Have you read lately on a billboard or in a magazine ad that the Judgment Day will be May 21, 2011? I have so many issues with this I don’t even know where to begin.
According to a pamphlet I picked up at a gas station, God has given us a head- up on the Day of Judgment. According to the pamphlet:
“..The Holy Bible tells us that Holy God is a God of great mercy, compassion and love. That is why He has given us in advance of the destruction the exact time of the Day of Judgment.”
The Bible does state that God has great mercy, compassion and love. However, the pamphlet does not say where exactly the Bible says that He give us the exact time of the Day of Judgment.
As you read further, you find that they quote 2 Peter 3:8 and as soon as you see that, you know where they are going with this. They take the passage, literally, to mean that one of God’s days is 1000 of our years. But if you read further to 2 Peter 3:10 it states the day will come like a ‘thief’. Given the context of the discourse, I would tend to lean toward a metaphorical figure of speech for understanding 2 Peter 3:8. Be that as it may, let’s read further to see what they do with a literal, out of context, interpretation of this passage.
Next, the pamphlet takes God’s warning of impending judgment from Genesis 7:4 and Genesis 7:10-11, where God says he will make it rain for 40 days and nights, to mean that in 7000 years God will destroy the earth with fire for good. (Side bar: 2 Peter 3:7 says that the first destruction was by water and was Noah’s flood and the second destruction would be by fire.) Here is what the pamphlet says:
“Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day.”
Issue 1 Context
Here, the passages are taken completely out of context. It is obvious to the casual reader of Genesis 7:4 that the seven days were seven, literal, 24 hour days before the rain would start. Genesis confirms this understanding in Genesis 7:10-11 when it states that it ‘came to pass’ that the rains started exactly seven 24 hour days later. What the pamphlet does to get around this is to imply that there are two fulfillments to Genesis 7:4, one, literal, 24 hour days and one, metaphorical, 1000 years per day.
Issue 2 1000 Years
First, I have a difficult time reading 2 Peter 3:8 literally that a day to God is like 1000 years to us. I think when you look at it literally; you have to ignore that God is eternal, which is to say He exists outside of time and space all together. (Read a past blog post on eternal) Time was created and is part of our universe, and as Einstein proved and current astrophysics teaches us, time is relative.
Second, are all those years 360 day years or 365.25 days? Originally, the earth’s orbit was 360 days and at some time in the BC era (I forget when) there was a change in the orbit to 365.25 days. For more information on prophetic years of 360 days I would recommend the book ‘The Coming Prince’ by Sir Robert Anderson; He demonstrates in his book that by using 360 day years you can take, at least on prophecy, from the Old Testament about the first coming of our Messiah to the exact day it was fulfilled in the New Testament.
Issue 3 The Bible as Whole
In order to buy this premise, you have to ignore everywhere else in the Bible that says we won’t know the day or the hour of the end. Here are a few passages: Matthew 25: 13 and Matthew 24:44.
This isn’t the first Church or group to give a date. I am betting these guys are wrong too. The problem is, it gives all Christians a bad name. Just look at the comments to a blogger’s post on the Christian obsession with the end.
I do know one other little tidbit from the Bible. In Deut. 18:20-22 the punishment for a false prophet is execution. If the End is May 21, 2011, I am ready. If the End is not May 21, 2011, are they ready?