The Mayan Prophecies 2012

In the days of the American "wild west" John Maher a reporter for the New York Herald came up with a novel way of promoting the newspaper's circulation. He decided to create a sensational deception which people would believe in, so that the paper could then in turn reveal the folly of that belief. This is what lay behind the amazing story of "The Petrified Man".

With the help of a friend and a very tall black soldier from the 9th cavalry John first made a plaster cast of the soldier. He then flattened the feet of the cast to make it seem that men of ancient times were flat footed. With a slight mixture of cement and plenty of Badlands sand and soil they then filled the cast to create the image of what appeared to be a "petrified man".

There was a team of archaeologists searching for fossils in Nebraska, so under the cover of darkness John and his friends placed the petrified man in the vicinity with only a hand showing above the ground. It was discovered by this team two days later and put on display for the press. A series of scientific tests were then conducted and an analysis was made of the geological formation in which it had been found. Finally, after weeks of tests the scientists declared it to be genuine and the petrified man was taken on a tour of the State so the public could see it on display.

Just at that moment the newspaper revealed the whole thing was one enormous hoax! The scientists had believed it and the public had believed it, yet it was just a trick to aid the newspapers circulation.

What I find so interesting and disturbing about this true story is that it shows how gullible and naive people are. They are so quick to believe something sensational and extraordinary. Little has changed!

If you haven't heard about it yet, you soon will. Incredibly there is a growing belief sweeping the globe that the world is going to end this year on 21st December. I have been aware of this view for sometime and was determined not to write about it lest it furthered its publicity. However, when I heard that these fears were now so widespread they were even being expressed by children of primary school age I felt I must address the issue. Vulnerable and sensitive individuals, children, teenagers and some adults are getting frightened.

So what is it all about? Well put simply, in the 1960's deep inside a secret room within an ancient stone temple in Mexico, archaeologists discovered what is called the "Mayan calendar". The Mayan civilisation (250-900AD) is infamous for being bloodthirsty and barbaric in widely using human sacrifices in their pagan rituals, however they are also noted for their extraordinary astronomical observations and mathematical powers. This calendar runs out on 21st December 2012 and the theory is that this must indicate the end of the world. Just like the incident of "The Petrified Man" many people are quick to believe this sensational view and sadly a growing number are genuinely frightened.

Explaining what the Bible predicts about the future of the human race should calm these fears. Those who study Bible prophecy know that Scripture has it's own "calendar of events" and it is very different from the Mayan "calendar". Bible prophecy clearly reveals that God will NOT permit the earth to be destroyed no matter what wars or troubles lie ahead.

One third of the Bible is prophetic in nature and it promises that some day Christ will return to this earth to establish peace and justice on a global basis. (In Isaiah ch 2v 4 it promises that Christ will "rebuke many nations and they shall turn their weapons into ploughs and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." Other verses state that under His world leadership, disease will be eradicated and climatic conditions will be altered so that droughts and famines will be a thing of the past. It will also be a time a judgment and recompense when the righteous will be rewarded,  the wicked punished, and those who have suffered unjustly, compensated. All wrongs will be redressed at His return. See articles entitled "Israel and the Middle East in Prophecy" and "What does the Bible Teach about Unjust Suffering").

Scripture teaches that no one knows when this glorious event will take place (Matt ch 24v36) so ever since the Ascension of Christ, the Christian Church has been looking forward to the return of it's Lord and King and living in hopeful  expectancy. To the Church and all who have sincerely turned away from their sins, His promised return is "like a light shining at the end of the tunnel" making these troubled times more bearable.

Although Bible prophecy reveals that before Christ returns, the earth will endure major troubles including an Armageddon like situation in the Middle East, it reassures us that God will not permit any of these events to become serious enough to destroy the earth or human civilisation. If the world was going to be destroyed by these events  then the return of Christ to a dead planet would be pointless! Instead, prophecy reveals that these future troubles will be curtailed by the Personal return of Christ in order not only to prevent  them escalating further but also to bring about global peace. (See Matt ch 24v22).

Whatever serious troubles may befall our planet this year, next year or whenever (and I am sure there will be many) and no matter what events may or may not happen on 21st December, on the authority of Scripture we can take comfort that it is most certainly not going to be the end of the world or the end of civilisation!

Biblical prophecies have a proven track record of being accurately fulfilled. Events in the earthly life of Christ, regarding the manner of His Birth, teaching, death and resurrection were all accurately foretold in Old Testament writings many hundreds of years before their fulfilment. Prophecies relating to the deliverance of Jerusalem  were fulfilled in 1917, predictions of the reestablishment of the Nation of Israel came to pass in 1948, and prophecies about the development of weapons of mass destruction have been fulfilled in our own age. (See Matt ch 24vs 21-22, Luke ch21v26 and the articles entitled "Amazing Prophecy Fulfilled" and "9/11 Predicted in Bible Prophecy"). The fulfilment of all these prophecies reassures us that what Scripture predicts about the future can be relied upon and trusted.

The growing fear people have concerning the Mayan prophecies is simply a symptom of what may be called "Bible poverty". Knowledge regarding what the Bible teaches is at an all time low and the less people know about what it teaches the greater will be their anxiety about the future of the human race. When people stop believing in the Bible and it's promises, they end up believing in anything and everything, no matter how weird and absurd. It creates fear and uncertainty and robs them of the opportunity to repent and prepare for that Appointment we must all one day keep, when we are called to give a personal account of our actions before the King of Kings.

Today Christian's across the world have a unique opportunity to address the fears people are expressing by pointing them to the glorious promise of Christ's return and the salvation He freely bestows upon those who have repented of their sins. Christ died for our sins so that we could have life in its fullest abundance (John ch 10v10). The real solution to fear, therefore, is to accept Christ's invitation to develop a close relationship with Him, by following and obeying Him in one's personal life. By actively turning away from our sins and actively obeying Him in our hearts we enter into "abundant life" so that when He returns to this world we will meet Him as our Best Friend and not as our Judge.