Apocalypse Now?

The world was supposed to end on October 7th, according to Chris McCann of the eBible Fellowship. In his words, “It’ll be gone forever. Annihilated.”

When I read that, I thought sarcastically, Well, that makes all this studying for my [October 9th] exams kinda pointless, but let’s wait and see. On October 8th, I opened my eyes, checked my phone for the date, and looked out the window. It turned out, we were all still here. There were no plumes of fire and smoke in the distance. The earth was still slowly making its way around the sun, which had remarkably not grown in size and engulfed us all.

Chris McCann was wrong.

“Since it is now October 8th it is now obvious that we were incorrect regarding the world’s ending on the 7th”, he said on his website. DUH.

Here’s the thing though: he should have been comfortable with being wrong about the end of the world, because it wasn’t the first time. He’d been a follower of Harold Camping, an American preacher who predicted (wrongly, I delight to add) that the world would end on May 21, 2011. That didn’t happen, but McCann calculated that May 21, 2011 was the start of a 1,600 day period in which God would choose which unbelievers to save, a period which would end on October 7th 2015.

The world keeps turning.

Why do so many people insist on predicting the end of the world? Do they delight in it, in believing that finally, all their piousness will be rewarded and they, the Chosen, would ascend to some Paradise while the rest of us burn? Why even bother, when the Bible says that no one except God the Father knows the day the world will end?

There have been so many wrong predictions about the end of the world, and there are still so many yet to come to pass or, more likely, fail. It stands to reason that the world will end one day- everything that has a beginning has some kind of end. Turn on CNN or Al-Jazeera, and it seems like we’re close; wars, pestilence and natural disasters rage all across the globe. If the threat of nuclear war materializes, it could all end in a matter of months. If climate change and overpopulation continue unchecked, it could take decades, perhaps a century. It’s a terrible waste of time and resources trying to divine an exact timeline for the Apocalypse, not to mention the human costs incurred (people selling their belongings in faith and then falling to ruin) when these predictions invariably fail.

2021 isn’t too far off, which is one of the next years being foretold as the end of the world. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. (Unless the USA and Russia eventually start a nuclear Third World War, in which case, all bets are off.)

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