By the time December 21 arrived, the Mayan Prophecy that the world would end on that date had become fodder for late night comics. As well it should have.
But let us not forget that God has promised us that a new world is coming. Jesus will return to earth in power and glory, destroying the forces of evil at the battle of Armageddon and establishing Jerusalem as the capitol of the world. The Kingdom of God, which lives in his people today, will then cover the earth. And the dead in Christ will rise to begin eternity with the Lord.
Throughout history Christians have looked for this new world, and many have been disappointed in the seeming delay in Christ’s return. The early church expected his return any day, and the Catholic Church once set December 31, 999 AD as the day. After the formation of Israel in 1948, a new wave of expectation was manifested and dates for Christ’s return were set by some in 1988, 1989, 2000, and 2007. Like the Mayan Prophecy, these prophecies became laughing stocks.
God’s “delay” in bringing this age to a close is simply part of His plan to offer salvation to all who will accept it and to build His Church (see our Special Report “Understanding the Times”). We are living in the time of the great harvest of the Church around the world. As the apostle Peter said, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,” but he is certainly coming. (See 2 Pe. 3:8-15).
Let us therefore take time at the turning of the year to renew our hope and expectation at the new world coming. Let us pray that we will prepare ourselves to partner with God in the harvest by maturing in our faith, dying to ourselves, and learning to imitate God (See Eph. 4:13-5:2).
So seek the Lord this New Year and get ready to work with Him.