It’s almost here.

"What?" someone asks.

"Christmas?"

No. You know: The end of the world.

At least that’s what the Mayan calendar is predicting according to experts. But, as we all know, there have always been those who’ve predicted the world will end on a certain date — and they’ve all been wrong. Every last one of them.

But, for the sake of discussion, what if the Mayan prediction is true?

If we all knew the world would be ending some 16 days from now, what would you do between now and then? What changes would you make in your lifestyle? What "unfinished business" in relationships would you seek to make right before the Midnight Hour arrives?

Interesting questions, aren’t they?

Most assuredly they are — and questions that should cause us to sit up and take notice.

I still remember way back in 1988 when a guy from England, Ark., wrote a book entitled 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988. As we know, he was wrong.

Likewise, while serving as missionaries in the Philippines from 1989-99, there was a doomsday prophet up in Japan (or was it Korea) who predicted the world would end on a certain date. Again, he like all others was wrong. Dead wrong.

But, what’s been interesting in all of this is folks’ reactions to such prophecies. Some folks begin to panic and start selling everything. Other folks begin working overtime, trying to save as much as they can — why, I don’t know, for they certainly can’t take it with them.

And, then there are those who look forward to the day, thankful that they’re finally going to be whisked out of this ‘ole world. Reminds me of the story of a group of "faithful fanatics" who began counting down the days until "The End."

When the Day finally arrived, they all gathered together for a time of prayer and singing in their local worship center. As the darkness gathered, they all changed into gleaming white robes in preparation for the Midnight Exodus.

Around 11 p.m. they went out to the tallest haystack on a nearby farm and all of them climbed up to the top to await the Rapture. However, as the minutes passed each one of them drifted off to sleep. And, around 11:50 some mischievous teenagers set the haystack afire.

Suddenly, right at the stroke of midnight, the group’s members awoke from their dead sleep and began screaming, "I’ve gone to the wrong place!!"

While humorous, the fact remains that there are many who are easily led astray by such Doomsday prophecies. And, just as sad are those who live for here-and-now with nary a thought of Eternity and the importance of being ready to meet their Maker.

But, oh, dear Reader, the Bible is very clear when it says "It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the Judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Notice that it says nothing about multiple opportunities to get it right through reincarnation. And, it also says there will be a Day of Reckoning for each one of us after our time here on earth is ended.

The question is "Will you be ready?"

If the Mayan calendar is right and the world ends on Dec. 21, will you be ready? You can say "Well, I don’t believe in all that ‘life after death’ stuff. I believe Heaven and Hell are what you make of it here on earth. And, when you’re dead, you’re dead. End of story."

But, what if God’s Word is right and you’re wrong?

What are you going to do?

Better to get ready now by coming the way God prescribes (John 3:16; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:9-10, 13; Ephesians 2:8-9). That way you don’t worry about when the end of the world will be—for you’ll not be here. You’ll be safely with the One Who loved you enough to die for you on the Cross and then arose from the dead so you’d never have to fear death or anything else (Heb. 2:14-15; II Timothy 1:7). Amen and amen. God bless you.

To contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled "Morning Manna," write him at P.O. Box 582, Coushatta, La., 71019 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com.