There is a strain of apocalyptic doom in all of Christianity. Both Old and New Testaments encourage readers to pay attention to the world around them and to be alert for signs of divine activity, especially for the time of God’s coming judgment. The Apostle Paul warned that “the Lord will come like a thief in the night” and that Christians must be “alert and sober.” While expressly forbidding his disciples to wait on the end times, Jesus, in his great eschatological discourse in the Gospel of Mark, told his disciples: “Be on guard. Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”
On April 13, 2029, a 370-meter wide asteroid formally known as 99942 Apophis will pass by Earth at a distance of about 19,000 miles. While 19,000 miles sounds like a long way away, in astronomical terms it’s actually the equivalent of having a bullet whiz by your ear. There are man-made satellites that orbit farther from Earth. Even scarier, it was initially believed there was a slight chance Apophis could strike the Earth in 2036. That’s why, when the asteroid and its trajectory was discovered in 2004, scientists named it after the Egyptian god of chaos who, by the way, is also the villain in the TV series, Stargate-SG1.