A couple of suburbs down the road from my place is a big billboard on a major road. It says “Judgement Day is coming. 21 May 2011.” According to this billboard, the end of the world is coming and it’s only weeks away. There seems to be a lot of people recently who are saying that they have prophesied the end of the world. They point to events such as the floods in Queensland, the earthquake in New Zealand, the tsunami in Japan and say that the end of the world is coming any day now. That these disasters are a sign from God that he’s getting ready for the end game. The people behind this billboard are even prepared to name a date, based on their understanding of the Bible and some creative mathematics.
Should we listen to these so-called prophecies? Are they reliable? Can we really know the date when Jesus returns?
I have my doubts. Let’s just say I plan on getting a photo of myself in front of this billboard on May 22nd.
1 Corinthians 12 lists prophecy as one of the gifts of the Spirit. What is prophecy? Is it predicting the future or something greater? Is it a gift that is still available today or was it limited to a certain time period? If you’re not careful, you’re understanding of prophecy can lead you in some dodgy directions.
It can also leave you looking stupid.