The end is coming! (but will it be 2012?)

Dec. 21, 2012, is the last date recorded on the ancient Mayan calendar. The History Channel on TV has been making a very big deal of this, comparing the accuracy of other Mayan predictions with the prophecies of Nostradamus (a French seer/astrologer who lived in the 1500s). Nostradamus’ “predictions” also seem to point to 2012 as the “end of time,” and Hollywood has jumped on board. No doubt, as this prophesied date draws nearer, Internet scams and scare-mail will increase dramatically, and many will cry, like Chicken Little, “The sky is falling!”

So is that it then? Are we done for in 2012? Is the sky falling? Have we no prophetic voice to the contrary? Indeed we do! — the voice of our Lord, Jesus Christ. His disciples once asked Him that same question about when the end of the world would come. “… the disciples came to Him privately, saying ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?’ ” (Matt. 24:3). In Matthew 24, He told them of the many signs, and many false prophets and false Christs that would precede the “end of the age.” But most importantly He told them: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matt 24:36).

So there it is. No man knows the date or time. Not the Mayans. Not Nostradamus. Not even Christ Himself. Furthermore, Christ told us that anyone claiming to know was nothing more than a false prophet or a false Christ. He said if you belong to Him, you can know and follow His voice and not be misled by pretenders. (John 10:4-5).

Jesus also told us to always live prepared for the day of His return. In Matthew 25:1-13, He told a parable of 10 virgins waiting for the Bridegroom, whose coming was imminent. Five of them had enough oil to keep their lamps burning, and five didn’t. The unprepared first tried to borrow oil from the others, who refused. When they left to buy more, the Bridegroom came, admitted those who were there ready and waiting, and closed the door. The others returned too late and were denied entrance. What does this parable mean?

Each of us must be individually prepared for Christ’s return. We cannot slide into the Kingdom on a “borrowed” relationship another has with Him.

What better time than right now to put your hand in His and your life here, and hereafter, into His keeping? All you need do is invite Him to come into your heart and life with your own simple words.

May His peace fill your hearts.

The Rev. Anne Barber, pastor of My Father’s House Church, 7215 U.S. 301 N. Ellenton. can be reached at 776-9016 or by visiting Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Herald, written by local clergy members.