Save yourself, serve yourself.
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed.
Tell me with the rapture and the reverent in the right - right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
Do you feel fine? Apparently a lot of folks are scared, freaked out, and even panicked about this whole 2012 deal. And when there is general anxiety spreading through the population, we can count on Hollywood to throw together a massive disaster film to really help set people off.
This one is called 2012 and unless you’ve been hanging out in the Mayan ruins for the last year, you’ve heard the doom and gloom predictions about that date. Actually if you really were in South America, you’d be able to see firsthand how the long term Mayan calendar comes to a rather abrupt end in 2012…hence the fear, hence the movie.
Apparently the film is having its desired effect. Check out this comment from one moviegoer:
“If you want to watch a movie that will have you STRESSED OUT, ANXIOUS, and PANICKING for the next 3 years then go ahead and watch this movie.” (www.imdb.com)
It’s in times like these that I am especially thankful that we have somewhere - or should I say Someone - to turn to for answers. As it turns out, the Mayans aren’t the only ones who have a theory about how the inhabitants of planet earth will meet their Maker:
Jesus then left the Temple. As he walked away, his disciples pointed out how very impressive the Temple architecture was. Jesus said, "You're not impressed by all this sheer size, are you? The truth of the matter is that there's not a stone in that building that is not going to end up in a pile of rubble."
Later as he was sitting on Mount Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, "Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time's up?"
Jesus said, "Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, 'I am Christ, the Messiah.' They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don't panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.
“Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies - no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he'll dispatch his angels with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God's chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.
“But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven's angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows” (Matthew 24:1-8; 30-31; 36, The Message).
Actually, Jesus’ words here are not a theory or prediction. This isn’t a calendar running out. This scenario is a trailer for the real deal. This is a blow-by-blow account of the end of the world as we know it…
And I feel fine!
Why? Because the God who created the universe holds everything together and nothing happens outside of His perfect plan. The fate of humanity isn’t a matter of random chance or undirected causes.
Not only that, but for those who are trusting in Christ as their only hope of salvation, the end of the world as we know it is good news! It marks the beginning of the eternity that we will spend in Jesus’ presence.
Jesus tells us to “keep our head and not panic.” Even He doesn’t know the exact time of when it all goes down! So if He’s trusting God’s timing, we should also chill out about doomsday predictions and dates.
But Jesus doesn’t want us to be oblivious about the end of the world. It will happen eventually and He wants us to be prepared and ready for it:
So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up (Matthew 24:42-44, The Message).
The best way to be ready for Jesus’ second coming is to live a godly life in Christ Jesus and tell others about the good news of the gospel.
This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires (Romans 13:11-14, NLT).
There’s no time to waste! Let’s live like Jesus Christ died yesterday, rose from the dead this morning, and is coming back tomorrow!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Talk to your friends about the 2012 theory and what they think and feel about it. Use the topic of the end of the world to lead into a discussion about whether they know for sure they’re going to heaven when they die – or when the end of the world comes - and then share the good news of Jesus with them.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
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. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. 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.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat (2 Peter 3:3-12).
To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Look, he is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen (Revelation 1:4-7).