R.E.M. should re-release their 1987 hit, "It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)."
Harold Camping predicted the end of the world on May 21, 2011--and then again on Oct. 21, 2011. Kirk Cameron has made a second career out of the impending Rapture, launching the "Left Behind" series. Long before Cameron and Camping, however, were Nostradamus and the Mayan empire -- both predicting Dec. 21, 2012 as mankind's ostensible doomsday. While many dismiss the aforementioned personalities as fringe thinkers -- and few would argue otherwise -- who can argue that the thought of Judgment Day does not captivate our minds?
We portray these fantastic scenarios in movies, The Terminator, The Matrix, Armageddon, Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and the list continues. Although mankind's imminent physical extinction seems unlikely (thankfully), who can deny that the drastic changes we see before our eyes have not ended the world, as we knew it?
Is It the End of the World as We Know It?
Consider this. In the last three decades the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes has increased manifold in an unprecedented manner. Coincidence? Maybe. But why stop at natural disasters?
Political, economic, and religious immorality is ever increasing. Corruption is rife in politics. Economically, countless suffer through perhaps the greatest worldwide recession in history with over half the world's population living in hunger. Greed and the lopsided distribution of wealth have caused devastating misery. The Holy Qur'an illustrates this as "he is passionate in his love for wealth" (100:9) and "Mutual rivalry in seeking worldly possessions diverts you from God." (102:2)
Religious extremism and sectarian violence is at an all time high. And bin Laden's death and Breivik's capture has not mitigated that a bit. Social unrest is rampant. Wars and famines are at their historical peak. Pew reports that nearly 4 billion live under oppression of the conscience. The UN reports that roughly 27 million live under physical slavery. Likewise, sex trafficking of young girls and women, international drug cartels, and illegal weapons sales are at an all-time high. Our historically advanced intellect and technology have failed to slow these morally degrading realities, which, in many ways are also at an all time high.
The Solution To Feel Fine
A solution exists--restore governmental, economic, and religious morality, be steadfast and patiently persevere. Perhaps nothing short of Divine intervention and sincere repentance can inspire such change.
Well, consider history. Divine intervention saved the people of Noah, liberated the people of Moses and averted destruction from the people of Jonah. So, where is our Divine intervention today?
Many scriptures speak of the latter days. Jesus Christ accurately foretold many of the aforementioned worldwide disasters (Luke 21), as did the Qur'an (Chapter 81). The Qur'an (like other scriptures) also provides a concise solution to the aforementioned problems in Chapter 103. "Surely man is in a state of loss. Except those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to accept truth, and exhort one another to be steadfast." Indeed, Christ also said, "In your patience, possess ye your souls." (Luke 21:19)
The increasing worldwide upheaval is because man is at a state of loss precisely because of his misdeeds. A powerful convergence of forces, Divine and man-made, are starting to drive at a broad movement for unprecedented modern change. And our success or failure as a human civilization depends on whether we turn to Divine guidance during this change.
The Solution: Part Two
But the solution delves deeper. Muslims, Christians, and Jews and others await the Second Coming to revitalize mankind and usher in a new era of peace and harmony. If, in fact, The Second Coming is to mark salvation for those who accept him, then it behooves us to ponder and reflect on what Jesus said. The Holy Quran records Jesus' guidance, "And call to mind when Jesus son of Mary said 'O children of Israel, surely, I am Allah's Messenger unto you, fulfilling that which is before of the prophecies of Torah and giving glad tidings of the Messenger who will come after me, his name being Ahmad'" (61:7).
Some dismiss this solution as imaginary. Recall, however, that every civilization in history deemed itself as the pinnacle of human advancement. The Qur'an records their reaction to similar admonishment as, "Who, when Our Signs are recited unto him, says: 'Fables of the ancients!'" (83:14).
All Things Considered
Yes, it is the end of the world as we know it, and according to Christ, those who accept his return "shall not a hair of their heads perish." (Luke 21:18). Indeed, Divine intervention only benefits those who willingly make the choice to accept. By serving mankind, reforming ourselves, and pursuing truth with patience, can we ensure our survival and revival. It is the end of the world as we know it, be sure to feel fine.