The predictions are of total devastation! According to some forecasts, entire cities will be destroyed by enormous tsunamis, earthquakes and Category 5 hurricanes; meteors will rain down fiery death from heaven; and human history will come to a violent end.
The hype is based on a mixture of speculation about Mayan calendars, the book The Bible Code, some ancient Eastern prophecies, the writings of Nostradamus and passages from the biblical book of Revelation.
Other 2012 scenarios picture a wonderful change in human consciousness and the ushering in of the New Age of Aquarius. John Major Jenkins, author of Maya Cosmogenesis, describes the coming New Age this way: "Around the year we call 2012 a large chapter in human history will be coming to an end. All the values and assumptions of the previous World Age will expire, and a new phase of human growth will commence."
While movie special effects of a tsunami crashing into the Himalayas can be visually spectacular, the answers to your future can't be found in speculations about Mayan calendars, or in the writings of Nostradamus or a New Age guru. The real answers to the questions about the end of the world are found in the only true source of prophecy—the Bible.
Many people believe that the Bible, specifically the book of Revelation, predicts a fiery destruction of humanity. A close study of the book shows that, although Revelation does contain descriptions of terrible future events, it is ultimately a book about hope.
Could you use some hope in your life?
If you are like the rest of us, you could probably use more hope in your life. You might be worried about the mortgage, the kids and the job. And with all the hype, you now have to worry that the end of the world is just around the corner. The book of Revelation shows us that there are reasons life is so hard, and there are keys to help you discover hope in your future.
Many 2012 scenarios predict the total destruction of humanity and leave you with no hope for your personal future. The book of Revelation is more than gloom and doom and predictions of the violent end of the world. Underneath all the graphic images of death and destruction is a message of hope for the future of humanity and for you personally.
A central theme of hope runs through the entire Bible and culminates in the book of Revelation. The message is why human societies fail and how the problems will eventually be solved. This message of hope centers around seven basic concepts that apply to you personally:
1. You have a special purpose in life, and there are solutions to your problems. You can keep applying the same old solutions to the same old problems, and you will keep arriving at the same old problems. You must turn to the Creator of life as the source of the solutions to life's problems.
2. God created you in His image, but is His purpose being fulfilled in your life? Most people today are not fully aware of God's plan and are not actively participating in it. This is why humanity suffers from anguish, war, hatred, greed, inequality and disease.
3. You can experience a relationship with God and live your purpose. God can heal you spiritually, emotionally and physically.
4. This change can only take place when you accept your need to change and believe change is possible through God's involvement in your life.
5. You must seek God's way of life that is outlined in the Bible. The Bible isn't just an ancient book of stories. It is relevant to your life as God's instruction book for how life works.
6. Jesus Christ is coming to save the world, and you need to be preparing for that day by becoming a disciple. Jesus Christ is coming to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. It will be a Kingdom based on God's universal values and laws. His government will create a new agricultural system, pollution-free manufacturing, a universal educational system, one world religion and peace and prosperity.
7. Your ultimate destiny is to become a child of God, and you can have a child/Father relationship with Him now.
Nothing can bring more happiness, hope, love and power into your life than living by this basic biblical theme.
The end of the world?
So what does the book of Revelation reveal about the end of the world?
Revelation was written toward the end of the first century by the apostle John, apparently the last of Jesus' original 12 disciples. It is a divinely inspired prophecy predominantly concerned with the events preceding the second coming of Jesus Christ.
John's visions reveal that before Christ returns humanity will suffer devastating wars, disease pandemics, religious strife and famine on a global scale. Many of these happenings are trends we see announced in daily headlines and newscasts today.
Watching your world teeter on economic chaos can leave you anxious. Nightly news reports of possible pandemics, the ongoing crisis between Israelis and Palestinians, rogue nations developing nuclear weapons, religious and racial tensions, and predictions of environmental disasters can make you want to crawl into a hole and hide from all the bad news.
Don't despair! In the Olivet Prophecy Jesus declared that He will return to save humanity from total destruction (Matthew 24:22). Revelation tells us about the time of deliverance Jesus predicted.
In Revelation 19 John gives us a description of the return of Jesus Christ: "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
"And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
"Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
"Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, 'Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.'
"And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
"And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh" (Revelation 19:11-21).
John describes a terrible time when governments unite to fight what they see as an invasion from outer space. Many people believe that this is the end of the story, but this is not the scenario revealed by God to John. He writes that Jesus will establish God's Kingdom on the earth for a thousand years, bringing peace and prosperity (Revelation 20:1-7).
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah was inspired to predict what the earth will be like during the reign of Jesus Christ. One passage, in Isaiah 2:2-4, states: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
"Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
"He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."
What should you do?
Humanity is not going to be annihilated in a great fireball caused by asteroids or exploding atomic weapons. The Bible clearly shows that humanity is not going to experience extinction in 2012. Sometime in the future, Jesus Christ will return to save humanity from destruction. Between now and then you can live in hopeful anticipation of that day by turning the control of your life over to your Creator.
Are you willing to give up your own ideas about how life works and turn to your Creator for the solutions? God wants more than a profession of faith from you. He wants you to become His child, live by His standards, accept His values as the Creator of the universe and serve with Jesus Christ at His return. The hope is in the believing—the hope is in the doing—and the hope is in living daily God's purpose for your life.
While humanity will not be destroyed in 2012, the Bible also reveals that the New Age scenario is not your destiny. The solutions to human problems will not come from mysticism but from the Creator of life.
Through the advanced newscast of Revelation, God tells us that there are some very bad times ahead; but this book also tells us that there is coming a unique and total change of society. Jesus Christ is returning, not as a baby in a barn, but as Lord of Lords and King of Kings to establish God's Kingdom on the earth. He is coming to save the world.
It will be the beginning of real life and prosperity without war, crime, disease epidemics and hopeless poverty. It will be a time when all people will know the Creator and live His ways. There is a fantastic future waiting for humanity.
Christians live in anticipation of that day. It is the foundation of our hope. WNP