In the 1950s the world feared it was on the edge of a nuclear apocalypse. Near the turn of the century, there was worldwide speculation about Y2K and the possible end of the civilized world as a result. A pop culture stir arose over the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012. Then there was discussion in Christian circles over the appearance of blood moons, supposedly also a sign of catastrophic events. How, then, should a Christian respond to doomsday predictions and related news events?
From a Christian perspective, our first reaction should be to take a deep breath and relax. At some point in time, this world is going to end (2 Peter 3:10). Christ will return (Revelation 19:11–13) at the time He is prepared for (1 Corinthians 15:51–52). And yet, every single person on earth is a split second away from a personal doomsday, right now (Psalm 39:5). Heart attacks, war, accidents, and such can bring us face-to-face with our Creator more readily than a global catastrophe (James 4:13–15). Whether the end times are right around the corner or a long way off, we are called to be prepared (2 Corinthians 6:2), not panicked.
The vast majority of doomsday predictions are pure speculation, myth, or uninformed hysteria. Even the Mayans didn’t think of their calendar cycle as predicting the end of the world. Computer experts were not the ones pushing the Y2K panic. And virtually no Christian theologians think that the blood moon phenomenon is a major indicator of any particular event. As with other fads and crazes, the discussions are driven by poor reasoning and even worse facts.
Born-again Christians can be confident in their salvation and trust in God to handle everything else, too (Matthew 6:25–34). We are told that it’s possible to read the signs of the times (Matthew 16:3) but also that it’s impossible for any person to know for sure when the end times will really occur (Matthew 24:36). Rather than focusing on dates, disputes, and rumors, we ought to concentrate on bringing the gospel to as many people as possible. The ship is going down, but before we worry about how and when the end will come, we need to get more people into lifeboats and life jackets!