What is meant by the term doomsday? Cessation of life? Obliteration of the world? Great Judgment Day? Or all of the above?
The scientists had just met and had set the imaginary “doomsday clock” at five minutes to midnight, inferring that the end is near.
These are days of solid uncertainty. We know that Ahmadinejad, the wild man in Iran, says he will soon be able to cause global cataclysm. Besides, we all may have a built-in anticipation of the end.
When we were children, our mothers would say, “Don’t cry over spilled milk. After all, it’s not the end of the world.”
But many Americans believe the end is upon us. Here are the results of a Time magazine poll: 36 percent of Americans believe the Bible is the Word of God and is to be taken literally.
Some 59 percent believe the prophecies in the Book of Revelation will come true.
Some 35 percent say they are paying closer attention to news events and how they relate to the end of the world.
Some 36 percent of those polled who support Israel say they do so because they believe in biblical prophecies that Jews must control Israel before Christ will come again.
Some 17 percent of Americans believe the world will end in their lifetime.
Much of the world expects a great leader to emerge at or near the end. Christians anticipate the return of Christ; the Jews await the Messiah, and the Muslims expect the 12th imam.
The purported origin of the 12th imam is ludicrous. It is taught that he went into hiding as a 5-year-old about the 13th century, and will supernaturally return just before what is called the Day of Judgment. He will conquer the world and demand, by force, that everyone become followers of Islam.
Ralph Stice, author of “From 9/11 to 666,” presents a sobering argument for the rise of an Islamic antichrist within the next 20 years. Is there some significance in the Muslim belief of the 12th imam?
Some Bible students think the Scriptures teach the antichrist must come from the Middle East, the alleged location of the 12th imam.
Several voices today claim we are nearing the end. For example, some people think Nostradamus, a 15th century mystic, predicted some of the events happening now.
Then there is the Mayan calendar that covers more than 5,000 years and ends on or about Dec. 21, 2012. However, experts say the Mayan people did not expect the world to end at that time.
What is the truth about “doomsday? The Bible does predict a cessation of life and time as we know it.
Note the words of the Apostle Peter: “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare” (3:10).
That will be the end. However, the fulfillment of that prediction is more than 1,000 years away. The Bible is very clear in saying that other events must transpire beforehand.
First will be the Rapture, which could happen anytime (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Twenty-five million Americans could disappear suddenly. Preposterous? Yes. Factual? Yes.
Then will come the worldwide, seven-year tribulation, ruled by the Antichrist. Christ said that will be a horrid time (see Matthew 24:21, 22), and the Bible declares that more than one-half of the world’s population will die during the seven-year period. Are you ready for the awful unfolding of the failure? Wise people turn to Christ.
The Millennium will follow, when for a thousand years our blessed Christ will rule the world in peace and tranquility. No more war; no more hate; all will be peace.
Afterward will follow the destruction foretold by Peter, quoted earlier. But that really won’t be the end. In fact, it is just the beginning.
Note the Scriptures: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1).
Your future is fabulous if you know Christ. Some day you will occupy the new heaven and new earth with multiplied millions of other saints.