Back in the good old 1990s Conan O’Brien started a segment called “In the Year 2000.” It featured ridiculous, hilarious predictions of what would come to pass in the future. For instance, in the year 2000Ö
Bandits will attack Queen Elizabeth. To save her life she will have to call on the Knights sworn to defend her ⎯ Elton John, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney.
Pete Rose goes on national television to admit for the first time that he bet on the Reds. Not the Cincinnati Reds; he bet that the Soviets would win the Cold War.
You might roll your eyes at such idiotic musings, but this stuff kills me.
Uncertainties about the future aren’t going away. In every era, people have wondered what life would be like. In the run-up to the Millennium, Newsweek ran a cover story “Beyond 2000: America in the 21st Century.”
Looking into the future, questions were asked and predictions made about what the next millennium holds for its denizens. In an exclusive poll, the magazine featured the opinions of Americans looking ahead into the next century. Their views are interesting:
74% say the gap between rich and poor in the U.S. will be wider
48% say there will be more warfare than in the past 100 years
30% say people like themselves will have more leisure time than they do now
64% say they will have less leisure time
56% say books will still be common in 100 years
41% think books will be collectors items
51% say there will be something good on TV
45% say there will be nothing good on TV
88% think humans will travel again to the moon
64% think humans will walk on Mars
55% think we will be able to live someplace other than Earth
41% think humans will have contact with intelligent life from outer space
45% think scientists will be able to put a human mind onto a CD-ROM
72% think scientists will cure cancer
70% think scientists will cure AIDS
69% think scientists will not be able to end world hunger
Two decades into the new century, some of these predictions seem rather ambitious.
All this speculating about the future paints a picture of life going on in most ways as usual, and is eerily reminiscent of the scenario in which our Lord will come again: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matt. 24:37-39). Whatever life is like in the future, don’t ever forget to “keep watch, because you do not know on what day the Lord will come.” (24:42)