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It seems that every generation considers itself the one that will witness the world coming to its end. But this time, a lot of people around me are actually considering and expecting it to end in December of this year. Apparently, the ancient Mayan calendar predicts or rather suggests the world as we know it will cease to exist on December 21, 2012. The obsession with this eschatological event is gaining even more rhythm as, of course, the month of December is fast approaching. Therefore, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify and ease our minds on this topic, especially as believers in Jesus Christ.
So let me start with boldness and assure each other of the irrefutable biblical axiom concerning the end of the world: “No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Thus, if Jesus the Son of God doesn’t have that information, then we should not embolden ourselves with any predictions on God’s return. In Acts 1:7 Jesus says, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”
For the purpose of eradicating panic, and fearful suspicion, let’s explore two alternatives. The first one is that the Mayans were somehow right in predicting the world ending on December 21 of this year. Well, as Christians we should be rejoicing at this possibility, for that would mean we are all going to heaven and live with God forever! Isaiah 65:17 promises “Look! I am creating a new heaven and a new earth so wonderful that no one will even think about the old one anymore. Be glad, rejoice forever in my creation!”
I have to admit that at times, the idea of heaven does make me uneasy because I am trying to grasp it’s essence with my finite mind. What exactly heaven will look like, it’s hard for us to understand for we are limited in capacitating ourselves with absolute discernment of heaven. We are simply not ready to see the unseen. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 assures us, as mere, temporary mortals that: “…For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory, beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Of course, we are all attached to our families, our spouses, our children, our comfort, and it’s difficult to literally perceive a different world other than this one. But by faith we must surrender any conception of heaven we may conjure up in our limited minds and just purely rest in our faith. In John 14:2 Jesus pledges that, “There are many rooms in my Father’s house , and I am going to prepare a place for you…when everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you’ll always be with me wherever I am.” This comforts me immensely, because I know how much my own children want to be near their parent, so in the same way we should want to be near our heavenly Father.
The second alternative is that the Mayan calendar is wrong, and that the world will not end on December 21, 2012, and we will surely be very busy making plans for the New Year. Biblically speaking this will most definitely be the reality on that day, because as aforementioned, no knows the exact hour of the Lord’s return. Therefore, instead of spending our energy anticipating a probable myth, we should examine our lives on a daily basis, continuing to lead godly lives, and doing good whenever possible. Matthew 24:44 says, “You must also be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected”. We can look forward to heaven, but while we wait for Jesus’ return we should “make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. And be at peace with God.” 2 Peter 3:14.
I don’t think that God planned for us to comprehend heaven entirely, because that would defeat the purpose of having faith in it. He says in Isaiah 55:8, “My thoughts are completely different than yours, says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the Heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” In my opinion, that is good news. My husband said to me once, “Us, trying to understand heaven is like explaining the internet to an ant!” I think he may be right! Proverbs 3:5 instructs us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”
With December fast approaching, let’s pivot our focus on the upcoming celebration of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. Let us rejoice that He was sent to this earth to save us all from certain death, and that no matter when His glorious return may happen, we trust that His main desire is for all humanity to reign forever in heaven with Him: “But you must not forget dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return as some people may think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want for anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:8-9.
By Roxana Phillip-Hackett
Roxana is a wife of one, mother of two, who loves to share her faith with sincerity and honesty from her home in Hendersonville Tennessee.