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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is May 21, 2011 “Judgment Day”?

Predictions from a small American religious sect have gained widespread attention. Will the world end this year?

The leader of a California religious sect has proclaimed that the world will face “Judgment Day” on May 21, 2011.

Billboards announce, “The Bible Guarantees It”—vans declaring “Christ Returns as Judge” travel highways—followers hold placards reading, “The Trumpet is Sounding”—a radio voice proclaims, “Judgment Day is coming.”

Millions of advertising dollars have been spent. Gradually, a large audience has taken notice.

The author of this idea has convinced thousands of followers that a worldwide earthquake will occur this day, and begin a hellish period that culminates with God destroying the planet five months later. The man claims these ideas are all in the Bible. The group’s website declares: “On May 21, 2011 two events will occur. These events could not be more opposite in nature, the one more wonderful than can be imagined; the other more horrific than can be imagined. A great earthquake will occur…This earthquake will be so powerful it will throw open all graves. The remains of all the believers...will be...glorified...the bodies of all unsaved people will be thrown out upon the ground to be shamed. The inhabitants who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until October 21, 2011 when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants.”

Does the Bible validate his ideas?

You can know with absolute certainty “the end of the world” will not arrive this year!

Most who write about the Bible do not realize this Book interprets itself. The Author of this greatest of books would not leave the most crucial questions, those involving all humanity, subject to human interpretation. He would provide clues—necessary vital keys!—to understanding the large portions of His Word devoted to future events.

The Bible commands: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thes. 5:21). This certainly applies to prophecy. You need not accept the opinions of ill-informed, self-appointed “experts.”

Tragically, most who read the Bible remain in near total ignorance of its meaning. They are completely unable to recognize the speed, sequence and timing of its prophecies. And this is on top of not truly comprehending what any of them means! So many just cannot untangle the maze of what happens when, as well as where and to whom—and WHY!

The idea of the end of the world has been a subject of speculation, ridicule, general discussion, fascination and fancy for 2,000 years—ever since Jesus Christ announced He would return. With opinions everywhere, there has been an explosion of material presenting popular scenarios, ideas, theories, suppositions and interpretations of what will occur just before Jesus’ Return.

For Christians, the Judgment Day question begins with what Jesus said about His Return: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes” (Matt. 25:13).

If people were reading even such basic verses, they would never worry about May 21, 2011, because no one knows the day of Christ’s Return: “Of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). These verses preclude anyone setting a date for Christ’s Return being an authority.

What a tragic commentary on the state of followers professing to be Christians—but who cannot logically compute such rudimentary understanding. But then, most who profess to follow Christ study little or nothing of what He actually said.

Just Mark 13:32, and similar passages, rule out this date—or any specific date—for Christ’s Return, or any supposed “Judgment Day.”

Notice this: “The disciples came to [Jesus] privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world [or age]?” (Matt. 24:3). Jesus’ detailed answer begins with: “Take heed that no man deceive you” (vs. 4).

Jesus goes straight to the biggest problem that would exist at the end. There are an unending and growing number of deceivers at work today. Are their followers “taking heed”? How many are doing their homework? The California man is only one. There are others. Another man, having proclaimed himself and his wife to be the Two Witnesses, says May 27, 2012 is the date Christ will return. Others will appear.

The man in California believes civilization is now at the end of what the Bible calls the Great Tribulation—the worst period of human history ever, which Jesus says includes Jerusalem being overrun—“trodden down”—at its outset.

For those who wish to learn what the Bible actually states, David C. Pack, author of The Bible’s Greatest Prophecies Unlocked! – A Voice Cries Out and the foremost authority on Bible prophecy, presents conclusive proof that the world will not end this year:

“Let’s examine whether it is even possible—prophetically—for 2011 to be the end. We have to establish the timing of certain events. Follow carefully.

“Many know the terms ‘Tribulation’ and ‘Great Tribulation.’ The Bible speaks of this period as one of terrible trouble and indescribable horror. Jesus described this time as unparalleled in history: ‘For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.’ He added, ‘There shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down…’ (Luke 21:23-24).

“The Bible reveals that a certain very specific amount of time must elapse between the start of the Tribulation and the Return of Christ. So understand. If it can be proven there are not enough years in God’s plainly revealed timeline for 2011 to be the end, then all the hysteria is for nothing!

“Numerous passages explain that the Tribulation lasts 2½ years, followed by the year-long Day of the Lord, fulfilling 1,260 days before Christ’s Return—or 3½ years.

“Understand the implications! If the Tribulation were to begin today there is not enough time for May 21 to be the ‘beginning of the end.’ But it is also critical to realize that certain biblically described pre-conditions, which must precede the Tribulation—however close these now are—are not yet here.

“It is therefore absolutely impossible for May 21 to introduce the end! No one should fear this fictional doomsday!

“It is possible, however, that something of significance could happen on or around this date because the demon world has a general idea of prophecy, and these fallen spirits do everything in their power to thwart God’s Master Purpose for mankind. They could pull some trick or stunt to confuse the gullible.”

A variety of prophecy writers speak of the “end of the world”—that the earth itself will supposedly be destroyed. This could not be further from the truth. This idea often stems from a misunderstanding of Christ’s disciples asking for a sign of the end of the world. The Greek word aion translated “world” means “age.” The disciples were asking when the period of man’s rule would end, and the kingdom of God would be established. They well understood the many Old Testament prophecies that speak of the Messiah setting up the kingdom of God on Earth.

God’s servants understand the basic framework of His overall prophetic timetable and plan. They are not confused about “what happens next” when certain prophecies take place. Many prophecies involve a tremendous amount of understanding that God makes available, and with all necessary details. They understand exactly what lies ahead for all mankind, and for themselves—IF they are faithful.

Make no mistake: All the May 21, 2011 predictions come from a false prophet. Every Scripture this man cites—without exception—is twisted, mangled and butchered. The Bible warns of such “evil men and seducers” (II Tim. 3:13) specifically in our time, but like all of its other warnings, most do not heed.

False prophets prey on the natural fascination people have with the future. The apostle John warned of them: “Believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1). Jesus warned, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:11) and “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15).

It is not always easy to detect these deceivers. None of them wear signs exposing who they are. They are smooth operators, but their teachings tear people’s understanding as wolves rip prey.

Millions are aware this man falsely predicted that “Judgment Day” would be in 1994. This could not occur with a prophet of God. Notice: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy...” (II Pet. 1:19). God’s prophecies are sure. They never miss. Not one!

Here is God’s command regarding prophets: “If you [ask] in your heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?” (Deut. 18:21). God’s answer? “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him” (vs. 22).

Think of the confusion and fear this man’s presumptuous prophecies have engendered. God declares, “You shall not be afraid of him.” While he may be sincere, he is deceived and utterly false!

Recognize that today’s deceivers are merely the front edge of a coming wave of false prophets who will “wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13). They will soon become much more cunning, persuasive and charismatic. Such men will eventually perform false miracles through the power of the devil who guides them (Matt. 24:24; II Thes. 2:9). But first this early wave of deceivers will cause millions to become jaded to the truth of Bible prophecy.

Let’s look ahead to May 22. There will have been no rapture. No great earthquake. No graves opened. No Judgment Day. The man who uttered these predictions will have only two options: (1) admit he is a false prophet—highly unlikely—or (2) spin events by claiming his prophecy was fulfilled in some mysterious fashion. Perhaps he will attempt to portray the hundreds of minor earthquakes that occur around the world every day as a fulfillment of his worldwide earthquake. But he will have a very difficult time explaining how other elements of his phony prophecy were fulfilled.

Prepare now for the spin!

World trends and conditions are worsening. This has caused many to look to the Bible for answers. They want clarity and authority. This opens the door to religious entrepreneurs, who can take advantage of the situation, and seize the opportunity to spew prophetic nonsense. Preying upon people’s biblical ignorance, these can easily gain a following—and a cash reward besides.

But these wrong motives and their own ignorance do not negate the very real prophecies that you can know and understand!

To learn much more of the truth of Bible prophecy—history written in advance—read David C. Pack’s book The Bible’s Greatest Prophecies Unlocked! – A Voice Cries Out, the most comprehensive book ever written on the subject. And to know what the future holds for the world’s greatest nations, read Mr. Pack’s other extensive book, America and Britain in Prophecy.

Before May 21 arrives, you can know that day is NOT Judgment Day!

About The Restored Church of God

With its Headquarters in Wadsworth, Ohio, The Restored Church of God announces the unknown, but ultimate message of hope to all nations. The Church, which has congregations in over 60 countries spanning six continents, freely distributes many millions of books, booklets and articles across the globe annually—many of which are available in 10 languages—and has the world’s most extensive biblically based websites: rcg.org, realtruth.org and worldtocome.org.