It’s May 21, 2011. The end of the world was supposed to start today. Someone forgot to tell God.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, here’s the short version. Several years ago, a man named Harold Camping made a prediction that Judgment Day would start on May 21, 2011 with the Rapture of believers. The world would then be judged over the course of the next five months, when, God would finally just say that He’s had it and destroy the whole planet.
Well, since I’m here to write this, and since there’s no major earthquakes happening anywhere in the world at this moment, it is safe to say that Mr. Camping was wrong, yet again. I don’t feel sorry for him; I feel sorry for all those who believed him. You see, he’s made predictions before and gullible people keep buying into it and sending money to his ministry. Over the course of the last few years, Family Radio has raised about $100 million off of the fears of these people.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a Bible believing Evangelical Christian. I do believe in the Rapture and in a literal tribulation, culminating in the literal return of Jesus Christ to rule from David’s throne for a thousand years. I also believe that we don’t know when this is going to happen. We are told to live our lives in expectation of Christ’s return at any moment, but also to live as if His coming is way past our natural life span.
Harold Camping isn’t alone. Over the course of history, there have been many such predictions. Some of the predictions were made by charlatans, but most were made by sincere individuals who really believed what they were saying. Surely by now one would think they’d learn their lesson. They should stick to more ambiguous words like “soon” to describe Jesus’ coming instead of trying to divine from codes or some other such logical construct information from the Bible that just wasn’t provided. To do anything differently, like Mr. Camping has done, makes all Christians look like idiots for their beliefs.
The liberal, secular world already consider Evangelicals to be fools, so it’s horrible when someone adds fuel to the fire and cause atheists from around the world to have parties to mock believers and the believers’ God. Those people already hate people of faith, so things like this make it easier for them to claim how “right” they are about this and about the existence of God. Preachers and teachers should know better.
If they don’t, let this serve to remind them. Isaiah 55:8-9 puts it like this:
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
In other words, these people in authority need to quit trying to guess what God’s going to do because God’s thoughts are so far beyond us that we, as human beings, can never come close to grasping them.
For the rest of us out there, it’s imperative that we not get caught up in the hype of some person’s theory. Now that Camping has been proven wrong (again), another person will spring up with a new date. Some, actually, already have, but they’re much more obscure and less reported on individuals and dates. Next year, 2012, will also be chalk full of dates, some already known, some to be revealed soon. True believers need to stay grounded and stay true to our beliefs.
One day, this world will end. We don’t know when. We can’t know when. The only thing scripture is clear on is that we will know the season by the signs. This is the season, but no one knows how long this season is. The job of believers is to work while it’s day (John 9:4). That means we are to be occupiers of this world, spreading the Good News until the day he calls us home, either individually or collectively.
Until that happens, each of us has a life to live and things to do while we’re here. Let’s live each day like it’s our last but also plan on being around for each and every day after that.