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.”