According to internet searches there have been well over 200 documented cases of those making predictions about the end of the world. As of now the success rate is 0 for 200+.
One of the more recent predictions was by a false prophet by the name of Harold Camping. He had previously predicted the end of the world in 1994. Camping then reviewed his failed attempt and said his prediction was off because of an error and he revised it to May 21, 2011 at exactly 6 pm (sunset in Jerusalem). Many billboards were purchased throughout the U.S. to proclaim this. I wonder where Harold Camping is today, you don’t hear too much about him anymore.
Most of us remember the hysteria surrounding the new millennium and the Y2K preparation that went along with that. That has been thirteen years ago now.
A Google search of the Top 10 predictions for the end of time presents an interesting listing. Who can ever forget Marshall Applewhite and the Heaven’s Gate cult in 1997? When you see his picture you will remember him and the scene of all those 39 bodies wearing tennis shoes lying in bunks apparently the victims of a mass suicide.
Hal Lindsay, Jack Van Impe, Herbert W. Armstrong, and a host of Jehovah’s Witness predictions are on the list as well. Some of the dates go back a few hundred years but most are fairly recent.
A few years ago my Teresa and I took a trip to Mexico and though we did not visit the ancient Mayan ruins, some in our party did. That may have been the first time I learned about the Mayan Indian calendar and the date December 21, 2012. Some have said a careful study reveals the Mayans did not actually predict the apocalypse on this date; that was just when they just stopped their calendars. Others contend that they did in fact see the end of time on the 21st.
Here is the point of my whole discussion, I don’t know what day the LORD will return to the earth and time will end. And neither did any of the ones listed above, including the Mayan Indians. One may know many things but there are some things man cannot know. I know one thing for sure, no one knows the date.
A reading of Mark 13 and Matthew 24 produces this truth, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Is it not the height of arrogance or should I say rebellion, to make a prediction after reading this scripture?
Following Matthew 24:36 and continuing through the end of chapter 25, there are five accounts used by Jesus to teach a single lesson. Noah, the faithful and evil servant, the wise and foolish virgins, the parable of the talents and the great judgment scene all teach a single truth. The lesson is that of preparation. One does not know the time but is encouraged to be prepared when the time comes.
Preparation begins by belief in the Savior and being washed in His blood. We are then instructed to live faithfully unto death (Revelation 2:10). If we have done thus, why do we care about the date? There will be an end someday but for all practical purposes for me that may best be represented by the end of my life. And my life’s end is just a heartbeat away. So why should I be so concerned about the end of time? The best is yet to come. And we like the apostle John in Revelation 22:20 can say, “Even so, come LORD Jesus!”