Last night the Baylor Bears scored a stunning and convincing 86-70 victory over the undefeated “Team of Destiny,” the Gonzaga Bulldogs to claim the NCAA men/s basketball championship.
Gonzaga was a five-point favorite by the oddsmakers and the choice by most of the sports analysts. However, the Bears dominated from the beginning, and it never felt close, even when the Zags once narrowed the margin to 9 points.
ESPN wrote,” The buildup to Monday’s contest suggested the favored Gonzaga squad would shoot the final scene of its Disney movie by winning the national title and completing the first perfect season in 45 years. Instead, the greatest chapter of Baylor’s tale was written.”
Although I had Gonzaga in the title game, my initial pick was wrong too as well as many others. My bracket was totally busted.
All of this reminds us that humans don’t know the future. Our predictions are only educated guesses. Sometimes they are even wild speculations and opinionated, prejudicial prognostications.
As a case in point, while unpacking my books this week a found a little paperback book by J. F. Rutherford entitled “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” It was based on a talk given in Los Angeles, February 24, 1918. The material was published in a book in 1920.
Known as Judge Rutherford, he was the second President of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. He claimed between 1918 and 1925 the world would become a paradise, Christendom would end, and an earthly resurrection would begin in 1925 including the return of the ancient Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Obviously, his outlandish prophecies failed. But Rutherford is not alone. There have been and continue to be predictions about the end of the world and the second coming of Christ.
Three theologians said the world would end in 500 A.D. Various clerics predicted Christ’s coming at the end of the First Millennium, January 1, 1000. Past predictions have targeted the years 1260, 1370, and 1700. Charles Taze Russell, the first President of the Watchtower Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses, said Christ would come in 1874.
In more modern times the end of the world has been predicted by religious leaders Herbert W. Armstrong, Jerry Falwell, Harold Camping, and Jack Van Impe. More recently, a fundamentalist website called “Signs of the End Times” claimed that the world would end in 2017. Their website said that “current events to make a case that the signs have aligned to signal the end of the world and the second coming of Christ.”
There have been well over 200 documented predictions regarding the end of the world. Obviously, all such prophesies have not come to pass.
When the apostles asked Jesus what would be the signs of His coming He responded this way. “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” Then he used the thief analogy to illustrate His point.“But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.” (Matt 25:42-43).
The Bible cautions us not to arrogantly make future plans because “you do not know what will happen tomorrow” (Jas. 4:14). This is also true of supposed prophecies by self-proclaimed visionaries.
It would be well to accept the fact that the Bible is silent regarding the end of the world and Christ’s second coming.. And to heed the warning of Jesus. “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
After all, most of the “experts” can’t even correctly predict the outcome of a basketball game when there are only two choices!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman