“See You in January!”
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1
Many of 3ABN’s viewers are new to our in-depth teachings on prophecy and end–time events, so it was understandable when the 3ABN pastoral ministries department started receiving calls and prayer requests about the Mayan calendar and the prediction that the world would end on December 21, 2012. They’d been watching videos about all the ways the earth was going to be destroyed, and were actually very fearful.
Fear vs. Faith
The first thing they needed to hear was that fear activates Satan, the same way faith activates God. Next, they needed to hear that neither the Mayans, nor their calendar, held a clue as to how or when the world as we know it would end.
The related videos and latest books on the subject caused me to take a closer look at the Scripture, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.” 1 Corinthians 3:19. I was amazed by what I was reading and hearing—amazed that people could come up with such absurd theories as the shifting of the earth’s magnetic poles or a galactic alignment of stars pulling the earth out of orbit. Some research theorists even believe it will usher in the return of Bolon Yokte—a ancient and mysterious extraterrestrial astronaut god!
I actually laughed at some of these. However, the Holy Spirit humbled me as I read the seriousness of the prayer requests. These people were looking for answers and they were looking for hope.
My mind went back to 1987, before Mollie and I were Seventh-day Adventists. Our church had begun to grow almost overnight, and they just kept coming! I soon found out the reason: a little booklet entitled, 88 Reasons The Rapture Will Happen In 1988. They were attending because of fear—using Jesus as a fire escape!
The author, Edgar C. Whisenant, was a former NASA engineer, and he sold 4.5 million copies because people didn’t want to miss the Secret Rapture. He didn’t make it much of a secret, though, because he predicted the day it was to occur.
His predictions were taken seriously in many parts of the evangelical Christian community. As the date approached, a major Christian television network interrupted regular programming to provide special instructions on how to prepare for the Rapture. When it didn’t occur, Whisenant wrote books predicting other dates in 1989, 1993, and 1994. They all flopped.
Trying to correct this error, I started a series on 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Not Happen in 1988. My foundational texts were Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets,” and Acts 3:19-21, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
I shared how Heaven must retain (keep) Jesus until prophecy is fulfilled, and through God’s Word, some saw the rapture wasn’t going to happen but stayed in church, while others saw no need, and left.
The Sum Total
Let’s add it all up. The sum total of the Mayan 2012 calendar, 88 Reasons for the Rapture, or any Nostradamus nonsense, is a big fat zero! They all add up to nothing, because they don’t line up with God’s Word! Remember, anything contrary to God’s Word is a lie.
So, I’ll see you in January!
By Hal Steenson