A Conversation with Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
1. Do you think the Mayan Calendar is correct?
Not only do we not think the Mayan calendar is correct, we reject any "prophecy" from any source that has not proven 100% correct in the past. That is the true test of a prophet. Even if the "current" Mayan Calendar is replaced by the discovery of a newer, more accurate model, should we not suspect the prognostications of a people who didn't anticipate the Spaniards coming and who no longer exist? The world already came to an end for them. Jesus said, "No man knows the day or the hour when Christ shall come." The Mayan calendar has no relevance to Scripture and the end of the age.
Will the calendar expire and the world will end?
Their calendar has already been called into question, and their race has expired, but yes, we believe the world will end in the way the Bible foretells it.
2. Do you think the world will end during your lifetime
Dr. LaHaye has made no secret of his wish to be raptured before his death, and I like to tease him that this event is going to have to happen soon. (He's 86.) We both believe that nothing else on the biblical prophetic calendar must be fulfilled before the return of Christ to rapture His church. However, that doesn't mean it must happen soon. We have more reason to believe it will happen in our generation than in any other, however, in God's mercy He might wait one more day. In His economy of time, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day. If He waits one more day, that would be a thousand of our years. Nonetheless, the Bible tells us to watch and wait for the "imminent" return of Christ. Clearly, "imminent" means something different to God than to us--as this warning has been in the Bible for eons. It behooves us to be ready.
3. How do you think the world will end?
We believe the Bible teaches that at a time no one knows (thus all date-setting is folly), Jesus Christ will appear from Heaven in the clouds and true believers will be caught up to be with Him (I Thess. 4:13-18), then comes the Tribulation (Rev. 6-19), culminating with the Battle of Armageddon and the Glorious Appearing (Matt 24:29-31 and Rev. 19:11-21). Finally, the Millennium (the 1,000-year kingdom of peace when Christ shall rule while Satan is bound), after which He will set up a new heaven and new earth (Rev 21).
4. Should people fear or have anxiety about the end of the world?
It's valid to fear what one should fear. We scare our children from playing in the street or with electricity or fire, because there is danger there. We urge people to study the Bible, determine whether they believe such an end of the world is possible, and to be prepared by coming to faith in Christ. If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, you need have no fear whatsoever. Yes, unbelievers should fear being eternally lost and separated from God. That fear should motivate them to reconsider receiving Christ so they can look forward to an eternal life with Him and the Heavenly Father – in heaven!
Dr. LaHaye’s take on the Apocalypse Reuters report…
With only 15% of the 16,262 people polled putting any credence in the ancient Mayan calendar suggesting the world will end in December, 2012, it hardly warrants news! The Mayans were among the most brutal of all peoples, regularly practicing human sacrifice. This indicates they did not receive their prophetic information from a holy, gracious, forgiving, and loving God (Exodus 34:6).
It would be better to heed the words of Isaiah, the “prince of prophets,” who taught that God used fulfilled prophecy to prove that He alone is God. Of the over 1,000 biblical prophecies, 500 have already been fulfilled—a 100% accuracy rate. The other 500 are end time prophecies, many of which are being fulfilled in our very lifetime – like the Jews being brought back into their promised homeland in Israel, after 1900 years of being scattered throughout the earth. That in itself is considered a super prophecy fulfillment, for no supplanted nation has ever existed more than 300 years after such a national expulsion from their homeland. Yet in 1948 Israel was recognized by the UN as a sovereign nation.
Many other signs of the end of days are being fulfilled in our life time. Read Ezekiel 38-39 and note how the Russo-Islamic allies and the neighbors of Israel are working tirelessly to annihilate them. Actually, there are more such end time signs being fulfilled in our lifetime than ever before, indicating this could be the generation when God, who proved His love for mankind by giving His only begotten Son so that all men could be prepared when the end of time comes.
Jesus Christ warned the world that “No man or even the angels of heaven knows the day or the hour when He will return” to begin all these end time events. Now that is a prophecy we can trust. For He loved mankind enough to sacrifice Himself to enable man to prepare spiritually for whenever that hour comes, so we don’t have to fear it. And God, the heavenly Father, proved He accepted that sacrifice by raising Jesus from the dead (Rom. 1:1-4). Now that is an eternal plan we can believe in! For if He did not rise from the dead, no one would be remembering that event after 2,000 years.