OK seriously, who's with me here (like the title says) and is tired of all the doom and gloom predictions?
The Mayans, Harold Camping and others.
Here's a list of predictions that did not come true.
About 30 CE: The Christian Scriptures (New Testament), when interpreted literally, appear to record many predictions by Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) that God's Kingdom would arrive within a very short period, or was actually in the process of arriving. For example, Jesus is recorded as saying in Matthew 16:28: "...there shall be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." In Matthew 24:34, Yeshua is recorded as saying: "...This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Since the life expectancy in those days was little over 30 years, Jesus appears to have predicted his second coming sometime during the 1st century CE. It didn't happen.
About 60 CE: Interpreting the Epistles of Paul of Tarsus literally, his writings seem to imply that Jesus would return and usher in a rapture during the lifetime of persons who were living in the middle of the 1st century.
About 90 CE: Saint Clement 1 predicted that the world end would occur at any moment.
2nd Century CE: Prophets and Prophetesses of the Montanist movement predicted that Jesus would return sometime during their lifetime and establish the New Jerusalem in the city of Pepuza in Asia Minor.
365 CE: A man by the name of Hilary of Poitiers, announced that the end would happen that year. It didn't.
375 to 400 CE: Saint Martin of Tours, a student of Hilary, was convinced that the end would happen sometime before 400 CE.
500 CE: This was the first year-with-a-nice-round-number-panic. The antipope Hippolytus and an earlier Christian academic Sextus Julius Africanus had predicted Armageddon at about this year.
968 CE: An eclipse was interpreted as a prelude to the end of the world by the army of the German emperor Otto III.
992: Good Friday coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation; this had long been believed to be the event that would bring forth the Antichrist, and thus the end-times events foretold in the book of Revelation. Records from Germany report that a new sun rose in the north and that as many as 3 suns and 3 moons were fighting. There does not appear to be independent verification of this remarkable event.
1000-JAN-1: Many Christians in Europe had predicted the end of the world on this date. As the date approached, Christian armies waged war against some of the Pagan countries in Northern Europe. The motivation was to convert them all to Christianity, by force if necessary, before Christ returned in the year 1000. Meanwhile, some Christians had given their possessions to the Church in anticipation of the end. Fortunately, the level of education was so low that many citizens were unaware of the year. They did not know enough to be afraid. Otherwise, the panic might have been far worse than it was. Unfortunately, when Jesus did not appear, the church did not return the gifts. Serious criticism of the Church followed. The Church reacted by exterminating some heretics. Agitation settled down quickly, as it later did in the year 2000.
1000-MAY: The body of Charlemagne was disinterred on Pentecost. A legend had arisen that an emperor would rise from his sleep to fight the Antichrist.
1005-1006: A terrible famine throughout Europe was seen as a sign of the nearness of the end.
1033: Some believed this to be the 1000th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus. His second coming was anticipated. Jesus' actual date of execution is unknown, but is believed to be in the range of 27 to 33 CE.
1147: Gerard of Poehlde decided that the millennium had actually started in 306 CE during Constantine's reign. Thus, the world end was expected in 1306 CE.
1179: John of Toledo predicted the end of the world during 1186. This estimate was based on the alignment of many planets.
1205: Joachim of Fiore predicted in 1190 that the Antichrist was already in the world, and that King Richard of England would defeat him. The Millennium would then begin, sometime before 1205.
1284: Pope Innocent III computed this date by adding 666 years onto the date the Islam was founded.
1346 and later: The black plague spread across Europe, killing one third of the population. This was seen as the prelude to an immediate end of the world. Unfortunately, the Christians had previously killed a many of the cats, fearing that they might be familiars of Witches. The fewer the cats, the more the rats. It was the rat fleas that spread the black plague.
1496: This was approximately 1500 years after the birth of Jesus. Some mystics in the 15th century predicted that the millennium would begin during this year.
1524: Many astrologers predicted the imminent end of the world due to a world wide flood. They obviously had not read the Genesis story of the rainbow.
1533: Melchior Hoffman predicted that Jesus' return would happen a millennium and a half after the nominal date of his execution, in 1533. The New Jerusalem was expected to be established in Strasbourg, Germany. He was arrested and died in a Strasbourg jail.
1669: The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of the world would occur in this year. 20 thousand burned themselves to death between 1669 and 1690 to protect themselves from the Antichrist.
1689: Benjamin Keach, a 17th century Baptist, predicted the end of the world for this year.
1736: British theologian and mathematician William Whitson predicted a great flood similar to Noah's for OCT-13 of this year.
1783: On JUN-08, a volcanic eruption in southern Iceland started. It pumped massive amounts of toxic dust, sulphur dioxide and fluorine into the atmosphere. Cattle died, crops failed, and about one quarter of the island's population died of starvation. By the end of June, poisonous clouds had reached England and much of Europe. Boats had to stay in harbor because they could not navigate. There was massive loss of life in England, particularly among farm workers. Many predicted that the end of the world was imminent.
1792: This was the date of the end of the world calculated by some believers in the Shaker movement.
1794: Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, thought that Doomsday would occur in this year.
1830: Margaret McDonald, a Christian prophetess, predicted that Robert Owen would be the Antichrist. Owen helped found New Harmony, IN.
1832?: Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the founder of the Church of Christ, which became the Restorationist movement after many schisms. It now includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- a.k.a. the Mormons, and about a hundred other denominations and sects. He heard a voice while praying. He wrote, in Doctrines and Covenants section 130:
14: "I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:"
15: "Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter."
16: "I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face."
17: "I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time." 14
The year in which this event occurred is not recorded. However, one commentator suggested 1832 or earlier. 16 Smith is later recorded as having said: "I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old." 17
Smith would have reached the age of 85 during 1890. Unfortunately, by that year, Smith had been dead for almost a half century, having been assassinated by a mob.
1843-MAR-21: William Miller, founder of the Millerite movement, predicted that Jesus would come on this date. A very large number of Christians accepted his prophecy.
1844-OCT-22: When Jesus did not return, Miller predicted this new date. In an event which is now called "The Great Disappointment," many Christians sold their property and possessions, quit their jobs and prepared themselves for the second coming. Nothing happened; the day came and went without incident.
1850: Ellen White, founder of the Seven Day Adventists movement, made many predictions of the timing of the end of the world. All failed. On 1850-JUN-27 she prophesied that only a few months remained before the end. She wrote: "My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' ...now time is almost finished...and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months." 10
1856 or later: At Ellen White's last prediction, she said that she was shown in a vision the fate of believers who attended the 1856 SDA conference. She wrote "I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: 'Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." 11 That is, some of the attendees would die of normal diseases; some would die from plagues at the last days, others would still be alive when Jesus came. "By the early 1900s all those who attended the conference had passed away, leaving the Church with the dilemma of trying to figure out how to explain away such a prominent prophetic failure." 12
1881: Mother Shipton, (1488 - 1561), a 16th century mystic predicted the end of the world: "...The world to an end shall come; in eighteen hundred and eighty-one."
1891 or before: On 1835-FEB-14, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, attended a meeting of church leaders. He said that the meeting had been called because God had commanded it. He announced that Jesus would return within 56 years -- i.e. before 1891-FEB-15. (History of the Church 2:182)
1914 was one of the more important estimates of the start of the war of Armageddon by the Jehovah's Witnesses (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). They based their prophecy of 1914 from prophecy in the book of Daniel, Chapter 4. The writings referred to "seven times". The WTS interpreted each "time" as equal to 360 days, giving a total of 2520 days. This was further interpreted as representing 2520 years, measured from the starting date of 607 BCE. This gave 1914 as the target date. When 1914 passed, they changed their prediction; 1914 became the year that Jesus invisibly began his rule.
1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994, etc. were other dates that the Watchtower Society (WTS) or its members predicted. Since late in the 19th century, they had taught that the "battle of the Great Day of God Almighty" (Armageddon) would happen in 1914 CE. It didn't.
The next major estimate was 1925. Watchtower magazine predicted: "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914; but it would be presumptuous on the part of any faithful follower of the Lord to assume just what the Lord is going to do during that year." 6
The Watchtower Society selected 1975 as its next main prediction. This was based on the estimate "according to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 BCE, likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation." 8 They believed that the year 1975 a promising date for the end of the world, as it was the 6,000th anniversary of Adam's creation. Exactly 1,000 years was to pass for each day of the creation week. This prophecy also failed.
The current estimate is that the end of the world as we know it will happen precisely 6000 years after the creation of Eve. 9 There is no way of knowing when this happened.
More details on the WTS predictions.
1919: Meteorologist Albert Porta predicted that the conjunction of 6 planets would generate a magnetic current that would cause the sun to explode and engulf the earth on DEC-17.
His first prediction was that the catastrophe would occur in 1994, but he later claimed a miscalculation was made and that the true Day of Judgment would occur on May 21, 2011.
Then Oct 2011 and again nothing happened
Now the Mayan prediction
It's a good news/bad news situation for believers in the 2012 Mayan apocalypse. The good news is that the Mayan "Long Count" calendar may not end on Dec. 21, 2012 (and, by extension, the world may not end along with it). The bad news for prophecy believers? If the calendar doesn't end in December 2012, no one knows when it actually will - or if it has already.
A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook "Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World" (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years. That would throw the supposed and overhyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into doubt the dates of historical Mayan events. (The doomsday worries are based on the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, much as our year ends on Dec. 31.)
The Mayan calendar was converted to today's Gregorian calendar using a calculation called the GMT constant, named for the last initials of three early Mayanist researchers. Much of the work emphasized dates recovered from colonial documents that were written in the Mayan language in the Latin alphabet, according to the chapter's author, Gerardo Aldana, University of California, Santa Barbara professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies.
Later, the GMT constant was bolstered by American linguist and anthropologist Floyd Lounsbury, who used data in the Dresden Codex Venus Table, a Mayan calendar and almanac that charts dates relative to the movements of Venus.
"He took the position that his work removed the last obstacle to fully accepting the GMT constant," Aldana said in a statement. "Others took his work even further, suggesting that he had proven the GMT constant to be correct."
But according to Aldana, Lounsbury's evidence is far from irrefutable.
"If the Venus Table cannot be used to prove the FMT as Lounsbury suggests, its acceptance depends on the reliability of the corroborating data," he said. That historical data, he said, is less reliable than the Table itself, causing the argument for the GMT constant to fall "like a stack of cards."
Aldana doesn't have any answers as to what the correct calendar conversion might be, preferring to focus on why the current interpretation may be wrong. Looks like end-of-the-world theorists may need to find another ancient calendar on which to pin their apocalyptic hopes.
So the conclusion to this end of the world stuff is this
The Bible is very clear that nobody will know when the world will end. Jesus said in Matthew 25: 13, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes." In Matthew 24:44 he says, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes." As my mother has put it, I don't know when Jesus will come, but I know when he will not come—when somebody says he will. Anytime somebody says they know when Jesus will come again is calling Jesus a liar.