So if you’ve been keeping up with the news about how the end of the world was supposed to be last Saturday…you might be laughing that I’ve waited until now to talk about this.
I think mostly I just have been at loss of time to address Harold Camping and Family Radio. I first learned of this prediction while I was going to the mall here in Portland. The people who were supporting this movement told me there is sufficient evidence from the Bible for this. At the time I was taking two particularly interesting courses: Eschatology, and Old Testament prophetic literature. Both of these issues address “end of the world” stuff from the Bible and also how Christians in the past and present have predicted how Jesus’ return would happen.
I gather that many people who have bought into Camping’s scheme have lost more than their bank accounts and jobs and that his views may effect others who are believers and those who are not.
Matthew 24:36 has been a verse that the opposition of Camping’s view have been bringing up week after week of hearing his predictions. All of this to say…how should we live in light of the fact of Christ’s eventual return? Should we even be worried about having an idea of when it might happen?
First, I think that knowledge that God loves the world and that there will be an eternity beyond this earth should push us into action to show God’s love to people and share his message of hope. The Bible, yes even the apocolyptic and prophetic literature, is written as a message of hope for believers to trust in Him in the uncertainty that we live in on earth. Having a healthy view that the Kingdom of God is here and not-yet through the work of the Holy Spirit is certainly important because if we spend all our time focusing on being “rapture ready” and saving people from doom then we are not living out a hopeful lifestyle of the Gospel to the world that everyone in Christ is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and that on a large scale God is going to redeem and renew creation at the advent of the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21).
Lastly, should we be concerned with the timing Jesus’ rapture and “end times” events? Yes and No. Yes we should be concerned with having our lives ready and in service to Christ at his coming, unless we die before that happens. No, we should not be worried about when these events will actually take place because God is sovereign over history and we can trust that he has everything placed for a time and a season.
I was reading Relevant Magazine and found an article entitled “A Disappointing End of the World” by Jo Hilder and I want to share her conclusion here:
Post-unapocalypse, if He were here, what would the Jesus of Christianity do now? I believe He’ll be doing exactly what He has been all along; inspiring and teaching people through the Scriptures and by His Spirit to love and serve their neighbor as themselves; feed the hungry, provide for orphans and widows in their distress, house the homeless, mourn with those who mourn, weep with those who weep, set the captives free and preach the good news of the gospel. If there is a lesson to be learned, perhaps it’s that generally Christians would do well to be less concerned with an imminent return of Christ, and more concerned what what we are doing to facilitate Christ’s love and His message on earth, in the here and the now.