Rapture Meme

You’d think these verses would be enough to discourage anyone from being foolish enough to predict the date of Christ’s return:

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:36-44

“Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2

But alas… yet another group has set a date. Eighty-nine year old Harold Camping of familyradio.com and his small group of followers have managed to capture a well-deserved mocking media frenzy.  You can read his claims here until it’s removed out of of embarrassment or updated with some new “corrected” date.

The Bible is clear that Christ will return.  How events will actually unfold is highly debatable. Some envision all those who belong to Christ being removed (or raptured) from the earth just prior to a period the Bible calls The Tribulation.  Others expect Christians to remain present through that time.  The only thing that is absolutely certain is that at some point Christ will come and his followers will be reunited with him.   In any case, these debates are non-essential to salvation.  For now, the descriptions in scripture are just food for thought.  Well-informed, intelligent people may draw different conclusions from the text.  There’s just too much that isn’t said that we’d like to speculate on.

In my opinion, there is no benefit to obsessing over how and when Christ will return.  The information the Bible provides is useful to give us a glimpse at what is to come, and that is enough.  It’s there for completeness.  At some point, as predicted events happen, the scriptures that explain them will be seen in a much brighter light.  In context they will bring clarity to those who need it then that we do not have now.  In the meantime, it’s best to simply view prophecies with wonder, awe, and reverence.  Too much speculation just creates myth and useless arguments.

Love and truth dispel fear and ignorance.  We should aim to live in the present with an awareness that time is short.  That truth stands no matter when Christ returns.

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6 responses to “Rapture Meme

  • Ian Chai

    Amen to that! See what Jim Daly, president of Focus on th e Family, has to say about this latest prediction at http://www.focusonlinecommunities.com/blogs/Finding_Home/2011/05/19/will-the-world-end-on-saturday

    As for me, I will observe, as St. Augustine (who lived from 354AD-430AD) did, that there’re still many unreached people groups which means that according to Mark 13:10, Jesus will not come back yet.

    He wrote a lot against the idea that we should be so worried about Jesus coming at any time, because if, after some time, He doesn’t yet return, we could get discouraged. In his Epistle #199, he mentions that there are so many barbarian nations in his own continent of Africa who have not yet heard the Gospel.

    Also, in Mark 13, Jesus said “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.” Yet Christians today are so apt to immediately jump to the conclusion, “The end time is near!” whenever we hear of wars and rumours of wars.

    The fact is that there have been wars and threats of wars throughout history. Jesus was speaking specifically of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, but for some reason, some Christians keep trying to panic when they hear of wars & rumours of wars.

    However, this is no excuse for us not to be prepared. Even if Jesus’ second coming is not within our lifetime, every one of us will meet the Lord one day. You could die in a car accident today, you never know.

    So we must all be like the alert maidservants, with our lamps trimmed with oil ready for the Master’s appearance. (Matthew 25:1-13)

    • climbingupblog

      Good to hear from you, Ian. (-:

      It’s interesting that this guy predicted the rapture back in 1994 and convinced a lot of people then. A colleague of mine actually knew someone who drove himself into the ground financially thinking “it wouldn’t matter.”

      I’m utterly amazed at how many gullible people bought into this, especially considering his past failure. What’s really stunning is his radio network takes in millions of dollars in donations every year. It seems like crazy people get the most donations. What a waste.

      People need to learn from the Berean’s example.

  • Erik Martin

    Nice post, Eric.

    What really gets my dander up is Camping disavowing in the press conference any responsibility for those who did ruin themselves because they believed him. You can’t just throw something like that out there, market the heck out of it, and than deny that you did anything wrong because they were “following their own path”. A true student of the Bible would have acknowledged the error and apologized to all those he led astray. He just reeks of narcissism, masked under the guise of “knowing the will of God”.

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