By Brian Richard

September 23 is quickly approaching! Is anyone in your church panicking about the supposed prophetic event that will take place that day? You may be surprised to find that some people in your congregation are worried, because a great many self-anointed “prophets” have been proclaiming that the end of the world is just a few months away.

Many websites and videos are promoting what is being hyped as the biggest prophetic event in 2,000 years: the fulfillment of a sign in Revelation 12:1–2. According to some astronomers, on September 23, 2017, the sun will be in the constellation Virgo (“a woman clothed with the sun,” v. 1). The moon will be at the feet of Virgo (“with the moon under her feet,” v. 1). The nine stars of the zodiac constellation Leo, plus the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars, will be at the head of Virgo (“and on her head a garland of twelve stars,” v. 1). The planet Jupiter will be in the center of Virgo, and as the weeks pass after September 23, Jupiter will exit Virgo to the east, past her feet (“being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth,” v. 2). Jupiter is the largest of the planets, the “king” (“she bore a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron,” v. 5).

Many so-called prophecy experts have concluded that this celestial super sign fits the requirements of Revelation 12, indicating, they say, that the rapture of the church will occur on or near September 23, 2017. While it’s not surprising that this prediction has thrown Biblically illiterate people into a frenzy, what is shocking is that people from conservative, Bible-­believing churches—who should know better—have bought into the hype as well!