"a worldview based on the idea that important matters are esoteric
in nature ("hidden") and they will soon be revealed in a major
confrontation of earth-shaking magnitude that will change the course of
history. Apocalypticism can be tied to religious or secular views, and
the expected outcome can be seen as positive, negative, or ambiguous.
It can appear as a personal and group tendency, outlook, perceptual
frame, or rhetorical style; and can lead people toward passivity while
awaiting the inevitable end, or active preparation in anticipation of
an "apocalyptic" event."
Their have been countless of these apocalyptic (or urgent, end time) movements through the centuries since Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth. Groups and sects within Christianity and other major world religions have proclaimed a message with a sense of urgency to get right with God and live according to his standards with the claim that there was not much time left to do so.
Even within our own generation (the past few decades) such things have been taking place. One famous preacher produced a book "87 reasons why Jesus is coming back in 1987." When 1987 came and left, he regrouped and produced a groundbreaking "88 reasons why Jesus is coming back in 1988."
Then there was Y2K. The end of civilization as we knew it.
The current trend in Apocalypticism is a view based on the ancient Mayans, whose calendar only went to the year 2012 (and the month of December). The Mayans were a very progressive culture, with one of the earliest and most profound forms of democracy in human civilization. Claims are being built around that fact and presenting a claim to the tune of the end of the world as we know it.
I uncovered a blog by a guy named Mart De Haan, who writes:
"If there’s any
day that a lot of people think Christ might come– it’s probably not
going to be that day. Jesus said, "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an
hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44). In the same chapter, Matthew
also quotes the Teacher as saying, “But of that day and hour no one
knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (24:36). And
just before Jesus’ ascension to heaven, Luke says the disciples asked
him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? “And
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the
Father has put in His own authority” (Acts 1:7). One of my biggest concerns is for a younger generation that is likely to either become hardened by false alarms,
or hopeless because of the uncertainty of the future. Some will assume
that the return of Christ won’t happen in their lifetime– and therefore
won’t be ready. Others may be so unnerved by the equivalent of 1987,
Y2K, or 2012 talk that they won’t prepare for the possibility of a long
life. Such young people need to know that it is just as possible that
Christ will return in our life time– as it is that he won’t. Rather than getting caught up in any date-setting, it seems far
wiser to live as if Christ could return today, or 500 years from now."
However, here's a revolutionary thought that I uncovered in a book by George O. Wood (new leader of the A/G denomination):
"This is that last generation because it's the only generation I have. Whether the Lord comes or I die, for me this is the end of time, the last generation."
And I will add ... my last moments.
After experiencing my cousin dying recently I feel a deep sense and acute awareness of the brevity of life and the importance of living each day, each moment as if it were my last. We never know WHEN we're gonna go ... Do you know WHERE you're gonna go?
If you need to change some things in your life, now is the time. The end is near.