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A concerned reader wonders about the 2012 hype. Tim Chaffey, AiG-U.S., addresses his concerns.
I have been hearing a lot lately about the claims that the world will end 2012. I know what scripture says about the end, but it still creeps me out. So far as I know they claim that the so called “Bible Code” places the end in 2012, the Mayan Calendar (The Long Count) ends in 2012 (22.214.171.124.0. in Long Count), and the supposed lost manuscript of Nostradamus claims the end will come in 2012. Recently they have even claimed that scientific research says that the earth will be engulfed by the sun by 2012. I have heard that prophecies of other cultures claim the same (e.g. the Japanese). There are some other Christians (otherwise strong Christians) I know that are scared that it might be true. How should we respond to these claims?
Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis.
I have been hearing a lot lately about the claims that the world will end 2012.
Yes, this is a popular issue in our culture today and will likely receive more hype as the year 2012 approaches. But there is absolutely no Scriptural basis for such claims, nor is there any credible support at all. It is simply a baseless myth, which the Bible tells us to avoid (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 1:16).
I know what scripture says about the end, but it still creeps me out.
There is no need to worry about the events of the end times. God is in control. In fact, in Paul's first letter to the believers in Thessalonica, he encouraged believers to be comforted by thoughts about Christ’s return (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).
So far as I know they claim that the so called “Bible Code” places the end in 2012,
While God certainly is capable of inserting codes into His Word, we have good reasons to believe that He did not. God wants everyone to know His Word, and even a child can understand its central message (2 Timothy 3:15). Peter stated that God’s “divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us” (2 Peter 1:3). The “us” in this passage applies to early believers as well as believers today. We may conclude that since the early believers did not have the so-called “Bible codes,” but still had “all things that pertain to life and godliness,” there is no reason for us to worry about these today.
Those who use the “Bible codes” have made several false predictions, including a nuclear holocaust in 2006.1 The biblical standard for a prophet is 100 percent accuracy (Deuteronomy 18:20–22), so there is no need to trust those who make these false prophecies.
the Mayan Calendar (The Long Count) ends in 2012 (126.96.36.199.0. in Long Count)
This is actually where the 2012 date comes from. The Mayans were astute observers of astronomical events, but this has no bearing on whether or not they could predict the future. Only God can do that (Isaiah 46:9–10). They did have several calendars, and one of them, the long count, according to one interpretation of it, does come to an end on December 21, 2012. There is little, if any, support from Mayan literature that massive catastrophes will occur on that date.
and the supposed lost manuscript of Nostradamus claims the end will come in 2012.
The so-called “lost” work of Nostradamus almost certainly has no historical connection to him. This would actually be a good thing if one was hoping for this work to contain accurate prophecies. Nostradamus was an occultist who made numerous false predictions, and should never be considered to be on par with God’s prophets in Scripture who have 100 percent accuracy.
Recently they have even claimed that scientific research says that the earth will be engulfed by the sun by 2012.
I asked our resident astrophysicist, Dr. Jason Lisle, for a comment on this claim. He stated, “There is absolutely no scientific basis for this whatsoever.” This is from a man whose doctoral thesis involved using the SOHO spacecraft to investigate motions on the surface of the sun as well as solar magnetism and subsurface weather.
I have heard that prophecies of other cultures claim the same (e.g. the Japanese).
It doesn’t matter which culture makes the claim. The Bible tells us that God alone can declare the future (Isaiah 46:9-10). So, we should trust Him rather than those who do not have sure knowledge of the future.
There are some other Christians (otherwise strong Christians) I know that are scared that it might be true.
Christians should not fear events of the end times. Remember, Paul told the Thessalonians to be encouraged by knowledge of the end times. Also, Christians should not be afraid of death. We should learn to have Paul’s attitude toward the subject:
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. (Philippians 1:21–24)
How should we respond to these claims?
First, we need to make sure that we are like the Bereans, who were commended for searching the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul had taught them was accurate (Acts 17:11). We need to bring everything back to Scripture. In this case, we see that the 2012 hype has no biblical support and directly contradicts the scriptural teaching that God alone has the ability to declare the future. Thus, we must reject the 2012 hype.
Second, we need to gently and lovingly point the people who are caught up in the 2012 hype to the Creator. He knows all things. He has given us His Word, which includes prophecies about the end times. If we truly want to learn what is going to happen to this world, then we need to consult the only one who knows the future.
Let’s learn to take what is popular in our culture (including the current 2012 hype) and use it as a platform to teach the truth to an unbelieving world.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.