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1987 Y2K and 2012

About 25 years ago, I remember reading a book that gave 87 reasons to believe that Christ would return in 1987. Then it was Y2K. Many predicted that the computers of the world would fail, power grids would collapse, and life as we know it would come to an end. I even found government websites acknowledging that major social and economic disruptions could occur because computer makers had failed to anticipate the turn of the Millennial calendar.

Now the buzz is 2012. Books and internet sites are multiplying around the claim that the ancient Mayans had a calendar that anticipated the end of the age on December 2012. Others suggest that the Bible itself contains a secret code indicating that a meteor, comet, or asteroid will collide with the earth causing a major world-changing event in 2012. More than a few followers of Christ are adding their own reasons for believing that the alleged “converging evidence” is connected to the return of Christ.

Could it be possible? Sure. As incredible as it might seem in a scientific age, nothing is more certain than the fact that the One who came the first time in fulfillment of predictions and an ancient calendar could return in 2008, 2012, or any other year in the future.

But another answer that makes more sense to me is that, 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.

I don’t know about you, but I say let’s be about planting trees, caring for the earth, the people of all nations, and all that God has entrusted to us– while also making it a priority to give everyone a chance to ready to meet Christ– either through his return, or by our own inevitable return to him.

I’d be interested in your take on this. How aware have you been of the 2012 books and rumors? Do you approach the subject differently than I do?

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23 Responses to “1987 Y2K and 2012”

  1. hal.fshr says:

    Mart, thanks for the well written thoughts on various theories concerning Christ’s return. I totally agree with your balanced approach to being ready for His return and also caring for creation and others as if it may not occur in our life time. Paul’s admonition to the church at Thessalonica is also instructive on this matter: “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night”(1 Thessalonians 5:1-2).

  2. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Good Morning everyone, Mart, my desire is Christ will come as i am writing these thoughts, or i will be taken to be with Him, and many others, and not have any more pain, suffering, heart aches, disappointments, that are connected to this life.
    i would like to know just how serious those that believe Christ will come in 2012 are getting prepared for this great event, just what are they doing about it.
    Are they being sure they have been Born Again the most important thing they need to do.
    How much of their money are they spending advertizeing this great event, all i have heard is from others, i personnally have never seen any thing in writing, but that could be because i listen to very little news.
    i believe i need to be ready right now, and continuing to pray come quickly Lord Jesus, and continually be lifting up my God, and helping others to learn more about our Great Creator, whereby they will desire to live with Him, and desire for Him to come soon also.

  3. dep7547 says:

    Thanks Mart! I appreciate your insight into this matter! I had not heard of the bible code you wrote of, but in addition to the Mayan prediction, I had heard that the Hopi Indians and several cultures across the globe have similar prophecies concerning 2012. The Hopi tribe atleast left some hope that 2012 would be a new beginning for life. In the same program, however, people are seriously considering that a computer network that was designed to track stock reports began collecting random blogs that pointed to 2012 as being the end of the world.

    There is much danger in following that kind of logic as it seems to be the equivalent of trusting “the gods of fate and destiny” that God warned Israel not to follow. I agree with you that the best thing to do is to anticipate Christ’s return at any moment, yet to continue living faithfully and thankfully for each day God grants us! At the expense of being labeled a pantheist, I do continue to plant trees. I also tend to garden according to the Levitical law of granting the land a sabbath year of rest every seventh year.

    I do not see anything wrong with this as gardening increases my dependency on him. If God himself declared that the land needs rest and inspired Paul to declare that “creation has been groaning…up to the present time”: then there must be some truth to the idea that God is in all things and that all things are in him. The social problems with this generation arise from the fact that many are so self-absorbed that they will take in every wind of doctrine and find that the broad path has many trails on which they can get lost.

    Could this be the “Great Apostasy” which used to be thundered from the pulpit? It reminds me of the old riddle: What is the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care! Thankfully, there are places like this where we can all learn and care together!

  4. estuardo says:

    Funny, It was the other day I was watching a movie, or a show, and the concept of 2012 came up in the dialogue. I hadn’t heard of that until then. It’s also interesting that people will invest a lot of energy in these predictions, yet can’t tell when the next earthquake or tornado will happen.

    Maybe those who hold these ideals of predicting Christ’s return should model those of us who live in an earthquake prone area, or tornado alley: Prepare for it, but live your life. Just as there are signs of these events coming, we have been given similar indications in the bible.

    We also need to remember that we have been living in the ‘end times’ since Christ rose from the dead.

  5. Roy L C says:

    Great Insight, I wholeheartedly agree! Our pastor’s sermon topic was on the end times this week. Most people would tend to believe that Christ’s return will happen sometime in the future, but most wouldn’t (including me ) be truly prepared if the return was today. While I agree that certain signs must be in place to fulfill prophesy, I tend to think we (as believers – especially in western developed countries) on the whole are tied up in our own world of false securities, that even if the signs were in place there would be a sense of denial on our part much to our discredit.

  6. ppostma1 says:

    That is true, we will not know for He comes as a thief in the night. However, I think it is good practice to look forward and anticipate his coming. Especially the delay of His coming. He also gives us the parable the the brides-maids and oil in their lamps. Pay very careful attention to the reference of the wise ones: “trimmed their wicks”. There is much meaning in that. They are not only prepared for the coming, they are conserving for that coming to be delayed.

    However, we also know that God is a God of order. He schedules and plans in advance, He orders the times and establishes the seasons. The Son did not know the time, but God the Father does and has planned on it.

    It is a good practice to consider 2012 as the year. Work for it, reach as many people and do what we can before then. There will be time for rest later. But it is just as good of an idea to prepare for the coming to be later, say 2019 (the next 7 year cycle of completion). Don’t declare and plan on 2012 to be the time and find yourself out of resources or hope if it doesn’t happen then. Continue to work for and wait on Him!

  7. BruceC says:

    We should be about our Father’s business every day (we all miss this mark alot) and live not so much being concerned about “when”; but as if He were physically standing right next to us. I agree with your second-to-last paragraph; but most importantly we need to reach others for Christ and try to help a society spinning out of control. As a child growing up we were taught conservation in regards to the creation but today it has almost become a religion. We should be a beacon to the world and it’s fallen values.
    I for one will not put any faith in the writings of pagan religions, scientific predictions, or the possibility of catastrophic events; but will trust in the Lord. After all, Father knows best!

  8. poohpity says:

    This really hit my funny bone today because the first thought was my birthday is Dec. 12th and on 2012 it is like my golden whatever. Then I though about how high gas prices are and will I be able to afford the oil for my lamp. Then when ppostma1 talked about trimming the wicks I thought about all the pruning that we need in our lives to get ready when He comes to collect His church.

    I also in sadness considered all the work there is to do in the world while we sit in the pews and Sunday schools worrying about when it is the end times. There are so many suffering people in our own backyard we neglect when they could just use a hug or a kind word.

    Well my fellow bloggers now our lamps are powered by solar energy so we better start being a little sunshine to someone today. Have a blessed day!

  9. FishingSI says:

    Revelation 22:20 states, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

    I understand the “thief in the night” analogy of when our Lord is coming, and how no one person will know for sure. But, to conclude on that point alone doesn’t bring inaction to action. We should pray for our Lord’s return with enthusiasm and petition. Earth is not our home; Heaven is our final destination. We are here temporarily. Yes, we should be involved in the “Great Commission”. But, please remember to have on your mind constantly the things from above to include His second coming.

    Anonymous writer, about an American tourist’s visit to the 19th century Polish rabbi, Hofetz Chaim:

    Astonished to see that the rabbi’s home was only a simple room filled with books, plus a table and a bench, the tourist asked,

    “Rabbi, where is your furniture?”

    “Where is yours?” replied the rabbi.

    “Mine?” asked the puzzled American. “But I’m a visitor here. I’m only passing through.”

    “So am I,” said Hofetz Chaim.

    Christopher News Notes.

  10. lynntate says:

    I think of that Native American saying which states that we should live everyday as if it is our last, yet also live everyday as if we will live forever. God has given us instructions on how to live in the gift of the life of His Son, and in the Holy Scriptures. Since I was 12 years old, right after I accepted Christ as my personal savior, I have been intrested in the book of Revelation, Daniel, and Matthew chapter 24. When I was in my 20’s I read many books about Edgar Casey and Nostrodamus. I have read everything from The Late Great Planet Earth, to sci fi novels such as Childhood’s End. Yet as I got older, one things began to eat at me. The only true way to prepare for the end, is in how we live each and everyday. Something the Lord has been telling us for thousands of years. Our responsiblity to a world free of the effects of sin and corruption are in tune with God’s master plan. When I read the Book of the Dead and it’s predictions, I had to admit that our present course of short sighted and self centered actions could bring about a world in which if the Lord didn’t act could be the end of life as we know it. But at 52, one thing I am certain of is that God is still in charge, and all will be as He would have it to be. I agree that we should focus our energy on doing His work, in trying to spread the Good News, and restore the paradise He created, as well as grow in grace and knowledge of Him. Let us honor the Lord in our lives, and treat each other as His creation.

  11. drkennyg says:

    As Paul said in Philippians 3 “we are citizens of heaven” when we have opened our hearts and minds to Christ. We do not earn this through works but by God’s grace alone. This has made me eternally grateful for having been born again and finally coming to know Jesus as my Savior. His second coming which He promised can be at any time and so I look to Him and worship Him daily. It is not for us to know when or even bother with our own speculations but believe on Him who tells us only the Father knows.

  12. charlie64 says:

    Mart I love your blog!!! You choose such great topics! I look forward to meeting you in Heaven!!! You are so right God’s word clearly tells us not to try and guess when He will return! For me the important object is to live for Christ everyday just as if He may come,and to take care of the world He has given us,and rejoyice in the Lord always!!!!

  13. daisymarygoldr says:

    It is so pathetic to see followers of Christ getting inadvertently caught up in this whole “end of the world” frenzy. When the Bible states clearly that no one other than God the father knows the day or the hour, why should one go about speculating the date and time? One thing however, is certain- Christ will not return as long as these wannabe-prophets keep dabbling with their calendars to calculate the precise date. Jesus refers to those days being similar to the days of Lot and Noah when business and life in general was perfectly normal. The end of the world will be the happiest moment for Christians as we remain spiritually alert, watching and waiting expectantly for Jesus to come back to destroy evil and restore peace. Noah the righteous man (2 Pet 2:5) is an excellent example of how we ought to keep pressing on with what God has called us to do, making the most of the opportunities to preach the good news to one and all.
    Planting trees and caring for the earth? As much as I love gardening, restoring planet earth to its original beauty is God’s work (Rom 8:21; 2 Peter 3:10). The environmentalists can harp all they want till the entire ozone layer gets completely depleted for global warming to cause the icy polar caps to melt and flood the earth. God the Creator is in control and will not allow human race to become non-existent. Even as we see the day of the Lord approaching nearer our hearts should be burdened with the need of the hour which is NOT about fine-tuning the environment but the salvation of precious souls (1 Timothy 2: 4)!
    Sorry Mart, wish I could have been more graceful in disagreeing:(… hey, but I tried:)

  14. ppostma1 says:

    A Quote:
    Prophecies being fulfilled is not a sign that the time IS come, rather that God is keeping His promise that the time WILL come.

    Reading through all the Old Testament prophets (whose words were spoken to Israel and have already come true), always spoke of what was to come, not of what was happening at the time. They were always given time. Jesus’ disciples hoped that His first coming was the final completion of the prophesies. That was not true, His first coming was simply another step in the process. Let each signs’ fulfillment serve as a reminder that we serve a God who keeps His promises.

  15. Mart De Haan says:

    Hey, daisymarygoldr, you were gracious :-). I appreciate your counterpoint. I even agree with you that we cannot begin to restore the planet. But I still believe that we need to care for whatever God has entrusted to us. When Israel went into captivity in part for not giving the land it’s seventh year rest, it seemed to imply that humanity’s original custodial responsibilities are still in force. A parallel seems to be that even though we are all going to eventually die, (unless the Lord returns first)we still take care of our bodies and health– even though it’s a losing battle.

  16. daisymarygoldr says:

    Oops! Thanks for the correction!! I’m hoping you are not leaning towards this environmentalist worldview which is fast becoming a religion in its own right. Mosaic legislation has already seen its fulfillment in the person and work of Christ and that includes the 7th year rest. As Christians we should care for our habitat and bodies considering it as a gracious (there, I got it right this time:) gift of God…not from a saving perspective though, because we know that this is temporal. Therefore, the emphasis should be about the human soul. The biggest concern is that- just like miracle healers (who insist on the healing of the physical body) this false religion will soon make subtle inroads into the church.
    (REQUEST: any mistakes should be duly overlooked…as this is being written in a state of semi-slumber) Good night!

  17. BAGGIN says:

    Good Morning,

    My concern is, While Isreal is celebrating the beauty of its birth of 60 years, wasnt it said that that would start the end of times in that particular generation? Also, please note, I believe exactly what Christ said about we will never know the time date when he does come back, but BUT we must be aware of the signs all around us that lead up to his coming back. Now, we all know many times during the history of Mankind the earth has been destroyed or changed by forces we believe to be Gods wraith. This means pole Shifts or flooding of the earth. Noahs time, Moses time, Sodom time. How did these accur? By an outside force which is a planet by passing us every 3600 years. We are due for this planet coming back now. The Government knows this, as alot of scientist are aware and not to panic the public with this knowledge. Planet X or Niburi is exactly what the ancient Sumarians spoke about that is coming in 2012. The proof is out there for all to find on their own. Its either after this cleansing of our earth that Christ will be back to get us. It is only smart to watch….Watch….as Jesus Christ told us to do. And yes….lets keep living our lives the way Christ told us to. It is clear, that Mankind does get cleansed when God realizes its time. We can pray without ceasing and keep the faith that our main focus is being with God in heaven when its time. Otherwise now, we have to suffer the consequences of the Devil running the show on earth for now. And its not getting any better.

  18. Marine1 says:

    People need to get a grip on this subject. Only the Lord are God knows when he will come back. There is no code in the bible saying when he will come back. He will come like a theif in the night when we are tending are fields and doing are daily works. The Lord are God will not come back until every ear has heard about the LIVING Christ!

  19. igetbored says:

    Just because the bible says no one will know the hour dosen’t mean Jesus’s followers won’t know. Jesus was talking about those who are not following him as the one’s who will be taken off guard not his followers…

  20. daisymarygoldr says:

    igetbored:“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (24:36).
    Jesus did give His followers signs of His second coming but never gave the exact day and time.

  21. andrej says:

    Mart, do you remember the exact name of that book that gave 87 reasons to believe that Christ would return in 1987? Or do you have it? I’m doing my own research on 2012 and am looking for that book. Any help would be great.

  22. nicslly says:

    I really dont want to know what exactly the mayan calender says abt the end of the world. Just recently the creators of the upcoming movie called “2012” launched their exclusive new trailor abt the film and in that film, there is no mention of Jesus whatso ever.
    So, in that sense, most people who do beileve or are not certain abt this whole mayan calender would in fact believe that the world would end on its own, because of some catastophic cosmic event. But what i really want to know is what the Bible says abt these things. the end of the world. What ARE the signs-as limited as they are- God gives us abt the end of the world??? I do read the Bible, but must admit i dont always understand it. I am only learning to. What i am really anxious to know is, how can we stay strong in times like these?? Most believers in Christ would today say, that we are living in the end times. We don really KNOW exactly, what date, time and when, and where Christ will return but most of us do believe that it will be sooner than later. Therefore, in these times i personally believe, we need to stay even more firm in what we believe. In fact, should we be trying to help others see that there is hope?? I am definately sure once the hyped up “2012” movie hits the theatres, alot of ppl world wide will be terrified. If you dont know why i say this, i suggest you go watch this trailer. anyone would be terrifed is something like they portray in the movie would actually happen. But thats the point, how do we stop movies like these by affecting our faith, and how do we stop others from believeing it?? thats why question, what DOES the Bible say, maybe not so precise as a particular date or time of the return of Christ, but what DOES it say abt the ends of time?? and HOW can we gaurd ourselves from things like movies, and false profecies, when almost more than half of the world is believeing in it??

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