There has been much fuss on the internet about the revelations of an ancient Mayan calender which forecasts an apocalyptic crisis in December 2012, if not the end of the world. Researchers point to the fact that the calendar did appear to pinpoint various catastrophic events in human history. But, they say the calendar ends in December 2012. Various videos attempt to establish a common thread in all the literature of prophecy, linking the Mayans to the Chinese to the Delphic Oracle to Nostradamus to Jesus.
Today, Friday the Thirteenth, the movie "2012" premieres starring John Cuzak. It is a carnival ride of special effects in which the audience sees national monuments topple around the globe, earthquakes shatter, tidal waves engulf. The inference is "Ha...ha...ha, Bad Luck, Friday the Thirteenth, It's all over!" What a sick joke.
Some internet "science" suggests that our solar system oscillates in wave fashion above and then below the "pan" of the universe with the great Black Hole somewhere in the middle of that pan. When our solar system cycles to the horizontal plane of that pan, the gravitational alignment becomes tremendous and the earth's axis shifts. Solar flares would also be unprecedented. We have all heard that if such a shift were to occur, everything would change. Seasons. Climate zones. Polar ice caps. Water levels. Bacterial population. Ozone layer protection. What a mess!
Many commentators dismiss this phenomenon in the "pulp news". They simply say, "Remember Y2K? Nothing is going to happen."
Similarly I do not believe that we are going to be able to identify the date of any "end of the world" scenario which has God behind it.
When Jesus was asked by His disciples when the Jerusalem Temple finery would collapse and when the end of the Age of Grace would come, he responded in Mark 13 as follows:
31Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
So all things will "pass away". Hmmmmm. Does this point to a world's end or to a transformation? Peter's words in his Second Letter suggest the latter view:
10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
In the face of all of this panic, whether real or feigned, the believer need only re-iterate the words of the Psalmist, "My times are in thy hand." (Psalm 31: 15a)