Many modern Western thinkers of a secularistic persuasion (such as Spengler, Wells, Huxley, Orwell, Vacca, Drucker, Stent, Cornuelle, Toffler, Kahn, Wiener and many others) —
have sensed the coming of a new age at or around the end of the twentieth century.3 There have been significant world events at the sunset of the twentieth and the rise of the twenty-first century – at the end of the second and the start of the third Christian millennium to which the famous Neo-Puritan Arthur W. Pink referred above.
Here one thinks of the A.D. 2000 Y2K computer breakdown scare; the decline of the West; the rise of the East; the machinations of the Papacy; and the Worldwide advances of militant Islam. One thinks too of repeated tsunamis; planetary hydrology; the severe international financial crises; and the increasing problems of global warming.
Significantly, also the Christian Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments too contain some allusions to the importance of this same general period in the history of our World. So it may be profitable here to write down some thoughts about the significance of the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century A.D., according to the Bible. On this important matter, then (cf. Romans 4:3) – ‘what says the Scripture?’
Many intricate series of numbers have been imbedded into the very fabric of Holy Scripture by the Holy Spirit Himself. This has been quite adequately proven by authorities as diverse from one another as the celebrated British Theologian Ethelbert W. Bullinger and the great Russian Mathematician Dr. Ivan Panin.4
Biblical numbers sometimes have predictive significance in respect of future events. This can be established from the Bible itself,5 and especially from its books of Daniel and Revelation. And this can also be seen from any Christian Bible Commentary — irrespective of whether written from a classic Dispensationalist, a classic Premillennialist, a classic Amillennialist, or a classic Postmillennial perspective.6
The Biblical descriptions regarding the time of fulfilment of future events in general and of Christ’s second coming in particular, are clothed in mystery. Indeed – as is the very nature of predictions destined for yet-future fulfilments – they cannot be pinpointed to hour-and-day or even to year-and-decade realizations.7
Yet, when taken cumulatively, these various predictions do suggest that something very significant in the unfolding of God’s eternal counsel for this World of ours may well be about to occur in our own day. For Holy Scripture seems to indicate that something important can be expected to take place around the end of our twentieth century or after the close of this second millennium A.D.
All the various Christian schools of prophecy are aware of the gravity of the days in which we are presently living. The classic Dispensationalists are expecting the rapture. The classic Premillennialists are anticipating great apostasy.
The classic Amillennialists look forward to Christ’s soon coming again in final judgment. And classic Postmillennialists patiently await and work for the exhaustion of the power of Antichrist, the completion of the evangelization of the World, and the expansion in much greater strength than heretofore of the already-principially-commenced Kingdom of God here on Earth – ultimately to be followed by Christ’s second coming in final judgment.8
Differing from one another as to the next event expected, all of these various Christian eschatologies are in remarkable general agreement with one another as to the approximate date concerned. Hence, all are agreed that something really momentous is probably about to happen around the close of our present age and at or after the beginning of the next millennium.