Jump Start # 2082
Revelation 12:1 “And a great sign appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”
There are just five days left. Only five days to get done what needs to be done. In five days, April 23rd, according to religious expert, David Meade, the world will come to an end. How does he know this? Our Revelation verse, he claims tells it all. On April 23rd, the sun and the moon will be in the constellation Virgo, which Meade claims is the woman from this passage. The planet Jupiter, which he says represents the Messiah, will also be there. This cosmic alignment isn’t unique. It happens every twelve years. But on this occasion, another planetary system, called Planet X, will also appear in the sky. On April 23, the moon will appear under the feet of the constellation Virgo. The twelve stars, mentioned in the passage, include the nine stars of Leo and the alignment of Mercury, Mars and Venus—which will make up the twelve stars of the woman’s crown. This is all Meade needs to conclude that in five days, the world is coming to an end.
This proclamation is making the news circuit. Could it be possible? Could the end be so close? Is this it? I guess we’ll know by Tuesday. But stuff like this isn’t knew. There have been all kinds of claims made for hundreds of years about the coming of the end.
Here are some things we know:
First, this same alignment of all these stars and planets has occurred on four other occasions in the past millennium. The end didn’t happen then. Why should we believe it will happen this time?
Second, these end of time theorists fail to grasp the basic concepts of Revelation. The book was written for the seven churches of Asia. There is a message of hope for them. What purpose does the book serve if those first readers received a message that wouldn’t be fulfilled for thousands of years later? They were suffering and they needed Divine help.
Third, at the beginning and at the conclusion of the book of Revelation, the repeated statement is that the things must shortly come to pass. Two thousand years later isn’t very short. Don’t be thinking, a thousand years is like one day to the Lord. That may be how God operates. We don’t live that way. The book was written to believers on earth, who still deal with sunrises and sunsets.
Fourth, the end of time theories miss the symbolism of apocalyptic literature. Revelation is a vision. The first few sentences reveal that the message is “signified,” or symbolic. The words are not intended to be literal. Jesus doesn’t have shiny bronze feet, nor a sword coming out of His mouth as the first chapter reveals. So, in our passage today, it’s not the actual sun, stars and moon that are being discussed. These all represent other things. In the 8th chapter of Revelation, a third of the sun, stars and moon became dark. A third of the earth burned up. Now, if a person is going to take part of this literal, it seems that he ought to take the rest of it literal as well. If a third of the earth burned up, we couldn’t live here. In the sixth chapter a star fell to the earth. If that happened, life would be over. Now, before you get to the lineup of the planets in chapter twelve, it seems that we have to deal with chapter six and chapter eight. These inconsistencies brings wild ideas that only scare people.
Fifth, Jesus told the disciples in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins that “you do not know the day nor the hour” of the coming of the Lord (Mt. 25:13). Now, this puts us at an intersection of who to believe. Should I believe the Lord, who also said, “I have told you all things” (Jn 15:15), or this obscure conspiracy theorist, who doesn’t even understand the book that he claims has his proof. If no one knows the day nor the hour, how is it that this guy knows?
Sixth, NASA scientists have denied any possibility of a Planet X. This is key to this theory. Without Planet X, his theory falls flat. How is it that he knows something that NASA doesn’t?
Seventh, unfounded theories like this makes preachers in general look like idiots. Could this be a reason why some find no practical value in what is being preached today. Wild theories, politics and building hype upon ignorance and fear isn’t what God calls preaching. Where is the call for righteous living? Where is the Gospel call to repent and be baptized as the apostles taught? You don’t find the apostles pointing to the skies to get people to think about their souls. They pointed to Jesus. They preached the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Eighth, someday the Lord will return. The earth will be destroyed. Peter promises that. It will happen. When? Could it happen in five days? It could. It could happen tomorrow. The emphasis throughout the N.T. is to live righteously every day. Live as if each day is your last day. Someday, you’ll be right.
Finally, what if this coming Monday was the last day? You’ll find me in worship on Sunday. You’ll find me trying to walk with Jesus, by starting the day with intense prayer and trying to help others the best I can. If we are still here on Tuesday, then what? For some, they’ll use it as a laugh and further reason to ignore God. But for me, I’ll start the day with intense prayer and try to help as many as I can. In other words, whether or not Monday is the last day, I’ll not change much because I’m walking with the Lord each day.
Misusing the Bible can be as dangerous as not using the Bible at all. Error, like poison, can seem so innocent but it can be so deadly. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” We can know what’s right.
Rather than focusing upon the sun, we need to pay attention to THE SON, the Son of God.