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Kent Bernhardt: The end of the world

Maybe you missed it, but another one of those “end of the world” predictions came and went without a lot of fanfare recently.

This one originated from the EBible Fellowship, an online affiliation headquartered near Philadelphia. They were pretty darn sure that our world would be completely obliterated on October 7th. We were to explode in a fiery ball, sort of like that second enchilada did in my stomach the other night.

I didn’t take their prediction seriously, but I held off making my cable bill payment just in case. I didn’t want anybody over at Time Warner happy about getting my money just as we went up in flames.

I’ve endured many such predictions of gloom and doom in my lifetime. The one I’ll always hold near and dear in my heart came from Christian radio host Harold Camping in 2011. He warned that life as we know it would come to an end on May 21st of that year.

Camping received so much press that he was able to convince a lot of people that he knew what he was talking about, and that his pot had not yet cracked. He had the faithful all over the country selling their homes and worldly possessions. After all, he was on the radio, and if you’re on the radio you must know what you’re talking about.

When May 21st came and went without so much as a thunder clap, Camping hurriedly issued a statement that he had miscalculated, and the new date of doom would be sometime in October. I could certainly understand his mistake; I confuse May and October all the time.

Years ago, I was personally acquainted with a local minister who fervently believed that the earth would cease to exist by the end of 1981. Everything in scripture pointed to it, he said.

He actually seemed a little depressed when 1982 rolled around and the world was still spinning. Had he been right, we would at least have been spared the last few painful seasons of “Happy Days.” Fonzie, a teacher? Please.

I have no idea when life as we know it will end. Neither do you. And neither does the guy who is getting interviewed on a lot of talk shows because he’s “figured it out.”

God knows, and that’s good enough for me. I think it’s more important that we give life all we have while we’re here. There’s a lot of living and loving to do, and we shouldn’t miss a moment of it.

But I would offer some advice to the next would-be prophet out there who will attempt to name the date.

First of all, stay away from Christmas Day. You’ll just upset a lot of children.

If you have to choose a date in December, make it a day early in the month – before I start my Christmas shopping. I don’t want to live through another year of that if I don’t have to.

If you want a lot of positive press, make it April 14th. Most people won’t mind leaving the earth the day before their taxes are due. If you do choose April 14th however, make sure you’re correct. If people wake up on the 15th with their tax bill still looming, you’ll have hell to pay – along with the federal government.

Finally, stay away from any date that the Cubs are playing in a World Series game. We’ve got to see that.

Besides, the world is supposed to end before that happens anyway.

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