If I Were the Devil... or... Is the World Ending September 23?
If you surf YouTube, then you know there has been a crescendoing clamor by a fringe of people claiming a non-existent planet called Nabiru (nicknamed Planet X) will collide with our home planet Earth sometime on Saturday, September 23, 2017. I.e., in three days the world will end. Slick YouTube graphic animations portray what the explosive moment of impact will look like from somewhere out in space. One of the loud voices belongs to David Meade, a Christian "numerologist," who is warning that on the basis of the number 33 and the prophecy of Revelation 12, the Bible itself predicts this destructive collision between "Planet X" and Earth on this very date. Meade, however, has avoided claiming, as others are, the world will end—instead he clarifies: "'The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending,’...adding later: 'A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October’" (www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/17/the-world-as-we-know-it-is-about-to-end-again-if-you-believe-this-biblical-doomsday-claim/?utm_term=.c3efb9fa01d6).
Ed Stetzer, a professor and executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, has responded to the Washington Post: "'There’s no such thing as a Christian numerologist . . . You basically got a made-up expert in a made-up field talking about a made-up event’" (ibid).
The reason I mention this "non-event" at all is because the internet doomsayers are warning that the recent escalation of record-shattering hurricanes and killer quakes (and who can deny that over the last few weeks our hemisphere has been severely battered with a devastating string of these ecological disasters?) are evidentiary proof "Planet X" is hurtling closer and closer to this earth. Some go so far as to claim the recent U.S. solar eclipse 33 days before September 23 is itself an indicator of impending doom.
But of course in a university community like this one—and an Adventist campus at that—these warnings are quickly (and rightly) dismissed as evidence the lunatic fringe is still alive and well. But that is precisely my point.
If I were the devil and I were concerned that these strings of natural disasters were indicators my own time on this planet were coming to an end, I would do all in my power to keep thinking men and women from arriving at the same conclusion. After all, Jesus’ list of indicators preceding His return (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) strongly link upheaval in Mother Nature to His coming: "'On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory" (Luke 21:25-27).
If I were the devil, I would do all in my power to destroy any logical connection between these upheavals in nature and the return of Christ. I would inspire illogical, unreasonable minds to seize this escalation of natural disasters as proof of September 23’s impending doomsday. By leading unbalanced minds to embrace a biblically credible indicator (one the Lord Himself offered as a sign of His return), I would destroy the credibility of Jesus’ own indicator(s) in the eyes of the public and thus lead lucid, thinking people to reject any notion of "the end of the world." I repeat—no way would I want this civilization to be warned that in fact time is running out for this planet. The lunatic fringe would be my subterfuge to make sure nobody believes such gobbledygook.
But you and I know different, don’t we? Which is why Unlock Revelation begins this Monday evening (7:30) here at Pioneer. Because the Bible does speak with clarion voice to the times in which we now live. And to keep silent is to surrender the genuine harbingers Christ gave us to the hype of terribly misguided zealots who are dead wrong. Your witness and mine are God’s counterbalance to our mortal enemy’s desperate deceptions. People need to know the truth as it is in Jesus. Now more than ever. So please join me in making a personal invitation to someone you know who needs to know. If the choice is between YouTube and you, be assured God is banking on you.