Thus write the Prophecy nuts of our time – who use just about any excuse a flashy news item to once again tell us that the sky is falling and the coming of Christ is just around the corner. Oh, and they also introduce yet another book that they or someone else within the prophecy movement just wrote to show you the numbers, prophecies, or whatever other gimmick they turn to each time – to prove their point (and make $19.95 – plus shipping). But . . . when we dig a little deeper – and we dig into the clear meaning of Scripture rather than other non-biblical sources – we come back to sanity. At least we tend to return to a biblical view of God’s purposes and intent. We also return to a heart set on His will and purpose rather than the most recent “scare” that hit Christian TV or radio. And more than anything we hopefully return to the Bible rather than whatever book that recently hit news-stands and bookstores or whatever article was in a magazine or prophecy blog. For the next couple of days I’ll cover two events that have filled the papers and blogs with headlines mentioning the end times and even some predicting that this event is reminding us that the coming of Christ is very near.
I’ll begin with the meteorite that exploded in Russia. From the articles I read about the incident they described the meteor as being about the size of a school bus. When it exploded in the sky over Russia, it was powerful enough to shatter windows – rock homes – and even destroy buildings that were closer to the center of the shock wave it produced. Videotapes were also available on the internet which showed the sky lighting up like a flash from a camera – followed by a bright white flash that pulsated to an even brighter level as the meteorite exploded in the sky. These are the facts about the event. What was amazing though was the speculation about end times that took place afterward. I read a few articles that said this was a harbinger of the end times – some even stating that additional meteors were coming which would bring greater devastation. Some went as far as to say this was an event prophesied in the Bible and the book of Revelation. Sheesh.
There is a couple of events in the book of Revelation that involve something that might be describing a meteor burning when it hits the earths atmosphere. During the trumpet judgments of Revelation chapter 8 we read the following:
“The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. 8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.” Revelation 8:7-11 (NASB)
These three judgments may – and please read the statement MAY – involve some sort of meteorite striking the earth. The first in verse 7 speaks of hail, fire, and blood falling from the skies. The hail and fire might be from a meteor striking the earth which subsequently burns up a third of the earth, trees, and all the green grass. The problem here is the blood that is mentioned. Not sure I’ve ever heard of a meteorite that did that. The second possibility is in verse 8 where something like a great mountain burning with fire fell into the sea – making a third of the sea blood – as well as killing a third of the creatures in the sea. The third event is described as a great star falling from heaven, named wormwood. This “star” falls from the heavens onto the earth, making a third of the rivers and waters bitter. Men die from drinking these waters.
Now that we have the Scriptures before us let’s take a look at the Russian meteor event. Do you have any grass alive near you? If so – this was not a meteorite event that fulfills verse 7. Was this thing the size of a mountain – and did it destroy a third of all sea life? If not – then it was not a meteorite event fulfilling verse 8. Was there a star-like event falling from heaven that subsequently turned a third of the earth’s drinking water bitter – and killed many who drank it? If not – then we are 0-3 – and we’ve accomplished a prophetic strike out! Never mind that biblically we are not allowed even one strike if someone is a biblical prophet (they should be 100% accurate on all predictions – or else we should ignore them and not be afraid of anything they prophesy).
Then what was the Russian meteorite event? Well – let’s try this – it was a meteorite that came into our atmosphere – and exploded over a small area of Russia. It was scary and terrifying to those who experienced it. The Royal Astronomical Society of England states that every year we have between 18,000 to 84,000 meteorites larger than 10 grams hit the earth every year. This was a particularly large one comparatively but – was nothing compared to what will come one day as the coming of Christ draws nearer. Is it a sign that His coming is nearer? Not really – what we have that is far more reliable than this is the Scriptural admonition that we be ready for His coming at ANY MOMENT. The Bible does not tell us the exact time of date of these events that will happen. It spends far more of its time telling us that God wants us to share the gospel with men and women who desperately need forgiveness of sin – and a righteousness that will stand on the day of judgment. It is a reminder that we live in a universe that is filled with millions of pieces of space junk that floats all over – and occasionally (at least 18,000 times a year) hits our planet with varying degrees of destruction. But unless you look out your window and see devastation on a continent-wide degree – or learn of tsunamis that were started by a meteorite the size of a mountain hitting the ocean – you can be assured that no biblical event has yet occurred. Oh – once you’ve realized this – you might want to share the gospel with those around you. There are far more clear commands indicating that this is what should be dominating our time – rather than making a burning mountain out of a meteorite no bigger than a bus.