Have you noticed that the only constant on planet Earth is change? It seems that everything–from buildings to bodies, and even the planet itself–ages and decays.
At some point, life as we know it will end. But will it happen because an angry God is coming to judge us, grant eternal life to all who believe that He had Jesus slowly tortured to death, and sadistically torture those who don’t believe He’d do something so satanic? And will it happen next Saturday, May 21, as some folks say?
Why not next Saturday? It’s as good a guess as any. And let’s face it; there have been many guesses.
“The end” as a human obsession
The Essenes, members of a monklike Jewish sect, were preparing for Judgment Day before the birth of the man we now call Jesus. Scholars say that more than 60 years after Jesus’s death, John Mark, a companion of his disciple Peter, wrote Peter’s recollections of the time he spent with Jesus. Among those recollections, Jesus’s prediction that the end of times would come during the first century. In Chapter 9 of Mark’s gospel, he writes that Jesus told a gathering that some of them would be alive on Judgment Day.
This claim is repeated almost verbatim in Matthew 16 and Luke 9, since both scribes “borrowed” liberally from Mark’s text years later. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians (Chapters 4 and 5), he, too, warned that the end of the world was near: It would occur during their lifetime. None of these scribes actually knew Jesus. All were incorrect.
Throughout the ages, many others have predicted the so-called End of Times. In most cases, including the latest, the predictions were based on “the inerrant word of God”–the writings of ancient people who fervently believed the Earth was flat, that God lived above the clouds, that the Earth was the center of the universe, and the sun and moon revolved around it.
What’s fascinating is that from these unscientific people, we are basing our scientific calculations.
whom do we trust?
At the heart of the Judgment Day belief is this divine question: Will Earth and every living thing that occupies it die of natural causes–or will it be destroyed by a sadistically punitive God who has no regard for the human life He created, and whose punishment exceeds all human crimes? And if we really believe that God is so diabolical, how do we differentiate Him from the so-called “Enemy?”