At least this time it wasn’t Christians sounding the false alarm. We’ve at least got that going for us. Unfortunately, I’m sure there will be others, and they will always be wrong.
Before He ascended, Jesus’ disciples asked when Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel.
The question was flawed, but rather than address that, Jesus used it to make a point and then refocus the disciples on what they should be concerned about:
“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 1:6-7). Some Christians are arrogant enough to believe it is for them to know the times and dates the Father has set, and so, instead of making disciples, they make predictions.
A lot of this, particularly in the last 100 years can be attributed to bad eschatological teaching. Unfortunately, bad eschatology sells books, just ask Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye. The so-called “Rapture,” with people disappearing all over the world and seven years of death and destruction is more sensational then say, 500,000 years of the slow but steady growth of the kingdom of God substantially transforming the earth into the place God intended.
I just feel bad for the Mayans that they weren’t around to cash in on their doomsday predictions.
But then again, we will always have Chichen Itza. GS