Jan 6, 2012

What's The Difference Between The End of the World or The End of the Age?

There is a lot of discussion right now about the "end of the world", thanks in large part to the publication of the Mayan Long Count calendar.  Let's give the Mayans some credit.  They possessed an incredible mathematical and astronomical knowledge that gave them the most accurate calendar known in the pre-modern world.  It consisted of three separate "clocks", and what everyone is concerned about is the ticking down to zero of the longest of those clocks on December 21, 2012. 

I don't know if the Mayans clock is accurate in regards to what is being discussed.  However, from the records we have, they did not believe this clock was predicting the end of the world.  It was predicting the end of one period of time, or age.  Even their living elders don't believe the world will end on December 21st.  So lets get past the drama and get to the heart of the matter.


This Mayan calendar was used to predict many events, including according to the historical records, the return of Quetzacoatl.  Quetzacoatl was the founder/god of the Mayan people.  While reading accounts of his character, one might be led to think this was a very good individual.  However, Quetzacoatl is also known as the "feathered serpent", not a far cry from many of the descriptions for Satan.  He also helped to establish the religion of the Mayans that would result in an untold number of human sacrifices.  Suffice it to say, when Hernan Cortes sailed into Tenochtitlan on Nov. 8, 1519, the Mayans believed their god had returned, thanks in part to the Mayan calendar.  What we know came with the Spanish was the destruction of the Mayans.

Hernan Cortes landing in Mexico

Whether the Mayan calendar is accurate in regard to the end of the age or not, we know the scriptures predict that the end of the age is coming.  This is what the disciples specifically asked Jesus about in Matthew 24:3.  "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?"  The Greek word for world here is "aeon", meaning a period of time, not literally the end of the earth.  Jesus then goes on to give the sequence of events that will be signs that the end of the age is near.  So, do those signs fit our day and time?

The first prediction is the coming of "false christs", or those claiming to be the Messiah who are not (Matt. 24:5).  We do have an ample number of these today, with the most famous being the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification", shortened to the Unification Church.  The Rev. Moon has repeatedly stated he is the true Christ.  He also has amassed an enormous church membership, estimated between a few hundred thousand up into the millions.  He has become incredibly wealthy, thanks to the contributions of all his members.  He has used the money to buy influence in high places.  He routinely travels on speaking engagements with George Bush (Sr.), and has provided loans to none other than Jerry Falwell and Liberty University in Lynchburg Virginia.

Need we say more?

The Lord goes on to warn of wars and rumors of wars (Matt. 24:6).  Considering in the last year we have witnessed war throughout most of Africa and the Middle East, as well as rumors of war coming between NATO and Syria, NATO and Iran, Russia and NATO, China and the U.S., China and India, India and Pakistan, North Korea and South Korea, China and Taiwan, well you see where this is going.  So far we can safely say we are two for two.

Photo that helped change the direction of the Vietnam War

The next prophecy is nation to rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places (Matt. 24:7).  We just spoke of nations rising against other nations, and we might be interested in statistics released saying one out of every six people on earth will go to bed hungry tonight.  That's over 1 billion people.  Numerous diseases are popping up, many created in labs, that have yet to wreak havoc on large populations.  And the earthquakes in diverse places, how about every state in the union reporting earthquakes in the last year, along with numerous volcanic eruptions or disruptions from around the world.  So, we could safely say we are in what Jesus called "the beginning of sorrows" (Matt. 24:8).

While it is not definitive that we are in the beginning of sorrows, all signs point that way at the moment.  And after the beginning of sorrows?  The great tribulation (crushing pressure) on all the world.  Yet even when we come to the Battle in the Valley of Har Megiddo (Armegeddon), we aren't talking about the end of the earth, but the end of the age.

So, what we have prophetically is that things are about to go from bad to worse.  This includes specifically the toppling of many nations, wars all over the world involving many powers, famine, sicknesses, and death tho one fourth of the world population (Rev. 6).  Christians will be placed under intense tribulation/pressure.  And those who overcome, will overcome by "the Blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony: and because they loved not their lives unto death."  (Rev. 12:11)

So it's not the end of the earth, just the end of this age.  However, the end of the age is a really big deal.  Roughly 2 billion people will not survive it.  But Christians have a way out.  Holding fast to the Blood of the Lamb, their testimony of that same Lamb of God, and being willing to lose their lives for their faith.  Are you ready?  If not, now is the day to get ready.  We cannot stop what is coming.  Ultimately, the Return of the King is good for all mankind anyway.  Yet many will die or be killed, while others will be taken captive for their faith (Rev. 13:10).  Prepare now spiritually.  Study the scriptures.  Take time for prayer.  Actively seek to be filled with the Spirit.  Above all, plead with the Lord to prepare you for what is coming.  We can be great testimonies, if we are ready.