Is the World Coming to an End in 2012?
The Theology of Apocalypse
As early as in the first Christian century, the followers of Jesus predicted the end. The Shakers thought the world would be over in 1792, while the Jehovah's Witnesses pegged various years between 1914 and 1994 as an end date. Harold Camping, a Christian broadcaster, predicted the end of the world several times. He was so frustrated with God that in 2011, he finally confessed that God changed his plans without changing the Bible that provided him the code about the world's end.
Recently, some people had focused on the year 2012. They believed that on December 21, 2012, the Earth would experience unprecedented, cataclysmic disasters ranging from massive earthquakes and tsunamis to nuclear reactor meltdowns.
All religions predict the end of the world. Still, Judaism and Christianity vigorously promote the idea of the coming of the Messiah and the return of Jesus preceding the end of time. Several Muslims have also adopted Christian theology of Apocalypse and even included the return of Jesus as part of their creed.
I will explain the Muslim position on the second coming of Jesus in a separate article. It will demonstrate that the idea of Jesus returning to break the cross, kill the pig, and abolish jizya contradicts the Quran and its teachings. The statements attributed to Prophet Muhammad on this issue are also questionable.
There will come a day when the world as we see it today would come to an end. Every day, we lose things and people. So a day will also come when everything will perish. Religion goes beyond this reality and predicts events leading to the end of the world. In this respect, each religion predicts the destruction of the other.
On May 21, 2011, many American Christians waited for an end of the world in one way or the other. A California-based radio evangelist group of Harold Camping claimed that Judgment day would take place on May 21, 2011, and the world would end.
The world survived the predictions.
Life has been going on as usual as it has gone for thousands of years amidst all the doom's day prophecies. Well-known Christian scholars have predicted the end of time at least 44 times in the last 2,000 years, and each time God proved them wrong. Interestingly, a wrong that is proven wrong is faulty as a fact. New dates and a new theology will not change it. The confusion creates more confusion causing panic and fear among some people. Every time someone announced a new doomsday, the sale of books predicting the end of time increases. Some people start selling their properties, and others begin conserving food and other resources to meet the time's challenge as if they would be the only ones who would survive the catastrophe.
How do they determine the end of time dates?
The group that predicted the end of time on May 21, 2012, claimed that the flood of Noah took place some 4990 years before the birth of Jesus and it was in the year 4990 BC that Noah heard from God that there would be seven days until the flood of waters would be upon the Earth. Now, each day is equivalent to 1000 years, and we get 7000 years. And when we project 7000 years into the future from 4990 BC, we find that it falls on the 2011 AD. It is such an absurd logic that no sane mind would ever accept it. But the influence of religious magic is so intense that everything that people would reject in the real world based on their rational thinking becomes genuine in God's name.
The group claimed that the year 2011 AD would be the 7000th year from the flood of Noah's day. It will be the end of the length of time given to humankind.
Why is JUDGMENT DAY on MAY 21, 2011?
On May 21, 1988, the group claimed that God finished using the churches and congregations of the world for good work. The Spirit of God left all churches, and Satan entered into the churches. Thus the group believed that Satan is ruling churches all over the world for the last 23 years.
In the group's view, the full 23-year tribulation period concluded on May 21, 2011, as it was the exact day that the great tribulation comes to its end.
The group claimed that on May 21, God would raise all the dead that have ever died from their graves. Earthquakes would ravage the whole world as the Earth would no longer conceal its dead. People who died as saved individuals would experience their bodies' resurrection and immediately leave this world forever to be with the Lord. Those who died unsaved would rise as well, but only to have their lifeless bodies scattered about Earth's face. Death would be everywhere, and On October 21, the world would come to an end.
May 21 and October 21 came and passed without anything as predicted by the Bible experts.
Many Christian groups believe that Jesus would return soon. Some predict that by the end of this year, he would be back in this world to lead an armed struggle against Jews for allegedly torturing and killing him. A war will cause more than two-thirds of Jews killed by Jesus and his followers, and one-third of them would convert to Christianity. Interestingly, the current pope has recently absolved the Jews from plotting against Jesus.
Stories about the return of a dead person are nothing but a myth found in almost all religious literature.
In the doctrine of the end of the world, the coming of a Messiah plays a central role. Every religious group, including Muslims, has been waiting for a Messiah's return to rid the world of all evil.
In the apocalyptic theology, the Messiah's role would be to establish a peaceful world by killing all the trouble makers. The trouble makers are those who do not believe the Messiah and his teachings.
Thus, for Christians, all non-Christians are trouble makers. Muslims believe that all non-Muslims are deviants; for Hindus, all non-Hindus are the transgressors, and for Jews, all non-Jewish people are rebels. Imagine if the so-called Messiahs of all religious communities appear at the same, what would be the world's fate? Everyone would be killing the other.
There are many Muslims who believe in the second coming of Jesus and the arrival of Mehdi. One can find an assortment of Muslim literature, old and new, that outlines this type of apocalyptic predictions. However, no one has quoted a single verse from the Quran in justification of their position. Many quotes from the books of ahadith (Saying of the Prophet). None refers to any Quranic words that refute the idea of a known date for this event. On the contrary, the Quran says that end time is known only to God almighty.
Currently, some fifteen theories are circulating in our world about the end time. A brief description follows here to get a better understanding of this topic from various sources.
Nostradamus - While Nostradamus is very vague, he has predicted the world's end through his past prophecy and drawings around the year 2000. The exact date is not there, but he indicates that the world would end through nuclear warfare or other possible causes by "the heavens will catch on fire."
Web Bot - A computer program searches through data and pull together essential data to predict future events. It was for investors and since then has a record for the prediction of future events.
The Bible - The Bible predicts that the world will come to an end when the Antichrist rises. Some believe the Antichrist is already among us. And the countdown to the end of the world has already begun.
The Antichrist - Nostradamus and the Bible predict the world's end to occur when the Antichrist rises. Several extreme Christian groups are claiming Obama to be the Antichrist. They hold that when his presidential term ends, the world will come to an end.
The Mayan calendar ends on 12/21/2012, symbolizing the end of a cycle and into a new one as Earth enters the "cosmic womb." Some believe that a transformation through other forms of life in our solar system will come to Earth, or Earth will ultimately perish.
Polar Shift - Polar shift can cause increased weather patterns and potentially catastrophic climate change. The polar shift wouldn't cause Earth itself to end, but rather an increased amount of damage dealt upon Earth via earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc.
Planet X - A new planet is in our solar system that would collide with Earth in 2012. The Earth's orbital pattern comes within very close proximity to Earth and provides relatively strong evidence for Earth's collision. Though this evidence may seem conclusive, other calculations show that it will pass by Earth.
Comets - Comets from Planet X as it approaches Earth can enter Earth's atmosphere and either reach Earth or disintegrate upon entering the atmosphere.
Meteor - A large meteor can collide with Earth, causing everything on Earth to become extinct. It is a very similar scenario to the extinction of Dinosaurs.
Nuclear Warfare - Everything will end through war and the destruction of atomic bombs. This theory is highly unlikely, saying that someone needs to be alive to launch the last bomb, thus proving that some civilizations will live.
The Alignment - Potentially, Earth can disappear in a black hole during the winter solstice in 2012. Since Earth will be at the center of the Milky Way, where a black hole exists, some astrologers believe we will become lost within it. No one knows the actual outcome of this, and it just seems to be another proposed theory of 2012 predictions.
The I Ching - An ancient text predicts random events. Calculated out into a timeline, and when doing so, it mysteriously ends on the year 2012. Since it focuses on a sequence of events, people are suspicious about how it could just end on that date.
Solar Storms - NASA has now confirmed that in the year 2012, the sun would have reached its peak of solar storms. It will be unlike anything Earth has experienced.
Tibetan Monks - With the use of Remote Viewing, the monks can predict the future. The Tibetan Monks have declared doomsday to be in the year 2012 through nuclear warfare. They also stated that we would survive by extraterrestrial life.
Depression - Some economists believe that a great depression was to occur in 2012.
In the case of Muslims, the best source about end time is the divine message preserved in the Quran's pages. Only God knows about the end of time, says the Quran repeatedly. The Quran reminds people to be ready for their future every second of their life.
Life can lose its connection with the physical body any moment, the Quran asserts. Thus every second is an end time. This Quranic guidance empowers us to take control of our own lives and discipline ourselves based on advice from God rather than rely on someone else to change us.
The Quran says that Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they change themselves. The Quran does not say that things will change only with a Messiah's intervention or a Mehdi, whose arrival dates are unknown to anyone. The belief in the theology of Apocalypse, in reality, challenges the foundation of the fundamental Quranic message that says that those who believe in the divine guidance and act accordingly are the ones who succeed ultimately. The Quran also says that they were not responsible for a future that they are not aware of; instead, they are responsible for the present in which they live. Based on this theology, Muslims have developed a world view that makes them no different than any other faith waiting for a Messiah to return to put things right.
Some people point to the increased number of disasters in our world to support the theology of Apocalypse. We must understand that the disasters, earthquakes, tsunamis, and cyclones have been taking place around us since time immemorial. For instance, the US Geological Survey estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. They occur based on laws that God imbued in rocks at the time of their creation. If we learn those laws, we might be in a position to avoid human sufferings in those areas where they occur. Many go undetected because they hit remote areas or have very small magnitudes. We feel the impact of some of these events more on our lives because of two significant factors. The information about these events now travels much faster than it used to. Secondly, the human population around disaster-prone areas has increased by many folds over the last 500 years.
Let us not be consumed by issues that are only known to God. Come December 21 or January, 31 we are sure things that are supposed to occur based on God's laws will happen. For now, let's make the best of today.