Many Americans are new to dealing with the scare tactics which religious, fear-based leaders use to solidify their position of power by using “the world is ending… are you ready?” Remember, these people use this tactic to make money and feel powerful… nothing else.
Anyone who claims they have an inside track on when the end of the world is going to take place is never speaking as a follower of Jesus (aka. Christian).
We can be certain of this fact, because Jesus took care of this type of manipulation by stating (as quoted in Matt 24),
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
(Jesus is the “son” here… just sayin’)
To offer a little perspective, here are a few of the “Christian Leaders” (and other types of public manipulators) who are anti-Christ in that they claim God’s authority and manipulate the passionately ignorant to grow their own self-glorifying influence:
- John Hagee (Apr 2014-Sept 2015): The so-called blood moon prophecy, first predicted by Mark Biltzin 2008 and then by John Hagee in 2014. These Christian ministers claim that the tetrad in 2014 and 2015 may represent the beginning of the Messianic end times. Some Mormons in Utah combined the September 2015 blood moon with other signs, causing a large increase in sales of preppers survival supplies.
- Pat Robertson (Apr. 29, 2007): In his 1990 book The New Millennium, Robertson suggests this date as the day of Earth’s destruction.
- Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins (Dec 31, 2000): These Christian authors stated that the Y2K bug would trigger global economic chaos, which the Antichrist would use to rise to power. As the date approached, however, they changed their minds.
- Jerry Falwell (Jan 1, 2000): Falwell predicted God making judgement on the world on this day.
- Louis Farrakhan (1991): The leader of the Nation of Islam declared that the Gulf War would be the “War of Armageddon which is the final war.”
- Edgar C. Whisenant (Oct 3, 1988): I include this here, not because Edgar is known by most, but rather that this was the circumstance that I (being a month away from my 18th birthday) realized that those who claim God’s authority are completely blind to the one individual they claim to follow’s words. I remember the entire church I grew up in crying and scared that Jesus was coming back on that certain day. I don’t blame the blind for not seeing, but I chose to no longer follow the blind’s instructions for how I’m supposed to see.
- Pat Robertson… again (1982): In late 1976 on his 700 ClubTV program, Robertson predicted that the end of the world would come in this year.
- Charles Manson (1969): Manson predicted that Helter skelter, an apocalyptic race war, would occur in 1969.
- Jim Jones (1967): The founder of the People’s Templestated he had visions that a nuclear holocaust was to take place in 1967.
- Jehovah’s Witness (1941): A prediction of the end from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group which branched from the Bible Student movement.
- Christopher Columbus (1656): In his Book of Prophecies(1501), Columbus predicted that the world would end during this year.
- Martin Luther (1600): Luther, a German priest and professor of theology know for starting the Protestant Reformation, predicted the end of the world would occur no later than 1600.
- Pope Innocent III (1284): Pope Innocent III (died 1216) predicted that the world would end 666 years after the rise of Islam in 618. I’m not pretending anyone is basing their decisions on Pope Innocent the III, but these types of manipulation tactics are as old as time.
(for links and documents, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events )
I’m not saying the rapture isn’t a real thing, I’m just saying that (for all of human history) the end of this life has come when each individual died. Maybe we need to start living with this end of the world in mind – rather than thinking that Jesus was just kidding when he told the Roman governor who sentenced him to death, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Martin Luther King Jr. sums this up well with, “The Church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscious of the state. It must be the guide and critic of the state, and never its tool.”