Editorial: The Year 2000

The year 2000, the dawning of a new millennium in human history, has caused many to have a far greater apprehension of the future than is normal. Because the news media thrives on sensationalism, even shock, there have been many dire predictions about what the Y2K problem will mean to this computer age. Some have called it, “The most disastrous problem modern man has ever faced.” The problem is date sensitive computer chips. As many as 25 billion embedded systems have been produced that will interpret the year 2000 as 1900. This will mean that because only two digits have been used to record the year, mountains of records will be wiped out by this mistake. The code on which society depends has been proven to be inadequate. The business world and particularly financial institutions are working feverishly to correct the problem. Predictions have included anarchy, starvation, worldwide recession, air disasters, and even accidental nuclear attacks. Religious prophets foretell everything from the collapse of civilization to the rise of the Antichrist.

Some genuine believers have taught that the seventh thousandth year of the history of the human race must be the golden age of the kingdom. Second Peter 3:8, “…one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day,” has been used to prove that there are only two thousand years between the birth of Christ and the beginning ot the kingdom age. This verse does not add up to a number of years, neither one nor two thousand. It is teaching that God is timeless. “From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God” (Psa 90:3). He neither dwells in time, nor is He affected by time. God is beyond time. He is the eternal Now.

Before we make the serious blunder of predicting prophetic events from the calendar, we need to look at our calendar. Pope Greaory introduced it in 1582. A mistake was made in calculating the date of the Lord’s birth in Bethlehem. Herod was living when Christ was born. Using our Gregorian calendar, Herod died in 4 BC at the age of 69. The enrolment by Quirinius that is described in Luke 2:2 was ordered in 8 BC. A year or more was necessary to implement it. Sir Wm. Ramsay wrote an entire book on the time when the census or enrolment took place. He proves that the Lord Jesus could not have been born later than 6 BC. This means that the year 2000 passed us by at the beginning of 1994.

The Rapture is imminent, but let us not blunder by attempting to set dates. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while and He that shall come will come and will not delay” (Heb 10:3637). If we are to understand 2 Peter 3:8-9 at all, then we must learn from it that God’s calendar is according to His own counsels and He is never late.

The patience we need as we wait for His return is taught in many Scriptures (2 Pet 3:3-9; Luke 20:9; Luke 12:45; Rom 8:25; 1 Thess 1:3; Heb 6:12 and Rev 1:9). In fact, the patience is commanded, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:7-8).

Our patience will be tested. “I John who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:9). Our patience will be rewarded, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev 3:10). “Behold He cometh.”