Expectant Religion

So …

ARE YOU READY?

There are some who claim that Jesus Christ is returning about 24 hours from the time I type this to rapture His Church. Family Radio (not Family Life Radio, mind you), founded and run by Harold Camping, is the entity putting forth this information.

Of course, going against them is Jesus’ own words in Matthew 24:36: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

A note in the NIV says that some manuscripts do not have “nor the Son,” but that does not change my next point.

They could be right.

A friend and I agree they could, in fact, be right, but it would be ironically funny if God used someone who has been wrong before about the date of Christ’s return. It would also be sad since part of the claim is that many who live relatively righteous lives but follow two false teachings from their churches – confessing members are safe and that no man can know the day or hour – are doomed. It is also sad in that we know all people who do not attend church or believe in Jesus Christ, which is about two-thirds of the planet’s population, are doomed. I am not arguing those numbers.

However, I have heard some great teachings about this that make quite a bit of sense.

God has not revealed the day or hour of the end, because He wants us to work hard the whole time until the end. See the parable of the ten virgins, for example.

God has not revealed the day or hour of the end, because He knows most people would have sat back until the last few days or even moments doing whatever they like. If most of us know the time something is going to happen, we tend to not worry about that event until we need to. See the parable of the talents, specifically the last guy given one talent. He did not do anything wrong, per se, but he did not do anything right, either.

Between Jesus telling us no one knows (other than God) and these parables, it seems rather clear to me that we cannot know the day or hour.

What Harold Camping and his followers got right

I am going to go out on a limb and say that these people have it wrong. Tomorrow is not the day of the Rapture.

What they have right is that they have been living their lives attempting to win over as many people as possible. They have attempted to warn everyone. They have tried to bring as many as possible into the loving fold of God’s mighty hand.

They have lived expecting Christ to return soon!

The early Church lived this way. There are some people living this way today. How do we know we have not been doing our job?

Europe used to be almost entirely Christian. The United States of America was founded on biblical principles, yet less than half of us attend church regularly if at all. Most people I know say they believe that Jesus is returning, yet the vast majority of them know little to nothing about what the Bible says about it.

Harold Camping has gotten people to get excited about winning people over for the Lord, and many of us sit and debate about why he is wrong or right or how it will happen. This is not bad in and of itself, but it is wrong when most people do not reach out to others with our knowledge.

I am not saying everyone needs to become biblical scholars. I am saying we need to find that love for God and others that we evidently lack. I know I am personally lacking!

What do you think? Are we within a day of seeing Christ’s return, or are we within 36 hours of knowing we do not know? How are we doing as the Church? Am I way off base, or do we seriously need to work on our relationship with God?

  1. Events like this are definitely fodder for the masses, but you do bring up some excellent points. I think it is great to try to win someone to Jesus Christ, however, if your motivation is based off the predictions of false prophets and lies…what kind of salvation can this produce? What happens when the predictions and lies don’t pan out? I have always stated that I’m not a big fan of salvation experiences based solely on fear- because it usually produces weak emaciated Christians. But this is a whole other subject.

    April 21st will come and go without any mass exodus.(crap did I just make a prediction?-God forbid!) I cannot speak for the church as a whole, but I think the ones that are focusing only on the return of Jesus and not going about the work…are missing the boat.

    Blessings to you Daniel!

    • It would be sad if you were wrong in your prediction! Unless you were wrong and raptured, then I am sure you would not mind!

      What do you mean lies?! It is science!

      I actually pretty much voiced your concerns in my Modern Theology class I just started this week. We have been discussing the effect of the Enlightenment on Orthodoxy, the rise of fundamentalism and liberalism, and what elements of these we see today. I had my first post this week written before I started the class with the plan of getting to this post about tomorrow’s rapture event.

      Man. God made me so amazing! :p

      • If I would Herold Camping I would use the below reasons/justification for my failed prediction:

        1) “The World DID End, but Satan hath sent you Strong Delusion that you should believe The Lie.”

        2) “Anyone can make a mistake. Be glad I did!”

  2. Mark :
    If I *WERE* Herold Camping I would use the below reasons/justification for my failed prediction:
    1) “The World DID End, but Satan hath sent you Strong Delusion that you should believe The Lie.”
    2) “Anyone can make a mistake. Be glad I did!”

    Had to correct the typo:->

    • I knew what you meant!

      It makes you wonder how someone can persist in what they are doing when there is so much evidence (including the Bible and the Church) contradicting their stance. It also makes you wonder how people can still follow. The Millerites in the 1800’s did this until the last prediction, then many of them wrote William Miller off as crazy (sadly it took several failed predictions).

    • win.

      One of my friends on Facebook commented on a sarcastic status I had about the world ending on Saturday. She said something like:
      “The family of the false-predicter were trying to console him over the mistake he had made. They were heard saying, “Relax, Harold… it’s not the end of the world.” :]

  3. The problem I have with people like this (Harold), is that they make a mockery out of God and His Word.
    I’ve have heard SO many conversations at work this morning about how this whole “end of the world” stuff is such a joke. Then they bring in other aspects of Christianity and mock and desregard them as well.
    I wish “Christians” would just shut their mouths about things they know nothing about and believe the Bible. When God says no man knows the day OR the hour, and then you go and predict “both” — well, you’re a moron (Harold, not you).

    • Yeah, I was starting to get offended! ;P

      I quite agree. The sad thing is that they think they know these things about the Bible, and most of the time they are so convinced of this that failure does convict or disway them. Instead they keep plugging away attempting to find out where they went wrong, perhaps what sin they have committed, but all the while they discount the one thing that is true: they do not really know.

      I have been there. I know this to be frequently true. I am probably still doing this kind of thing in some areas of my life! You will have to catch my next post (to be titled “Balancing Our Prophet Deficit”) in which I address how to deal with false prophets such as these.

      The positive, again, is that we are able to talk with people about Christian things, but it is over-shadowed with their thoughts of “more proof that religion is stupid.”

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