Another doomsday/end of the world prediction has bit the dust. It was inevitable. Why do people go out on a limb as they do to predict the unpredictable? Over and over again the same people make predictions and they fail to materialize. The problem is Zealotry. Being overly zealous about anything is usually not a good sign. Cutting down on calories is good until you cut out too many for a long period of time which brings deficiency, disease, or death. Taking mineral supplements is good until you take too much and then you’re toxic. Worshipping the sun too much and you get wrinkled skin and melanoma. Avoiding the sun too much brings vitamin D deficiency. Being too heavenly-minded so that you’re no earthly good isn’t good, either. Zealotry brings one into the category of “too” much. Too much of anything isn’t good for you and “too” is the operative word. Being overzealous about predicting the end of the age is not a good thing. What do you gain by predicting it? Didn’t Jesus say, “No man knows the hour or the day, only the Father”? (Matt. 24:36)
It seems to hinge on pride. Pride that one is able to fathom the unfathomable; pride to know that which others do not know and feeling that one may be closer to God than others. Every spiritually gifted person wants to feel that he is getting a message from God and is receiving a special revelation that is peculiarly theirs but false prophets and false Christs would appear again and again according to Jesus’ own words (Matt. 24:24).
Songs fill the airwaves with people wanting to change the world or make it a better place. Song phrases that come to mind: “Everybody wants to rule the world” and The Beatle’s “Revolution” which quipped, “we all want the change the world”. Everyone wants to make their mark on society and among religious folk, so many want to be the new prophet or the new Moses. Zealotry makes people strive to be more than they really are and to do more than they really are called to do. Does God really want you to lead a band of believers into the desert only to starve to death? Does God really want you to lead a band of disciples to Guyana to eventually drink poisoned Kool-Aid? Does He really?
Deut. 18:22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.
Ezekiel 13:3 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!
May we all learn something from the overzealous.