Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 12 Page 16 December 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Why 2K?

By Steve Higginbotham

I’m sure all of you by now have heard of the phrase “Y2K” and by now are acquainted with its meaning.  However, there may be some who still don’t know what this “Y2K” thing is all about, so let me briefly explain.  “Y2K” is an abbreviation for “Year Two Thousand.”

As we anticipate the arrival of the year 2000 (Y2K), there have been many technical concerns.  You see, there were many software programs developed that weren’t designed to work beyond December 31, 1999.  Of course, in our highly computerized society, this “glitch” had the potential to wreak havoc in our society.

But this article isn’t about fixing a software problem, but is about the millennium mania we have been witnessing and hearing.  Well-meaning, but misguided people are warning us that the “time of the end” is near.  We’re being told that it is very likely that with the coming of the year 2000, human history will come to an end.  We’re being told that the Lord’s return is imminent and that the year 2000 marks the date.

In response to all these statements, I simply ask the question, “Why 2K?” or “Why the year 2000 (Y2K)?”

Friends, concerning the return of the Lord, Jesus said that no one knew, himself included, but only the Father in heaven (Matthew 24:36).  Furthermore, Jesus taught that we should “watch for you do not know the day or the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13).  And again, the apostle Peter stated that the day of the Lord will come as a “thief in the night” (2 Peter 3:10).  From a biblical standpoint, attempting to set the Lord’s return at the year 2000 (Y2K) is totally unwarranted from the evidence.  Unless we know more than the Lord himself, we have no way of knowing anything about the time of the Lord’s return.

But there is another matter to consider for those who are proclaiming the end in the year 2000 (Y2K).  The year 2000 has actually already come and gone!  For five centuries after Jesus was born, most of the world followed the Roman calendar.  Then in 532 A.D., a Scythian monk by the name of Dionysius calculated that Jesus was born in the year 754 (according to the Roman calendar).  He then adjusted the calendar to begin with this date.  The years before Jesus were counted backwards (B.C. – Before Christ) and those after were counted forward (A.D. – Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of our Lord”).  Well, to make a long and very complicated story short, Dionysius made a 4 to possibly 6 year mistake in his calculations.  Thus, if there were really anything truly significant about the year 2000 (Y2K), it would have occurred in 1996 or possibly a little earlier!

Friends, be careful you don’t get caught up in this date-setting frame of mind.  Were you aware that at the turn of the first millennium, people made the same sort of predictions, only to be proven wrong?  Rest in this fact:  The Lord is coming again.  Concerning the time and the date, we have no idea.  Therefore, we should take the Lord’s advice and “Be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44).  In light of the Scripture’s teaching concerning the return of the Lord and the end of time, the arbitrary selection by some of “Y2K” prompts me to ask, “Why 2K?”

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