Harold Camping says tomorrow, Saturday, May 21, 2011, is Judgment Day. He claims to have found some clue in Scripture that incontrovertibly reveals the end of the world will come tomorrow. Wednesday of this week Camping’s organization purchased a full page announcement in American newspapers, including "USA Today."
I put the word “Not” in the title of this blog, but more to the point, I don’t know. Actually, the Bible says “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). No one knows, not me, not Harold Camping, not scores of individuals and groups who’ve set dates in centuries past.
At the same time I don’t for a second believe Camping has found some heretofore hidden theological nugget. To believe this is to believe Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons. There are a lot of kooks out there, theologically inclined and otherwise.
But the Bible does say to anticipate the Lord’s return and all that comes with it: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). We’re supposed to be ready, to pray and prepare.
Camping’s problem is he’s gone over the top, picking a date and basking in his 15 minutes, or maybe a day, of fame. Another thing that undercuts his credibility is that his announcement proclaiming the end of the world in days also advertises his book and his website. Excuse me?
So is Christ going to return someday? Yes he is.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
When is Christ coming? Maybe tomorrow as Camping believes, maybe not for many years hence. Only God knows.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011
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