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Saturday, February 1, 2014

...and then the end will come.

A recent analysis published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists entitled Five Minutes is Too Close lays out all the reasons why our Doomsday Clock - in place since 1947 - remains at five minutes before midnight. If that scares the neon out from under your Nitrous-powered import, take heart. This is not the closest the collection of Nobel laureates (science) have predicted we are to Armageddon.

2 Minutes to Midnight: In a 1953 announcement which the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists label The Horror of Hydrogen, they state, “The hands of the Clock of Doom have moved again. Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western civilization.”

17 Minutes to Midnight: But that was the height of the Cold War and anything could have happened. By 1991, Reagan had helped tear down the last vestiges of the old Iron Curtain and President George Bush (41), along with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), an agreement which significantly reduced nuclear weapon stockpiles around the globe.

So what, in the intervening twenty-three years, has caused the jitters to resume and the Doomsday Clock to tick its way back, only five short minutes from Earth's predicted annihilation?

A large part of the Doomsday threat, as it originally did, rests on the continuing danger of nuclear disaster; I'm looking at you Kim Jong-Un. But a much more recent scourge is rearing its ugly head as a major threat to human survival.

Pogo - © Walt Kelly

Yep, that's right. Good, old global warming - or just plain Climate Change as it's better known today. A nuclear holocaust would be our fault too; but maybe we don't dwell on that so much because nuclear destruction comes on like a deadly spring tornado as opposed to climate change, which seems to be sneaking up on us like a five-year-old playing hide and seek rather poorly.

But this is not a blog specifically concerning humanity's self-flagellant slide toward Earth's destruction. What I want to illustrate is that science believes there is an imminent threat and that this fact, not in-coincidentally, tracks with the beliefs of another group.

The Bible also speaks of the end of Earth - at least as we know it. From Old Testament to New, prophecy after prophecy points toward a future time when God will pass judgement on the earth. Secularists don't believe a word of it. And even Scripture is vague on the when, but not on the what or the where.

The book of Revelation indicates that Armageddon is a place, and we have since co-opted the term to refer to an event which ushers in the end of the age.

Jesus' disciples were as curious as anyone; and why wouldn't they be? They were walking and talking with God's Son on a daily basis and they figured if anyone knew when all the prophecies were going to come to fruition, it would be Him.

The Gospel of Mark (13:32) quotes Jesus telling the Apostles, "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

This statement is also contained in the Gospel of Matthew but despite that fact, there are many who try to tell us that they've got it all figured out. This falls right in line with another piece of advice that Jesus gave in Matthew 24:11: "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many."

I suppose that's just an example of how many of us are not so enamored of this world and will, in a moment of weakness, believe those who claim they have some secret, sacred knowledge that reveals the moment of Jesus' return. Ironically, in addition to Jesus Himself, many of the New Testament writers  - Paul and John among them - warned against this very thing.

To me, the last word on this sort of knowing is Jesus' statement in Matthew 24:14, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come."

So there's your sign. For any secularists, atheists, agnostics, etc. who happen to read this blog - and have made it this far - that is one of the main reasons why Christians continue to share their faith with you - or should be. Jesus has told us when His Gospel is preached to the entire world, the end will come. And only God (the Father) knows when that exact moment in the future will be.

Is it five, atomic-clock minutes from now? Is it still thousands of years away? Stinks to be us. We have no idea.

What do you think?


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