The story is a familiar one. Way up in the Alps an impulsive young shepherd boy guarded his flock of sheep.
Bored with his task he decided to shake things up a bit, and sounded the wolf alarm. The townspeople came running to defend the flock, and the shepherd boy laughed up a storm at the hubbub.
Though reprimanded, he remained unrepentant.
Another dull moment and the scene was repeated. The townspeople resolved to ignore further warnings from this young man.
Suddenly a hungry, snarling pack of wolves crept out of the forest. The shepherd boy saw the moment for action.
He sounded the alarm loud and long, but no one came running.
Depending on your version of the story the wolves ate the sheep…or in more dire circumstances they ate the shepherd boy.
Lesson learned: Don’t lie.
But how does the 2012 Apocalypse fit in?
December 21 will come and go without an apocalyptic end to civilization, and more people will scoff at these predictions—rightfully so, when they are lies. If constantly claiming that the world will end imminently leads to unfulfilled promises then how will people react when the warning is valid?
Just last year a preacher named Harold Camping predicted the return of Christ. But it wasn’t the first such forecast of its kind. About 168 years ago another date was set for the return of Jesus Christ. As usual the time came and He didn’t arrive. The Great Disappointment, as it became known, crushed a lot of hopes and re-routed an entire religious movement.
In 2000 the Y2K crisis cropped up and the world was going to be destroyed by a computer glitch. Every so often, when news is slow, asteroids are calculated to crash into the earth and change life as we known it.
All have passed, all have failed. So what’s the real disaster here?
The problem is let-down and familiarity. Let-down because things don’t happen the way they’re predicted for the very simple reason that they are lies. A culture of lying becomes familiar. Then, like the shepherd boy on the alp, when the real warning comes, no one hears it and if they hear, they don’t care because these “end of the world” warnings never came true in the past.
At another time in history when the southern house of Israel, better known as the kingdom of Judah, had reached the peak of its sins God instructed his prophet Ezekiel to proclaim disaster and destruction to that nation.
The people didn’t want to hear this and they had a saying, “The days are prolonged, and every vision fails” (Ezekiel 12:22 Ezekiel 12:22Son of man, what is that proverb that you have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision fails?
American King James Version×). We don’t believe it!
God replied, “The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision” (Ezekiel 12:23 Ezekiel 12:23Tell them therefore, Thus said the Lord GOD; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say to them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.
American King James Version×). The time has finally come—the end is here!
And it did come. In 586 B.C. the Kingdom of Judah failed, was invaded by the Babylonians and the survivors were carried off to Babylonia (modern-day Iraq).
Ultimately the world as we know it will end, and Jesus Christ will return. As for the day and the hour, well, God has that covered.