Many are convinced that today, May 21, 2011, will be the end of the world.
Basing predictions on archaic math, a particular Christian sect has pinpointed this date as the day when the biblical rapture will take place. Across the country, opinions on this topic range from it being a baseless prediction to fear that extremists might take their own lives prior to anything actually occuring.
Roswell Patch recently asked locals at the Starbucks on Holcomb Bridge for their thoughts. Several residents chimed in on the topic and the thoughts are divisive.
"No one can say the exact date that the world will end,” said Roswell resident Michelle Robinson. “This is hypocrisy at it’s best.”
"There is a time when we have to confess our sins. I believe in the rapture. I know our time is up, “ said Mark Jordan, who also lives in Roswell. "Anyone who can’t see that all that is happening in the world doesn’t mean our time, is up is crazy."
Jordan was referring to the historic floods of the Mississippi River over the past weeks. He also pointed to the earthquakes and storms that have plagued the world recently.
“I am 68 and I am seeing more disasters and heartache than you will probably ever see,” he said.
“It’s not as simple as that. People are afraid of this day because they haven’t been living right,” said Joice Scott. "No one knows the date. You must confess your sins, honestly. You can not just say it. You must believe.”
George Butler said that those in fear have committed sins and deserve to be afraid.
“Only those that have sinned are going to be left behind,” Butler said.
Christian leaders in the Roswell community agree too many are focused on the end of the world, instead they say people should take more comfort in focusing on improving their lives today.
“No one can predict the exact day and time to the end of the world," says Dr. Mike Long, of Roswell United Methodist Church.
He points to the Bible's book of Mathew, chapter 24, as the reason. Long notes further that the Bible said Jesus told his followers that even He did not know the day of the rapture.
“There is not a secret code to use to determine the date of the rapture,” he said. “Jesus does not have access to that knowledge so how can we. Sometimes people misuse the Bible and fail to study it.”
Melloniee Jackson pointed to media as one reason so much hype is made over these types of predictions.
“Without faith, you can worry your head off,” she said.
Spiritual Life Pastor Matt Farlow at Fellowship Bible Church added to the discussion, saying people should rely on their faith. Whether they disagree or agree with the prediction, everyone should focus on what is truly important by taking care of their own homes, family and friends.
“Christ is not to fear. He eargerly awaits our arrival,” he said. “We should not be afraid.”