Does it seem like everyone is talking about the end of the world? Harold Camping predicted that judgment and the “rapture” were going to happen back in May of 2011, and when that didn’t happen he stated that the world would end on October 21st (how’d that work out for him?). Lots of folks are also talking about the “Mayan Long Count Calendar” coming to an end in December of 2012.
The important question I always try to ask and answer is, “What does the Bible say on this topic?”. First, the Bible says that “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven” (Matthew 24:36), and second, we have many parables teaching us to always be prepared (Matthew 22:1-14, 25:1-13; Luke 13:24-30).
How do you prepare? Well, going back to the Bible we learn that we prepare through our actions. Matthew 16:27 says we will be judged according to our deeds. Rev 14:13 says your works follow you, and in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus gives an explicit description of our judgment being based on our actions. People are condemned based on their actions in Rev 21:8.
What of faith? Does that save us? Yes, but faith is only the first work which must be undertaken as John 6:29 explains. Furthermore, James explains that “a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24) and continues in verse 26 “just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”