A popular movie a few years ago dramatized the notion that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012. Like the vague writings of Nostradamus, however, the Mayan calendar threat has been exaggerated and mythologized beyond anything credible. Could the world end in 2012? Absolutely! If it should, however, it will be due to the will of God and the readiness of Christ to return in the clouds, according to the plan revealed in the New Testament, and only coincident to the Mayans’ dayplanner. Predicting the end of the world seems almost as old as the world itself, as we will learn from our study in the book of Revelation, set to begin this afternoon at 5:00. This thirty-part series of lessons will continue with only rare interruptions on Sunday afternoons for the next several months. In it, we will learn how first-century Christians could have anticipated relief from their struggles, but not necessarily through the conquest of their enemies or the immediate return of the savior. Like them, we must be patient and redeem the time, for we know not at what hour our master will return to require of us an accounting of how we lived our lives and used our talents.