|Posted by End Of The World Predictions on November 26, 2011 at 12:55 AM|
Fear of the end of the world
The Bible talks about “Men's hearts failing them for fear” as they consider the things which are coming upon the earth, things where the very powers of heaven shall be shaken (Luke 21:26).
The thought of the whole world coming to an end, whether that be in 2011, 2012 or beyond, is a terrifying thought.
I have received letters from people totally freaked out about the 2012 predictions. Those most affected (or at least those willing to write to me saying they are affected) seem to be teens, young adults and mothers of young children, but there are others also.
We all have things in life that we are afraid of. It is not the thing itself that makes us afraid because it is not actually happening at the time. Rather, it is the anticipation or thought that it will happen, that we will experience disaster, pain or grief. This is what it is which stirs up all those anxious feelings. And the closer the expected danger, the greater the fear.
Perhaps you can identify with some of the following….. Fear of:
insects, natural disaster, terrorism, job loss, the end of the world, current end of the world 2012 predictions, death itself, what happens after death, failure, public ridicule, loss of acceptance by a parent, rejection… then there are dentists, dogs, thunder and lightning, darkness, heights, other people (public speaking), flying, small or confined spaces….. The list goes on.
I want to share with you a story about one of my personal fears and then bring it back to 2012 and fears about the end of the world. If you have a fear of heights, you may not want to read this next bit…
I never used to have a fear of heights until one day when I was painting my daughter and son-in-law’s roof. I had been up on the roof for a while then in one careless moment, I stepped on some wet paint.
I was instantly thrown onto my back. Despite my desperate attempts, there was no getting up as I slid from about half way up the roof down towards the spouting, picking up speed as I went. My vain hope that a fall to the concrete below would be halted when my feet hit the spouting was shattered at the same moment the spouting shattered and I flew right through.
At that very moment, I was imagining landing on my back with no chance to soften the landing by putting my hands out in front of me. I could just see myself cracking the back of my head open on the concrete below. Then, almost immediately after my heel hit the spouting, my body suddenly flipped forwards so that I was now staring straight down at the concrete as it rushed up towards me. I remember the rush of adrenaline that hit me at that critical moment.
I think that when I first slipped onto my back I had said something like, “No, this can’t be happening!” I was so annoyed that I had made such a stupid mistake after all the careful time I’d spent safely on the roof. But that feeling of annoyance was quickly overtaken by fear.
In such a short space of time, all kinds of thoughts rushed into my mind (as people say they do) such as: Is this the end of the world for me? Is there anyone still in the house to help me if I survive the fall? My wife has gone out for a message, how is she going to find me? And, if I survive, this is going to take a long time to recover which is going to put my chances of employment back even further. I was unemployed at the time.
At the same time these thoughts were bombarding my mind, I was also fighting to take control over my mind. Internally, I was screaming to myself to “Concentrate! Concentrate!” I knew I had to concentrate because there was only a split second to get my hands into place to give me any kind of hope of stoppint my head from splitting on impact.
It may sound a little crazy – and hopefully you’ll understand as you read on – but at that very moment what got my attention was that I was falling in a push-up or press-up position (like a belly flop position if you’ve ever done a belly flop into the water). I realized that I had to try and keep that position if I was going to keep my face intact. I really wasn’t thinking about anything else except my face, my head.
Now although I was falling in a push-up position at that moment, my head was actually starting to move faster than my feet and was beginning to overtake them in my quick and unplanned descent from the roof. So I wasn’t going to be able to spread the weight of the impact on all fours (like a cat so to speak) because my feet would hit after my hands.
Only a week or so before I had reached a personal goal of doing 3,000 pushups in one day. It was the goal I had set after having reached my previous goal of 500 pushups at once. So what I’m saying here is that my love for physical exercise and goal setting gave me some extra strength in my upper body and I was counting on that to reduce some serious injuries. In the last few milliseconds while my body was still airborne and I could just about taste the concrete, I hoped (and that was a God directed hope) that my love for exercise would break my fall and prevent the breaking of bones. I was wrong. But I do believe that had I not been as fit as I was, things would have been much worse.
Half way down (and I didn’t discover this till about 20-30 minutes later), my right foot had struck and broken a large window pane. This slowed down the descent of my right foot and put me more off balance so that any hopes of a four point landing were dashed at that point. So my right foot, being the last to land and having nothing to soften the impact ended up with a vertical fracture in the heel.
Going back before my heel struck…. It was so quick after my hands hit (perhaps a tenth of a second or less, I wasn’t really counting at the time) that my head also hit the ground. So there wasn’t much time for me to take the weight of my upper body (which had fallen about 5 meters from the moment I slipped) in my hands and arms. However, the push up goal setting seemed to be enough to prevent any serious head injuries other than a small bruise, a small lump and scratch. My left hand did not come off so well suffering a broken bone in one finger and multiple fractures in the joint of my little finger. Others have certainly had far worse injuries than this and some have died.
For weeks after this accident, I would wake up at night with a shudder as I found myself reliving the fall, and the landing. Even during the day, this same fear would creep up on me unexpected. Getting up on a ladder as I was required to do at my work place from time to time, brought a queasy feeling to my stomach and I had to talk myself through what I was doing.
Today, five years later, I can remember that falling sensation without any effort. I can also feel the fear that went with it but it does not control me and is now more of a health respect rather than fear.
So what does this all have to do with December 21 2012 end of the world doomsday predictions and the fear people have about the end of the world? Here’s the answer…
Fear has something to do with the future. Fear is expectation and a focus that something bad will happen, involving pain or grief of some kind. Fear of falling is the anticipation of what will happen at the end of the fall. Fear gripped me as I began to fall. After the fall, it was mostly pain that gripped me.
If I could have known that I was sliding into a swimming pool (as in a water slide), the fear factor would have disappeared altogether before I landed. Instead of fearing what was ahead, I would have been looking forward it.
It is the same for end of the world fears. This website makes it clear that 2012 is not the end of the world but it also states that the world will end on day. At that time, terrible judgements from God will fall upon the earth. However, if you know things are going to end OK after the initial fall or arrival of those judgements, and if you know that you will overcome whatever future disasters may strike the earth because you have a good future in God beyond this…. then even as you consider those judgements, any initial fear will give way to joy.
We began with a quote. The quote was talking about one kind of people; people whose hearts would be filled with fear and anxiety because their gaze or focus at some time in the future would upon the terrible disasters coming upon the earth when the end of the world is imminent (close at hand). These people have no hope of a good future, or any future for that matter, for themselves or for the world.
However, the second half of this quote speaks of another group of people. This group, while they know that terrible things will come upon the earth, are not focused on those things, they are focused on what happens next. These people are not bent over with fearful anticipation of God’s final judgements but rather, are looking upward with joyful expectation of what will happen next. Fear is replaced with joy as they look forward to what God has promised to those who trust in him: a new heaven and a new earth where there is not more suffering, death or evil… only perfect love in a perfect world.
Here’s the full quote. Please note the last sentence. In the context, these comforting words are spoken by Jesus to those who follow him.
“Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:26)
The Bible tells us that perfect love casts out all fear (James 4:18). God is the only one who has perfect love so if you know God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, you do not need to fear any end of the world events or judgements. The reason is that while Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble”… he also said, “take heart, I have overcome the world.”