The end of the world as we know is being predicted by environmentalists, religious leaders and warmongers alike -- never mind followers of the Mayan calendar who believe Dec. 21 began a new world era.
From calendar dates to carbon emission calculations to character descriptions of a coming "savior," there may never be as much doomsayer data in our lifetime.
For Jews, the return to the "homeland" of Israel and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem are the main signs the messianic era is upon us.
For Christians, it is significant for Jewish people to have a homeland, too, in End Times prophecy. As well, there will be famines, wars, and earthquakes. A single world ruler will arise and then Christ will fight the anti-Christ before Judgment Day.
For Muslims, a figure known as the Mahdi will appear and rule the world before the coming of the messiah. Then things play out much like the Christian version of Armageddon with "al-Mahdi" assisting the messiah in battle against the "false prophet," or anti-Christ, as Christians believe.
Take religion out of the equation and you still have environmentalists decreeing that earth cannot sustain life as we know it with more than 350 million particles per million of carbon dioxide floating around in the atmosphere. At current rates, we'll exceed 400ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 2015.
Meanwhile, those who believe there is imminent world war see cataclysmic conditions in the Middle East (where religious prophecy centers), and predict nuclear Armageddon.
No matter religious or scientific End Times, the world is said to end in fire. And of all the signs that get things rolling toward those days of end, a new world leader, or messiah, being born is the biggest.
Thomas M. Kostigen is a New York Times bestselling author. His novel, Golden Dawn, about the confluence of Iran's nuclear smuggling and End Times prophecy, is in bookstores now.
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