe Christian organisation called Unsealed and their ‘click bait’ YouTube video “You Need to See This!” The video is enhanced with special effects and an ominous doomsday soundtrack. It has been watched 3 million times and has spawned dozens of similar videos.
If you have been troubled by all this talk about the end of the world, let me encourage us all in the following areas:
- Let us know that there is no such thing as a ‘Christian’ numerologist. Truth comes from God as revealed in His word, not from those who mix math, mystery and shallow biblical hermeneutics. We must choose to agree with Jesus who told His followers that it is not God’s desire that we know the time or season that He has fixed by His own authority (Acts 1:7). Instead we are to focus our attention and energies on the assignment He has given us (Acts 1:8).
- So let us agree that no one knows the end but the Father. No prophet; no scientist; no astrologist. In Matthew 24 Jesus says, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only… Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (v 36 and v 44). Are some expecting the hour this Saturday? Let us expect that the words of Jesus are more worthy of trust than the words of David Meade.
- Let us remember that no one brings greater harm to the reputation of Christ than the false prophet. Newsweek, the Washington Post, Fox News and many other secular publications are enthusiastically promoting this story, with the bold headline, “The World is About to End—Again—If You Believe this Biblical Doomsday Claim.” When a normal Saturday comes and goes, people all around us will still be dying without the hope of a Saviour, and many will do so convinced that the Bible—once again—has been proved to be unreliable.
- When a non-believer (or young believer) asks us if we have heard of the ‘September 23 Prophecy’, let us confidently respond with, “Yes! Why don’t you come to church with me September 24 and then we’ll both discover what God is up to in His world!”
- Let us gather together this Sunday at 9 am and celebrate the God who holds all things, controls all things and who is directing the future for our good and His glory! Neither the sky nor the universe is falling. Because the God who spoke all things into existence, maintains all things so that He may receive glory from the repentance and salvation of the nations.
Isaiah 30:18—“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
Thank you for your sweet spirit of cooperation last week and for your willingness to park off campus so that our elderly members and guests could park in the building. I am particularly grateful for all of you who invited friends. Whether they came or not, God is delighted by your faithfulness!
Our message this Sunday will be entitled, “Singing in the Dark”. Read Acts 16:16-34 to see how in the power of the gospel—even in the most difficult times—songs are released, chains are broken, captives are released, and communities are transformed.