Dr. Jamie Jenkins: What Will Happen in 2012?

Make Every Minute Count

Are we three years away from the end of the world?

If you pay attention to the entertainment media, you might think so. National Geographic just aired 2012: Countdown to Armageddon last night on television. There is the much-hyped movie, 2012, scheduled for release this week. This disaster film focuses on world-wide chaos and destruction that coincides with the end of the 5126 year Mayan Long Count Calendar which concludes on December 21, 2012. The director, Roland Emmerich, also gave us two other movies of the same genre: Independence Day (1996) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004).   

Will December 21, 2012 be a day of celebration, chaos, or a routine day? Will it be the end, a new beginning, or just the start of another year like any other?

The theories are varied for how the world will end in 2012. A group of mathematicians believe they have discovered a secret code in the Bible that suggests that a shower of comets will destroy the earth. The writings of Nostradamus predicts earthquakes, rampant disease, the appearance of the Antichrist, and the beginning of World War III. Other prophecies include the idea that a rogue planet will orbit close enough to the earth to wreak havoc as it disrupts our gravity and electromagnetic fields.

There have many religious and secular date setters who have predicted the end of the world. They all share one thing in common. They all have failed to be accurate. Jesus said that no one could know the exact time when the end would come.

I don’t want to make light of the end of the world because whether you subscribe to a particular apocalyptic theory or none at all, the fact remains that no one lives forever, at least on the earth. Just so I am not misunderstood- I do believe in the afterlife. I believe in heaven and hell but I don‘t understand everything about them.

If life on earth ends for everyone in 2012, we have 3 years to prepare. But life is a mystery and the timing and method of its end is unpredictable. Therefore it is important to live life every day in preparation for the end-- whenever that time comes.

The country music artist Tim McGraw suggests that faced with the finite and delicate nature of our own life, we might live differently. He wishes that everyone would “live like you were dying.” The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “act like people with good sense and not like fools [and] make every minute count” (Ephesians 5:15-16, Contemporary English Version). Jesus instructs us to “always be ready” (Matthew 24:44).

If you knew tomorrow would be the last day of your life, what you give priority to today? Think about it and then do it.

If you should live tomorrow, that  decision will make your life better. And if you don't?

--Jamie Jenkins

[Taken by permission from "Monday Morning in North Georgia" newsletter, North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.]