On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

How seriously should we take this latest prediction of doom? Well, we can count at least 25 times in the past when a lot of people took predictions very seriously … and Almighty God didn’t choose to return on cue:

200 A.D. — Prophets and Prophetesses of the Montanist movement predicted that Jesus would return sometime during their lifetime and establish the New Jerusalem in the city of Pepuza in Turkey.

365 A.D. — Hilary of Poitiers, announced that the end would happen that year.

375 to 400 A.D. Saint Martin of Tours was convinced that the end would happen sometime before 400 AD.

CLICK HERE TO READ: “What happens when the end of the world comes and goes without a bang?”

500 A.D. —  Sextus Julius Africanus, writing in the early 220s, used Chaldean, Judaic and Egyptian history with Greek mythology and Christianity in his five-volume Chronographiai, in which he proclaimed the Second Coming would happen by 500 A.D.

What deep inner need is met by the hope of Jesus’ return?

1000 A.D. – Prophetess Thiota in 847, declared that the turn of the millennium would usher in the 1,000-year reign of Jesus mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

1147 —  Gerard of Poehlde decided that the Christ’s 1,000-year reign had actually started in 306 A.D. Thus, the world would end in 1306 AD.

1205 — Joachim of Fiore predicted in 1190 that the Antichrist was already in the world and that King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England would defeat him.

1284 — Pope Innocent III computed the day the world would end by adding 666 years onto the date the Islam was founded.

1340-1350 — At the height of the Black Death plague — with most of the world dying — Florentine chronicler Mateo Villani announced the plague was “divine action” the purpose of which was to wipe out wicked humanity.

1669 —  The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of the world would occur in this year and  20,000 burned themselves to death to protect themselves from the Antichrist.

1806 — In the English town of Leeds in 1806, a hen began laying eggs on which the phrase “Christ is coming” was written. As news of the miracle spread, many people became convinced that doomsday was at hand – until pranksters were caught, pen and egg in hand.

1843 — New England farmer William Miller, after years of very careful study, concluded that God’s chosen time to destroy the world on April 23, 1843. Thousands of followers sold or gave away their possessions. When the end did not come, several stayed together, forming what is now the Seventh Day Adventists.

1881 —  Mother Shipton, a mystic, predicted: “…The world to an end shall come; in eighteen hundred and eighty-one.”

1891 — Joseph Smith called a meeting of his Mormon church leaders in February 1835 to tell them that Jesus would return within the next 56 years.

1910 — In 1881, an astronomer discovered through spectral analysis that comet tails include a deadly gas called cyanogen and Earth would pass through the tail of Halley’s comet in 1910. Panic spread across the United States and abroad. The comet came and went.

1914. 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941. Estimates of the start of the war of Armageddon by the Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Their leaders finally explained that Christ had actually returned, but only took back with Him 144,000 of the redeemed who had filled heaven to capacity – and no one else would be admitted.

1919 — Albert Porta, a meteorologist at the University of Michigan, predicted that during December 1919, an enormous sunspot would destroy Earth due to the “electro-magnetic pull” on the sun exerted by an alignment of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.

1982 — John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann in their best-selling 1974 book The Jupiter Effect, predicted that the March 10, 1982, alignment of seven planets would lead to a change in the speed of Earth’s rotation and worldwide disaster.

1988, 1989, 1990 and 1993 – Retired NASA engineer Edgar Whisenant wrote 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. He had crunch of numerical clues in the Bible and said the end would come between Sept. 11 and 13, 1988. His book sold millions of copies. When it did not happen, he revised the date to 1989. Then to 1990. And then 1993.

1995 – In 1987, Japanese author Chizuo Matsumoto renamed himself Shoko Asahara and mashed together various aspects of Buddhism, Nostradamus, Christianity, Hinduism and yoga into Aum Shinrikyo or “Supreme Truth”). He proclaimed himself Christ, then was convicted of spreading deadly nerve gas through the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 and injuring thousands in March 1995. He was convicted and sentenced to death, but is still awaiting execution.

1997 —  When comet Hale-Bopp appeared in 1997, a cult in San Francisco called “Heaven’s Gate” declared that an alien spacecraft was following the comet. About 40 members committed suicide on March 26, 1997 so their spirits could ascend to meet the spaceship.

1999 – Nostradamus’ poetry has been translated and re-translated in dozens of different versions. One of the most famous quatrains reads, “The year 1999, seventh month / From the sky will come great king of terror.”

2000 — Global catastrophe was assured by Richard Noone, author of the 1997 book 5/5/2000 Ice: the Ultimate Disaster. He said the Antarctic ice mass would be three miles thick by May 5, 2000, on which the planets would be aligned in the heavens, resulting in global icy extinction.

2008 — Ronald Weinland’s 2006 book 2008: God’s Final Witness states that hundreds of millions of people would die by the end of 2006. By the fall of 2008, he said, the United States would collapse as a world power and no longer exist as an independent nation.” His book noted that the author “places his reputation on the line as the end-time prophet of God.”

2011 – Harold Camping, a radio preacher with a chain of stations in California, proclaims Judgment Day will occur on May 21, 2011, revised from his previous declaration that it would occur on September 6, 1994.

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