Sunday, April 27, 2014

BLOOD MOONS & PREDICTIONS OF THE END


John Hagee evidently believes the so called "blood moons" that appear this year are signs of the end. Predicting the end, or predicting the return of Christ, has been an unfruitful past time for centuries. In 950 A.D., a guy named Adso wrote an essay on the coming of the Antichrist. This caused many to anticipate the end of the age to occur in 1,000. It is a nice round number after all.

When Haley's Comet appeared in 989, it, like the blood moons, set the speculation on fire. Hippolytus said the end would occur around 500. Julius Africanus also taught 500, but moved it to 800. Maybe he was an ancestor of Harold Camping. Joachim of Fiore said the end would come between 1200 and 1260. It was a good margi of error, but it did not happen. The Taborites said the end would come in 1420. That would mean no America and no Britney Spears, but alas, it did not happen.

Even Martin Luther thought then end would occur in less than 100 years, so early 1600s. The year 1666 was also a popular choice, as it joined 1,000 and 666. Even the Puritan Cotton Mather jumped into the game. He predicted 1697, then 1736. But, no. Of course, William Miller, forerunner of the Adventists, predicted march 1843, then March 1844. Still no. WWWI, then WWWII were big candidates.

Hal Lindsey, and other Dispensationalists, thought 1988 was a good year for it. Edgar Whisenant wrote 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. TABC was so freaked out by it that the pastor who may not be named had to preach a sermon on it. 1988 came and went with no end in sight. Jack Van Impe went with 2,000, helping to fuel the mania that went with Y2K. It turned out totally uneventful. And the darling of end times prediction, Harold Camping, went with 1994, then 2011. I remember a van parked outside my office saying the end was coming in May 2011. I guess they had to repaint the van. 2007 was a good year, since 1988 did not pan out. They moved from the re-establishment of Israel to the 6 day war in 1967 as the starting point, adding 40 years for "this generation". 2000 was also good because you could subtract 7 years from 2007 for the Tribulation. Ronald Weinland went with 2008.

What does God say? First, Jesus said no one knows the time. (Matthew 24:36). Is it not a bit arrogant to say Jesus did not know the time, but the Father let me figure it out? Second, God keeps some things secret, including this. Deuteronomy 29:29 says the secret things belong to God. He does not feel obligated to reveal everything to us. Third, spend your time on the job of bringing people to Christ rather than staring into heaven, or calculating the return of Christ, including wondering if the natural order of planets and stars have some meaning for the end time. We are not astrologists. (Acts 1:11)

So, enjoy the blood moons and the solar eclipse that is coming. They are awesome. They are results of the creation God set in motion. They are not mystical. They are natural. Christ will return at the right time. Be ready every day. But, seriously, quit stirring people up writing books based on nonsense.
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