Salon.com has an article, “The End of the World as We Know It,” on the possibility/probability that the world will experience an apocalypse causing the extinction of humans in the very near future. They quote and photoshop Stephen Hawking into the apocalypse which may/might/could be due to either climate change, the shrinking biosphere, “superbugs,” out of control technology or the deliberate efforts of the “religious.” Lots of data, little that’s truly on point. A lot of speculation and more than a bit of projection – the psychiatry kind, not the scientific kind.
The author, while naming groups that might deliberately cause human extinction, equates the Christian belief that Jesus will return at the end of time and the Muslim belief that the 12th Iman will soon return, leaving the reader — and far too many of those commenting on the article — to the belief that Christians, like many main-stream Muslims, believe that we can hasten the end times by causing the end of the world (“as we know it”).
These guys are much more pessimistic than I am. The reason may be, as the comments reveal, far too many non-believers think Christians believe that we can bring on the end times by hastening an apocalypse.
However, when Jesus spoke of the end of the age and the time of His return to the world (possibly two separate events), He never said anything to imply that we can even know, much less effect that time.
“No man knows.” “Only the Father.”
And what are Christians to do? “Watch.” “Do not be deceived.” “Preach the Gospel in all nations.” and “Pray that it doesn’t happen in winter or on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.)
And there’s no mention of humans causing or precipitating the Apocalypse in John’s Revelation.
Unfortunately, many of the comments in response to the article are from non-believers who ascribe world-ending motives to Christians. (There are few if any that refer to the real beliefs of some Muslims that the end times can be brought on by human actions.)
Do you know of a scripture or a Christian teaching that we can gain heaven by acting to end the world?
Thanks for information great blog.