These people, many of them Christians, believe they have discovered a secret code in the Bible that identifies this particular date as the end. Some have even spent their life's savings producing literature and other means of communication to help spread the word. I do not want to criticize or pass judgement on this group, but their predictions have sparked fear in some, aroused curiosity in others and bred confusion in the hearts of many who have sought to understand this. In this post, I want to try to clarify some of what the Bible teaches about the end and hopefully shed some light on what we can expect going forward. While it is important to understand that the end of the world is not going to be next week, it is equally crucial to understand that it is coming and we do need to be ready.
The Bible is a remarkable book that was inspired by the Lord and has much to say about the end of the world. There have been many others that have claimed to have unlocked a secret code in the Bible that reveals details about the end. I do not want to discredit this idea, because some of these codes might be real. However, the Lord will never reveal a secret message that contradicts what He has shown us plainly in the Bible. In Mark 13:32, Jesus plainly stated:
. . . no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son Himself. Only the Father knows (NLT).
Again, I do not want to criticize these that claim to have this information, but we need to keep in perspective that this belief is in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus. The Father alone knows the exact time of the end, and that's OK. You and I don't need this information. Rather than knowing exactly when the end will come, it is far more important that we know how to prepare ourselves for when it does happen.
Whether the actual end is next year, fifty years from now or even longer, you and I could leave this earth and meet the Lord at any time. Hebrews 9:27 tells us:
And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement (NKJV).
Whenever our time on this earth ends, we will meet the Lord as individuals. For many that will happen long before this earth's last day. For this reason, we need to keep ourselves constantly ready. How do we do this? What do we need to do now to ensure that we are ready when we reach the end of our time on earth?
The Bible tells us that we were all created by God and placed on this earth to live with Him in a personal relationship. That relationship was damaged when sin entered the world, and now every person is born with a tendency to sin. Because of this, when we are born, our relationship with God is still damaged. Jesus, Who is God's Son, came to earth and lived as a man to make it possible for our relationship with the Lord to be restored. The way we prepare for the end is to be sure that our personal relationship with Him has been restored. If our time on earth ends before our relationship is restored, then we aren't ready.
Since it was sin that damaged our relationship, the sin has to be taken away for our relationship with God to be restored. When I say sin, I mean things that we do that cause division between the Lord and us - things that are not acceptable to Him. Because we are born with a nature that will gravitate toward sin, there is nothing we can do in our own strength to change this. That's why Jesus came. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 that the price that we owe for sin is to die, but that salvation is the free gift of God. Jesus died that death in our place and made it possible for us to experience salvation. Probably the most popular scripture in western culture is John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (NKJV).
The Lord loves us so much that He paid the price to make everlasting life available to us. If you want to have your relationship with the Lord restored, you have to acknowledge that apart from Him you are a sinner, that you can't change that by yourself and you need a Saviour. Then ask Jesus to be your Saviour and Lord and restore you to the relationship with the Father that He intended.
If you do this, the Bible says in II Corinthians 5:17 that you become a new creation. You were born a person with a sinful nature, but that nature has been replaced with the divine nature of Jesus. Also, your relationship with God has been restored, and you can spend the rest of your life growing closer to Him. Best of all, this prepares you to spend eternity with the Lord once your life on this earth ends.
Let me say again that this world is not going to end on May 21, 2011. Nobody is ever going to be able to predict the actual day or the time of the end, but we do know from the Bible that the end will come and that day is drawing closer. We do need to be prepared, and there could be nothing worse than getting to the end and then realizing we have waited too long. The Bible tells us that today is the day of salvation (see II Corinthians 6:2) and that no one is promised tomorrow (see 4:14). Jesus said that no one could come to the Jesus unless the Father first draws them (see John 6:44). While reading this today, if you have felt the Father drawing you, then today can be the day that your relationship with God is restored and you become ready for the end. If you have never talked to God, or if you are not sure how to start, let me tell you that talking to Him is as simple as talking to me. In this post, I have shown from the Bible how to receive the Lord's free gift of salvation. If you have felt His drawing today, then today is your day of salvation.