The end of the world as we know it

By now you’ve heard of the guy who’s “proven” that the end of the world is happening tomorrow. I’d link to the website but I really don’t want to glorify them anymore.

Announcements like this awaken the sarcastic and (I think) witty person in me. I want to laugh and chide and share in the general mockery.

I could even use Scripture to mock these people. After all, Jesus clearly said no one would know when the return would happen (Matthew 24:36).

But I can’t. Like the restraining bolt on R2-D2, something is holding me back. Here’s are some thoughts on what that might be.

  • People will be really hurt on Sunday

    When I was in college, some folks went to a church that “knew” Jesus’ return was going to be on a certain date. They earnestly believed it. Their whole faith in Jesus was invested in it.

    And it didn’t happen. I’m not sure these people ever got over it.

    I hate seeing people taken out like this. Jesus gets blamed for someone else’s…what do you call it? A lie? A misguided teaching? A heresy? Whatever it is, good, sincere people get hurt deeply.

  • Crack pot announcements like this discredit the Gospel for years afterward

    As a follower of Jesus, I would that all would encounter Him. As I’ve grown in my faith, I have moved away from the “I have all the answers to the questions you’re not asking.” Instead, I want my life, actions, words, and deeds to be so different that is screams “This guy knows Jesus.” I think it’s St. Francis who’s credited with saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”

    We Christians already do enough to give Jesus a bad name. Crazy stuff like this is like proclaiming that bad PR through loudspeakers.

    Sometimes I think it would be better if we were taken out of the way so people could experience Jesus without having to go through us! But for some reason God keeps us here and still chooses to work

  • There really will be an end…at some point

    Hebrew and Christian Scriptures both point to an end. A Day of Reckoning. The end of the world. “That Day.” Jesus even talks about it in the chapter I referred to above, Matthew 24. As a follower of Jesus, I believe this to be true.

    So, in theory, the world could end tomorrow. Or today. Or Monday. There’s just as much chance of it ending before I finish typing this sentence as it ending in another 1000 years.

    Having people publicly proclaim the end, however misguided, reminds me of one of the strong teachings of my faith. And that, like so much in Scripture, makes me a bit uncomfortable.

    It gets me thinking about my life, how I’ve lived it, if I’m doing all I can for God, loving Him with all that I am. Or not. Bracing stuff.

So I do snicker when I see signs like the one above on the streets of Portland. But not whole heartedly.

Perhaps I’ll play R.E.M.’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it” and pray for God to use even this for His glory.

Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman helps leaders lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. The author of "Ask Without Fear!®," he is the founder of The Concord Leadership Group and He's also the executive director of and an Advisory Panel member of Rogare, a prestigious international fundraising think tank. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook. To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Amanda

    I hate that REM song. Thanks for a different perspective on all this hub-bub.

  2. Marc A. Pitman

    Sorry! The song brings me back to sophomore year in college. Good memories. 🙂

  3. Amanda

    It brings me back to working an ice cream cart in Dino Land at the Animal Kingdom in Disney World. The song looped all day long. Twitching right now as I type.

  4. Marc A. Pitman

    Holy cow. I had no idea!

    I could definitely see that! 🙂

  5. mindy jcd

    Marc, thanks for this. It’s very good. Just after 6pm on the 21st here in the UK and I read your article to my husband as we talked about all this. We concur!

  6. Paul Poulin

    Really good points Marc! I loved that blog. Jess says you are a really good writer. I already knew that. Well it’s 6:33 p.m. and the end didn’t come…….shocker.

  7. Marc A. Pitman

    Thanks Mindy. I look forward to the end, but never want to be the one proclaiming it! 🙂

    Paul: I always thought Jess had good taste. 🙂

  8. Marc A. Pitman

    Did you see one guy in NYC invested $140,000 of his hard earned savings in putting up billboards?

    Breaks my heart.

  9. Matt Steen

    My hope is that Camping will man up and at least attempt to help his followers work through the crisis that they now find themselves in. Tomorrow morning will find a great many people in shock, wondering how they could fall for this, and trying to pick the pieces of their lives up.

    This is a cautionary tale for anyone in spiritual leadership.

  10. Seth

    You’ve probably heard by now that Camping’s rescheduled the end for October 21st. He made a mistake on Saturday, but this prediction is no doubt for real.

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