Buried more than 150 feet below the Swiss and French countryside, on September 10 a monstrous machine rumbled to life. This is the world's biggest and most advanced scientific instrument, supported by more than eight thousand physicists from over eighty-five countries. It is also a machine that some scientists fear may destroy the world.
This massive machine is the Large Hadron Collider. During operations, the LHC is super-cooled to minus 455 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, giant magnets accelerate particles around a 17 mile long circular tunnel at near the speed of light. One day, scientists hope to use the LHC to smash opposing particle beams with such force that new types of matter may be briefly produced and studied. The purpose is to test physics theories and to attempt to recreate conditions that existed just after the creation of the universe.
On September 19, during final testing of its electrical circuits, one of the LHC's superconducting magnets unexpectedly failed. More than a ton of liquid helium leaked into the tunnel and the machine was brought to an emergency shutdown. Tests, repairs and re-start will postpone full operations into 2009, at which time efforts to smash opposing particle streams will resume (BBCNews, September 20, 2008). And at that time, some people will again fear the earth's utter annihilation.
Some scientists believe the LHC will create small, stable black holes or dangerous stranglets, and have filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights attempting to stop the LHC's full operations (CNET News, September 20, 2008). According to some scientists, when the collider begins high energy impacts, a stable black hole could be created that could rapidly consume the entire earth. Others fear that stranglets could be released that would devour the planet, turning the earth and every living creature into a massive molten glob of featureless, hot matter (The Independent, September 7, 2008).
Just as we saw with the disastrous liquid helium leak, accidents may happen, but thankfully we can be absolutely reassured that the Large Hadron Collider will not destroy the earth.
End of the world predictions have long been made, and have long been proven false. From the 19th century preacher William Miller who predicted the end to be October 22, 1844 to the thousands of Russians who burned themselves to death for fear of the antichrist and the end of the world between 1669 and 1690, to German emperor Otto the Great's fear that an eclipse portended the end of the world in 968, history is littered by these false predictions.
If and when the Large Hadron Collider fully powers up and smashes opposing particle streams, the world will not end. However, the end of the age and Christ's return will happen, and God's faithful Church will continue to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God, to warn and witness right up to that time (Matthew 24:14).
When the disciples asked Jesus about the end of the age, Christ replied with a number of events that would take place first. For example, Matthew 24:7-22 describes massive, global warfare, unparalleled pestilence, worldwide famine, unprecedented earthquakes, the Abomination of Desolation and "Great Tribulation" such as has never been seen before. Then, verse 29 describes awesome cosmic signs announcing the Day of the Lord and Christ's return as King of kings. The chapter concludes by warning us to be vigilant and sober, doing Christ's work.
Only those watching, praying and doing Christ's work are promised to escape these terrible events (Luke 21:36).
For an in-depth study on how end-time prophecy is unfolding, what you should be doing, and what the coming years hold, please read online or request our free booklet, Armageddon and Beyond, by Mr. Richard Ames.
Be careful of those who set dates for Christ's return (Matthew 24:36). But also be careful not to be a "scoffer," such as Peter warned about, claiming there is no Second Coming (2 Peter 3:3-4). The Bible is clear, Christ will return to reign on earth and the signs of His imminent return are given for our instruction (1 Thes 5:1-4).