Anxieties drive people to read biblical prophecies as if they were guidebooks to contemporary events. We have an innate apocalyptic impulse and a desire to know the future. It gives us a false sense of security that helps us cope with mystery. We should look at biblical prophecies as revealing God’s ideal realities, foreshadowing judgment, trials, and deliverances that are ultimately in store for this world. The attacks on and since September 11 add to a long line of evil and tragic events that have happened in this age. But I would caution against viewing this as a way to forecast Armaggedon.
Predicting the return of Christ, or events associated with it, is doomed to failure, as Jesus Himself taught that this was not for us to know (Matt. 24:36). Americans may see a doomsday scenario because the attacks happened on our soil. But earlier this year an earthquake in India killed twenty thousand people and hardly anyone then talked about that event pointing to the end of the world.