What Does the Bible Say About 2012?
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
CBN.com - As the clock continues to tick toward the end of 2012 more and more people are wondering what the future may hold. Political and civil unrest in the Middle East coupled with an unhinged domestic culture straining against moral virtue have believers and unbelievers alike asking why?
In Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock, author John Claeys shares his view on what lies ahead for the future of the world. Using the Bible as his source, Claeys dispels ancient Mayan prophecy and debunks others who claim to have a glimpse of God’s plan for the end of the earth.
CBN.com Program Director Chris Carpenter recently sat down with Claeys to discuss what the Bible says about 2012, whether the Bible gives any clues to when the world will end, and how Christians can use 2012 as an opportunity to share the Gospel with friends.
In coming months we will begin hearing more and more about the end of world in 2012 as predicted by the ancient Mayan civilization. What does the Bible say about 2012? Or does it?
The Bible doesn't say, the Bible doesn't predict a date. So the Bible doesn't have 2012 in there. The Bible has some dramatic cataclysmic events regarding the end of times, the last seven years prior to the return of Jesus Christ. And some of those could link with the 2012 prophecies. What I do believe though is that God is allowing the interest of 2012 to build to a crescendo at the same time we're seeing, what we're seeing in the Middle East developing, which I believe tie in with end times prophecy. And at the same time, Americans are seeing some very distinct and dramatic changes not only in this country but all over. Even unbelievers that I run into are asking, what's going on? What are we headed to? I think God is using 2012 to get people's attention regarding some of the fulfillments, but I think they are coming soon and related to and leading up to the return of Christ.
Does the Bible give any clues as to when the world will end?
Absolutely. And I preface this with saying, when I first started research on 2012, people were talking about a cataclysmic event that would bring about the end of the world. Then it kind it kind of evolved over time, and now it's more like, well the world as we know it will end. In other words, apparently a growing majority thought that that was too pessimistic, that the world was going to end in 2012. So now they're saying the world as we know it will end in it will come out to be this world of peace and harmony, those who survive it will kind of be this unification etc. Well it almost sounds like the Kingdom is what they're describing. So we're talking about that, we're not talking about the end of the world specifically, because the Bible doesn't. The Bible indicates an end of the world after the 1000-year reign of Christ, I believe. But there are going to be events leading up where the world as we know it will definitely change, and Christ then returns, and then when He rules the world as we know it will be gone. It would be a far, far different situation. Are there clues? I think there absolutely are.
If we could, lets go back to the ancient Mayans for a moment. Does their calendar really contain clues to the end of the world?
The only clue that we have there is that the calendar ended. It's their long calendar. They had several other calendars. But their long calendar ended December 21, 2012, and so that's where the speculation began.
With so much speculation beginning to swirl around the Internet about 2012, how should Christians respond to this notion? How can they best share or respond to this when asked by friends who are non-believers?
Yes, that's a great question. I think believers, first of all, need to see this as a tremendous opportunity for reaching their unbelieving friends, simply because technically when people become nervous, fearful which more and more fear, I see more and more fear emanating from this as well other things lining up, people become more open to the Gospel typically. I know after 9/11, churches were full for about two or three weeks in this country, there was an intense spiritual interest for a short time. And I think there's more and more of this spiritual interest where believers need to use this for unbelievers and say, "I know the times are uncertain. Things don't look good, but you know you can be sure of where you spend eternity. You can be sure of having a relationship with God," and present the Gospel to them.
Something I found interesting about your book is that you write about the era of Noah and his relationship to the times we are living in today. What did Noah's day show us?
For 120 years leading up to the coming of the flood, God gave ample warning through him. Noah tried to present that warning to others, but the world just kind of ignored it. They were asleep, they carried on activities, mundane activities as if nothing was going to occur. And that's what He meant when He said, "They, married, and they gave in marriage. And they ate, and they drank," and they just kind of carried on activities as if nothing is about. And I think in a sense, that's where we are, and unfortunately I love the Church as a whole, but unfortunately I think the Church as a whole is asleep at the wheel at this. I think they don't understand. I think in fact much of Christendom doesn't even think Israel has a place in God's plan in the future. I don't know how you can believe that when you see what God has done with Israel, miraculously returning Israel as a nation. Giving them back Jerusalem in a miraculous way in the Six-Day War.
We've been talking mostly about the end of the world. From your perspective as a researcher and scholar, did God intend for mankind to know when the end would be?
We find in Mark 13:35 that Jesus says,” No one knows the day or the hour, not even the son of man," referring to himself. And yet, I think an aspect of that has changed, because now Jesus of course is sitting at the right hand of the Father. It is hard for me to think that He doesn't now understand what the Father's plan is and when He might return. If one aspect of that verse changed, maybe we can know now in this final time. But even if we don't know the day or the hour, I do think that Jesus also indicated in Matthew 24, when you see these signs coming then, in other words, you need to read these signs. You need to be alert and see what's coming. The apostle Paul indicates in I Thessalonians 5, that he doesn't want Christians to be caught off guard. And the day of the Lord is when that seven-year period begins. At that point I believe the rapture occurs and I show that in my book. And so He doesn't want to be, He doesn't want us to be caught off guard. Jesus tells us in Luke 12, He wants us to be looking and watching for his return. So you need to be alert to the age in which we're living, but this is a very different time in a lot of ways, but specifically in regard to what God is doing with Israel and the Middle East. We're at a time unlike any time before.
Final question for you, after people have read your book, as an author what do you want them, your readers to take away from the experience?
Great question. I would like unbelievers to actually come into a relationship with God, an eternal relationship with God by believing Jesus Christ for it. I present the Gospel briefly on more than one occasion in the book, but I would love for unbelievers to go, “Wow, this stuff's coming! I want to know for sure where I'm going to spend eternity. I want to make sure I'm with God.” I want unbelievers to see this and to believe in Christ as a result. Secondly, I would like both believers and unbelievers alike to see that the Bible is absolutely accurate. It's 100% true. Prophecy in the past has validated it with mathematical certainty, and we can begin to see these things coming. In the very last chapter of the epilogue, I indicate some things that are coming together. They're going, “Wow, this stuff is really happening, and it's pointing to end times fulfillment.” And thirdly, I would like believers to realize their need to preparing for the meeting of Christ in the near future. I mean, we all will, whether we die or are raptured out, but oftentimes we don't think about that. But I'm hoping the book will alert them to see that we don't have forever to mess around. We need to begin growing in our relationship with God and preparing for the coming of Christ. And I'm hoping that it will stir believers to prepare for His return.
To purchase "Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock"
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