December 21st, 2012: Separating Fact From Fiction

2012. That has been one of the hottest topics of conversation at work and among my friends lately and the closer we get to it, the more it will come up. I think they those who are not Christian should think about 2012 all right, Revelation 20:12 that is. This reminds me of Y2K, when the year 2000 rolled around and people were buying dry goods, stocking up with barrels with food, water and chlorine (to decontaminate old-storage bottled water). The word was that computers would shut down, factories, commerce and produce would grind to a halt and we would be living in our own bunkers, be they storage shelters, tornado shelters or even underground bunkers. It turned into another false alarm. Much ado about nothing…again.

I never saw the movie '2012' but I heard that it was so ridiculous that it was funny and so far out that people laughed at it instead of being gripped with fear. 

There are no shortages of false prophets predicting the end of the world and the return of Christ.  I remember Benny Hinn (TV’s self-proclaimed prophet) three times predicting the return of Christ, even though the Bible says no man or woman knows when Jesus Christ will return. Hinn was wrong three times and he kept re-setting the date.  Give it up Benny.  Knowing human nature, it is better that we don’t know, since we might wait till the end to “get right with God”.  If God doesn't reveal this knowledge in the Bible, then these are the secret things that belong to God and we have no business trying (and failing!) to guess when Jesus returns or the end of the age comes. 

Hinn and many of the other false prophets of Christ's return never mention the fact that Jesus is coming as a thief in the night, and at an hour when no one expects, but the Bible says that is exactly when He will return; no one knows when that is but God alone (Matthew 24:43, Luke 12:39). Hinn and many others have predicted the end of the world hundreds and times and hundreds of times they have been wrong.

So I have been repeatedly asked about this 2012. December 12th, 2012 to be precise. Some think it’s in the Bible, other’s think the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world. Others say that is the year that the Jewish calendar runs out too. But do they?

First, let us take a look at the Jewish calendar. The Bible speaks of the end of the age, not the end of the world, so the world is not going to end, just the way in which the world runs today. This begins with the Millennium. Eschatology is the part of theology that addresses the end times and the final events in the history of the world and consequently, the final destiny of humans on the earth. Eschatology is Greek for last (eschatoc) days, plus theology (logy). The Hebrew (Jewish) calendar does not end in 2012. It is ongoing

Now did the ancient Mayans predict the earth would end, and humanity along with it, on December 21st, 2012? The current Mayan calendar ends on this date and thus it is inferred (not by the remaining relatives of the Mayans) that this will be the end of the world. But the modern ancestors of the Mayans say they are sick of hearing about it and worn out by all the seekers of this myth. The Mayans themselves are unconvinced about any specific time that the earth will end, their only concern today is when the next rains will come for their crops. And the Mayans compare that old ancient calendar with our yearly calendar. Our calendar runs out on December 31st, each and every year, and their calendar was really no different than an actual calendar that we use today. It was created to keep track of the days of the years. That’s all. It has been exaggerated by a few local tales and some archeological evidence that lacks actual documentation.

Then there is the Bible Code, which is said to be hidden in the text of the Bible. It was said to be associated with Sir Isaac Newton, but Newton said in his 70s that “Christ comes as a thief in the night, and it is not for us to know the times and seasons which God has put into his own breast.” He was said to have arrived at the year 2060 in a straightforward manner, but there is precious little documentation to support this either. The Hebrew calendar that we have today, as established by the Jews, will have the end of the age (not the world) at 2240. None of us will be here to see that, no doubt. So the Jewish calendar and the Bible Code are not scientific at all. In effect, they are extrapolating data to fit their own means, not to mention that Jesus clearly said no one will know of that day of His return and the end of the age. The end of the world is not found to be in the Bible. A new heaven and new earth are. And when the new Jerusalem descends out of heaven (said to occur in the book of Revelation), then the earth obviously will not be destroyed, it will abide forever.

And now the blockbuster movie, “2012.” It was a blockbuster, but one that is severely lacking in historical, scientific or archeological evidence. The Mayan calendar is actually based upon a 5,125 year cycle, which in part consists of 25,800 cycles. In fact, the ancient Mayan calendar is not used by the ancestors of the Mayans. And it is circular, so in fact it never runs out. So December 21st, 2012, strictly speaking, is not the end of the Mayan calendar, just the end of one of its cycles. Like the same as the calendars we use; it expires every year on December 31st.

The fact is that Mayan calendar was started in 3113 B.C., but the original documents that could tell us what year this actually was has been destroyed many years ago. Just because the Mayans started their calendar year in 3113 B.C. does not mean it was that year that we use (Gregorian calendar). The vast majority of these documents were destroyed by zealot priests who burned nearly ever written document when they tried to convert the local Indians to Christianity.

When the truth about the Mayan’s 2012 end-of-the-world topic is brought up by the local indigenous tribes like the Guatemalan Apoloinaria, the Mayan elder, Chile Pixtun, clearly debunks the rumor. He says that the doomsday theories sprang up from Western cultures and are not Mayan ideas. Even modern day descendents of the Mayan still living today have no idea what the year 2012 is about at all. If you go to any present day Mayan-speaking communities, they have no clue if asked, “What’s expected to happen in 2012?” they would likely say, “What do you mean…what about 2012?” The local Yucatan Mayan archeologist in fact says that if you told them the world is supposed to end on December 21st, 2012, they wouldn’t have a clue as to what you are talking about. The local Yucatan archeologist, Jose Huchim, says that their only concerns would be if the rains come that year, indicating they are only worried about their local crops.

So don’t put any stock into the 2012 myth. It is just that, a myth. This is more of a Western invention to sensationalize the new movie release and the many books that, no doubt, will draw much interest and many sales. And from what I have read and heard from those who saw the movie, if was anything from hilarious to outright ridiculous. If anything will end on this date, then it will probably be the hype, and just like Y2K fizzled out, it will be completely underwhelming. I think it is ironic that people are so worried about 2012, but the only 2012 that really is important is Revelation 20:12; where the lost are judged at the Great White Throne Judgment. Now that is something to be concerned about and good reason to share the Good News of Jesus Christ as Savior with those who don’t‘ know Him.

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  1. velmoreberry said:

    Just a note: The 3rd chapter of 2nd Peter seems to clearly say in regard to the earth that “all these things are thus to be dissolved”(v11) on “the day of the Lord”(v10) and then there will be a “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”(v13). So it would seem that the earth, and not just the age, actually will come to an end with the coming of the Christ. Thanks.

    January 18, 2011
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