Tag Archives: May 21st

Is that the sound of trumpets I hear?

So, it’s May 21st and as I am 8 hours ahead of any of you in the states who might be reading this, I want you to know that the rapture hasn’t taken me yet. There aren’t too many Christians in this part of the world, though, so I guess if I got left behind I might not be able to tell that anything was different. So, if people start being transformed in the twinkling of an eye over on your side of the planet, be sure and send me word. That is, if you’re one of those heathens who get left behind with me.

If you read my last post on the subject, you will know that I’m not too worried about that happening. There are, however, some things that I am worried about in regards to the message that Camping is preaching. My first concern is for those unfortunate souls who have bought into his message. Some have taken irreversible steps (such as spending their life savings) and are going to be very disappointed when the Sun comes up May 22nd. It is my hope that none of these people, in the midst of realizing they have been deceived, do anything to hurt themselves (they wouldn’t be the first). If anyone tries to take his own life do to his disillusionment, then Harold Camping will not only have to answer for his false teaching but also for the blood on his hands.

It is my prayer that no one falls into that trap by the enemy but there is another trap that I’m afraid many will fall into. Plastered on all of the billboards and in the newspaper ads is a golden seal of approval declaring “The Bible Guarantees It!”, when, of course, the Bible guarantees no such thing. Once the new day dawns and this prediction is shown to be false, it will be very easy for those who had been deceived to want nothing to do with the Bible at all. It will also make it easier for those who are not Christians to mock the faith of genuine believers and dismiss it all as foolishness.

False predictions like this one only serve to obscure the very real truth that Jesus is returning. Jesus speaks of his second coming on a number of occasions (Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, John 14:1-3) and warns us that we should be ready for that day. The apostles also attested to the fact that he will be returning (1 Cor. 11:26, Col. 3:4, Heb. 9:28, 1 John 3:2). The Church Fathers thought the doctrine important enough to be included in the creeds, “from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead”. It is a teaching fundamental to the Christian faith.

This is a day that we, as followers of Christ, should look forward to with great hope and joy. All the promises that the Lord has made throughout all time will be fulfilled on that day. We are told that on that day we “will appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4) and that “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2). On that day He will set all wrongs to right, He will wipe away every tear and He will establish righteousness and justice over all the Earth. It will be a day when God restores all things from the curse (Rom. 8:21) and reconciles all things to Himself (Col. 1:20).

Living with the promise of His coming in mind ought to transform the way you live and the things that you value. Sufferings are lighter as we find comfort in the truth that “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

If we live with eternity in mind, eternity will transform our heart.

Less than a week till Judgment Day

May 21, 2011 – it’s all gunna’ end. Or so says Harold Camping.

You have probably seen the internet ads, the billboards, the news stories about the vans driving around the country, or maybe you’ve even talked with someone who is convinced that May 21, 2011 is the end of the world.

Harold Camping is a radio broadcaster and president of Family Radio (not the be confused with American Family Radio). He has been preaching for a long time now that the world is going to end and that he knows when. He has come to this conclusion by studying the Bible and applying a numerological system that interprets certain numbers as having a prophetic significance. He calculates these numbers in an equation he has devised and the outcome is that the end of the world is 6 days from now.

Now, I could discuss Matt. 24:36 (or Mark 13:32 or Acts 1:7 or 1 Thes. 5:2) where Jesus says that no man knows the day or hour of His coming. I could also site numerous examples of people who think they know better than Jesus, who try to predict the date of His coming and have been proven wrong (including Camping himself). But I would really like to focus on something else. Love.

What do you think motivates people to not only travel around the U.S. in vans but travel all over the world putting up billboards? And those billboards aren’t cheap. One man spent $140,000, his entire retirement savings, on signs of various kinds in order to warn people. Why would they do something like this with what they believe to be the last remaining months and weeks of their earthly lives?

Their actions are a direct reflection of their beliefs and a strong sense of love and concern for those who don’t yet know Jesus. The fact that they are mistaken shouldn’t also make us dismiss them as crazy. They’re not crazy, just misinformed (well, Camping might be crazy). Think of it this way, if you were absolutely convinced that the building you were in was on fire, then the most loving thing you could do is to tell as many other people in the building as you can of the danger that they are in.

This applies not just to physical danger but to moral danger as well. If we believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, then to warn someone against doing the things it calls sin is the most loving thing that we can do for that person. It doesn’t matter how much they love their sin or call it a part of who they are. Statements like these only reinforce their need for repentance. Some complain that to tell someone of their sin is to be judgmental but this is not true. Was Jesus being unloving when He said “Repent or you shall perish”? He knew the danger that His listeners were in if they did not repent and believe in the Gospel and it was love that compelled Him to speak. The situation is no different for us. If we believe what is revealed in the Bible then love will compel us to teach those truths to our neighbor. If we believe that “the wages of sin is death” then love will compel us to tell people that “the free gift of God is eternal life”.

Don’t misunderstand me, Camping and his followers are seriously off base in thinking they can know when the world will end. And false predictions of a specific date of Christ’s return tend to desensitize people to the very real truth that He is returning. But for all their faults, I still have to admire their willingness to suffer hardships and mockery for the message they preach. On that point, we would do well to learn from their example.