You are probably aware of the various predictions being made concerning cataclysmic events at the end of September. How seriously should we take these predictions? How much should we alter our normal way of life because of them? We should all prepare for an unknown future, but is the End that near?
Let’s look at history:
The Jupiter Effect—1982
This situation reminds me of a similar setting and comparable widespread concern that occurred in 1982 when, for the first time, the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto all aligned on the same side of the sun.
The British astrophysicist, John Gribbin, wrote a book titled The Jupiter Effect, published in 1972, in which he predicted that the accumulated force of gravity produced by the alignment would cause catastrophes on the earth, including a giant earthquake at the San Andreas fault. This would happen, he predicted, on March 10, 1982, when all the planets came into alignment.
Prophets and prophecy teachers had a heyday with this, writing books and articles in which they associated the coming eerie planetary alignment with end-time events prophesied in Daniel and Revelation. Many were convinced that worldwide disasters would occur on that day. Some thought the rapture would take place and the tribulation period would begin. March 10, however, came and went with nothing unusual happening.
And who can forget 1988 and the book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988, written by Edgar Whisenant, a NASA engineer and Bible prophecy student. The book sold 4.5 million copies and created a great stir among evangelicals and charismatics. Think here of Rabbi Cahn, please. * The Harbinger is a 2012 best-selling Christian novel by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn that suggests that the 9/11 attack was a divine warning to the United States. Cahn ties the 9/11 attacks to Isaiah 9:10, which reads: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars” This is taken why out of context! Isaiah doesn’t have anything to do with America. However, Cahn calls these events and facts “harbingers,” and argues that they show a connection between ancient Israel’s destruction and a possible coming destruction of the present-day United States. He also says that ancient Israel received a warning before being destroyed, and that the 9/11 harbingers form a similar warning from God to America. Cahan argues that America was founded similar to ancient Israel, however God founded Israel and made it a covenant nation. America isn’t even mentioned in prophecy.
Using sophisticated sounding arguments, Whisenant predicted that Jesus would return sometime during the Jewish holiday of Rosh-Hashanah in 1988, which was from sunset Sept. 11 to sunset Sept. 13. Many recall expressing skepticism about the book’s claims to which people replied: “He sounds very convincing.”
Trinity Broadcasting Network interrupted regular programming to give instructions on how to be prepared for the rapture. Some “Christians” maxed out their credit cards thinking they would leave their debt to the Antichrist system. Some had their pets put to sleep so they would not suffer the terrible events of the tribulation. But Rosh-Hashanah 1988 also passed with nothing out of the ordinary occurring.
We could also talk about Y2K and the predictions of economic and social collapse with the dawn of the new century. It was the talk of Christian radio and TV. Books were written and some got rich selling survival kits and dried foods.
What am I saying? I am suggesting that we discount everything that is being said in this regard? Yes, but I am not saying that we should not alter our normal way of life merely because violence, immorality, evil and economic instability are all around us and may one day make a disaster.