Because of what is inscribed (or better said, not inscribed – any dates past tomorrow) on an ancient Mayan stone calendar, some have predicted the world will come to an end on Friday, December 21, 2012. While there has been a lot of joking about this across the internet, some are taking the possibility seriously. A man in Hong Kong has sold all he owns and is spending money enjoying luxuries, convinced the world will end before Saturday.
So, will the world end tomorrow? My answer might surprise you: It could. But, my response has nothing to do with a centuries old Mayan calendar. Writing to the Thessalonian church the Apostle Paul tells them:
Now brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. – I Thessalonians 5:1-3
Scripture tells us no one knows the date or time of Christ’s return (see also Matthew 24:36). It could very well be December 21, 2012. It could also be a hundred years from now. Either way, Jesus is clear in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) – one day, when people least expect it, He will return. For Christians, our calling is not to engage in idle speculation about when and certainly not to participate in date setting. Our calling is to be like the wise virgins – living as if the Lord could return at any moment and staying ready.