It happens every generation. Someone, somewhere predicts the rapture or the end of the world. Occasionally, the people making predictions are self-identified Christians. They claim their revelation came after reading the Bible, spotting signs in the heavens, or because they got a spooky message in their Cheerios.
When the day comes and goes, people make fun of those end-of-the-world predictions. As a result, people are not prepared for the actual end of the world. They also make fun of Christians and seek to poke holes in Scripture. It makes sense when you acknowledge the fact that they are lost and do not know any better, but that is where we Christian should step up and engage our peers and neighbors.
I was talking about this very thing with author, radio host, and Engage contributor Alex McFarland. He mentioned a similar experience of his 30 years ago. It was 1988 and a popular book at the time, 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988. Its author, Edgar C. Whisenant, was wrong, of course. He later stated he made a miscalculation. He then announced the rapture would occur in 1989.
“I remember everybody joking, ‘It is great in ‘88, and it’s looking fine in 89,’” McFarland recalled.
The same thing will happen with Millennials, Generation Z, and every future population. Someone will always be there to predict the end of the world. What is important is that Christians are also there to point out the words of Jesus, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
Rather than reading books with titles like This Is the End and Here’s Why, Christians should be studying what God says about the beginning, the end, and what He expects us to do with the time we have on earth:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
No one should preach the gospel without knowing what it is and why it is necessary. Therefore, we all must study God’s Word, commit it to memory, and be ready to give an answer. “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
Imagine you’re getting a drink of water and someone comes up to you and asks, “Did you hear, the rapture is going to happen Saturday! Are you ready?”
If and when you experience something like this, it’s important that you point out there is no way of knowing such a thing. When that person asks why, use the opportunity to set them straight. Your answer, or lack thereof, will have an impact on that person’s life. That’s why Engage, OneMillionDads and other ministries do what we do.
Writer, speaker, and radio host Carmen LaBerge once told me, “It's not the world's fault that God is not the center of their conversation. That is the fault of Christians whose job it is to bring Him there.”
My fellow Christians, this world is full of unbelievers and biblically illiterate people. We need to set them straight. We must share the gospel. We should correct them when they make silly predictions. To put it another way, we need to share truth and apply Scripture.