Tag: end of the world
The end of the world has been an enduring human preoccupation and, paradoxically, has existed since the dawn of civilisation.
I remember years ago driving to my hometown of Robertson in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia. It was a wet, foggy evening, and as I was nearing the crest of a hill on the outskirts of the village, I noticed a small, grey form rapidly approaching. Out of nowhere, a voice told me: “Veer to the right, now!” Startled, I did as I was told, and as I swerved at 80km/hour, I looked to the left to see an enormous wombat crossing the road where my car would have been.
“You’re going to hell!” The words dripped with a violence, barely contained. “Repent of your wickedness,” a voice called again from the middle of a mob holding placards. I didn’t appreciate these words being directed at my wife and me.
I still remember May 21, 2011, like it was yesterday. Thousands of kilometres away in Boulder, USA, an evangelist named Harold Camping, president of the popular ministry Family Radio, was in the news spotlight. He had predicted that on May 21, more than 200 million Christians all around the world would be raptured away to heaven and that five months later, the world would end.
There is a lot of talk today about the fact that things are not what they seem. It is not easy to distinguish between conspiratorially motivated speculation, and the real hidden things of our world—but most of the time the sources make the difference.
A good survey of people's thoughts on the end times would not seek to find out whether people believe the world will end or not. Rather, it would seek to know what their thoughts are on when and how the end will come. Regardless of the source of their belief—religious or secular—most people have come to see the idea of the end of the world as a foregone conclusion.
The idea of the end of the world refers to the end of the social order and humanity; the end of the planet as we know it. But according to the Bible, these will not all come at once.