Main Point of Discussion: Even though 2012 is a talked-about date as a potential end of the world, we should consider what Jesus says about it.
The Movie Clip: Escape LA
2012 is a 2009 disaster film about the prediction of the end of the world based on the end of the Mayan calendar coming true. The plotline states: “Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. A global cataclysm brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.”
Introducing the Clip:
Today I want to show you a clip from the movie 2012. This scene depicts the escape of the main characters from a world-wide disaster that begins in Los Angeles. As you watch it, try to put yourself into their situation to determine how you would feel and react.
(This clip is available from WingClips.com. It is one of their “Select” titles which requires a small fee in order to use the clip.)
The 2012 rumors have been floating around for quite some time, and obviously this film is playing on our culture’s fascination with how the world will end. But did you know that long before the 2012 buzz ever started, there was another account about the end of life as we know it? The information doesn’t come from the Mayans; it’s from the most trustworthy source on the planet.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, tell everyone your name and what you think about the 2012 rumors?
- ASK A FEW: Does the end of a calendar absolutely indicate the end of the world? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Are there other legitimate predictions about the end of the world that you know of? If so, what are they?
- ASK A FEW: In the scene we just watched, they were clearly pointing out that the government was hiding the truth? Do you think that happens in real life? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: What kinds of emotions would you have gone through if you were that family?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think the survivors were so motivated to keep going in the midst of global destruction?
- ASK A FEW: What difference did being prepared make for that family?
Read the following passages:
Matthew 24:1-8 and 36 and 42-44 NLT
As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
The end of the world and the return of Christ is an event which will be a tragedy to those who spent their entire lives rejecting Him, but it will also be a day of incredible joy for those who trusted in Him. The really amazing thing is that when Jesus comes back it will be a day of great reunion for those who have lost loved ones who knew Jesus. It will also be the final end of death for all Christians at that time. Here's what the Bible says about the subject:
(I Thessalonians 4:16-18)Paul tells us in these verses that we should “encourage each other” with the hope that this truth brings. One day Jesus will come back and set everything straight. Instead of letting the 2012 fear take hold in your heart, take some time this week to reflect with gratitude and anticipation that God is truly in control and has our best interests in mind.
Allow students a few minutes to think of how they can “keep watch” for Christ’s return and be ready for the real end of time.
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.