Over the past two millennia, there have probably been thousands of predictions made which anticipate a horrendous future world-shaking event. Many are based on an the interpretation of religious scriptures. They typically describe an event to occur at a specific date in the future, that would completely change the world. In some of the more shocking predictions, most or all human life on Earth is expected to be wiped out -- perhaps all life would be snuffed out.
All predictions, so far, have failed miserably. We expect more predictions, and more failures, to continue for the foreseeable future.
Many such prophecies capture the imagination of a significant portion of the public. Many people trust the prophecies and suffer high anxiety, as the appointed day approaches. In some recent cases, a few people have committed suicide in order to have control over their death and to prevent having to go through a horrible "end-time" experience that would cause their death.
It is our hope that this series of essays will generate some skepticism and doubt among the public, and thereby lower the amount of suffering experienced, and perhaps even save a life.
Quotations about end time prophecies, with comments:
"About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies,
and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition." Sir Isaac Newton
(1643-1727 CE), for example, 1 predicted that the end of the world will occur about the year 2060 CE.
"The prophecies are ... unintelligible to the ungodly but
intelligible to those who are properly instructed." Blaise Pascal (1623 -
1662 CE) 2
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound.
Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and
it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." Allegedly,
this came from an Assyrian tablet, written circa 2800 BCE.
However I recall reading that an almost identical message was said to have
appeared as graffiti on a wall in Pompeii which was buried under ash during an eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in 79 CE.
"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but [only] the Father."
This is a statement in the Gospel of Mark 13:32, in the King James Version. It is attributed to Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ), 3 Note that the passage specifically states that -- on about the year 70 CE when the Gospel of Mark was written -- nobody knew the hour and day back . Yet, many biblical interpreters believe that it implies that only God the Father knows the date of "the end" today as well. Others speculate that -- at some time between 70 CE and today -- all three persons in the Trinity, the angels and some humans leaned of the time of the end . Also, just because people don't know the day and hour, the statement does not preclude others knowing the week, month, and/or year. So, the statement can be -- and has been -- interpreted in many ways.
According to Wikipedia, as updated on 2019-JAN-09:
"Polls conducted in 2012 across 20 countries found over 14% of people believe the world will end in their lifetime, with percentages ranging from 6% of people in France to 22% in the US and Turkey.
Belief in the apocalypse is most prevalent in people with lower rates of education, lower household incomes, and those under the age of 35.
In the UK in 2015, 23% of the general public believed the apocalypse was likely to occur in their lifetime, compared to 10% of experts from the Global Challenges Foundation. The general public believed the likeliest cause would be nuclear war, while experts thought it would be artificial intelligence. Only 3% of Britons thought the end would be caused by the Last Judgment, compared to 16% of Americans. Between one and three percent of people from both countries thought the apocalypse would be caused by zombies or alien invasion."
Millennium and TEOTWAWKI topics covered in this
A charming, skeptical, and imaginative web site dealing with "The End:"
Loren Madsen has created a web site at http://www.manyendings.lorenmadsen.com/ dealing with TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it). You enter a year to begin the prophecies. It is well worth visiting; a lot of fun.
Video: 25 Frightening Signs The END OF THE WORLD is Near: