Next Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, marks the end of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar, and many people are genuinely worried that the date will commence the apocalypse.
NASA has called that balderdash, declaring that people are misinterpreting the calendar and releasing early a video about “why the world didn’t end yesterday” (see above).
But some Roseville clergy members are using these Central American apocalyptic fears as a teaching moment, a chance to explain to their congregations that, while they don’t believe the world’s ending next Friday, it will be ending soon.
In response to Mayan calendar concerns, the Rev. David Smith, pastor at Rose Hill Alliance Church, said he gave a sermon about a year ago in which he warned that the day of Armageddon won’t be known in advance.
“Here are all these people who have made predictions about the end of the world, the time of Christ’s return, etc., etc.,” he said. “Throughout time, throughout history there have been people foretelling the return of Christ or the end of the world, and it hasn’t happened.”
But Smith said that some signs of the beginning of the end are already visible on earth.
“We perceive that things keep getting worse and worse in the world, and Christ made all these predictions about war and rumors of war and earthquakes,” he said. “Our understanding of scripture is that these things will continue to increase.”
In a blog post on Patch, Grace Church Roseville pastor Jason Stonehouse made a similar statement.
“We don't know when the world will end, but everything in the Bible points to it being soon,” he wrote.
But Stonehouse emphasized that people should focus on the fact that they are alive now.
“Since the world has not yet ended, it gives us opportunity to ‘get our house in order,’” he wrote.