Friday, May 20, 2011

Judgment Day?

There has been a lot of talk recently concerning “Judgment Day” coming on Saturday, May 21, when the rapture will supposedly occur and the world will be destroyed.  These rumors and stories have all originated from the teaching of a Mr. Harold Camping.

Mr. Camping is a Christian broadcaster and president of Colorado-based Family Radio (not the Wilmington Family Radio).  Mr. Camping is a long-time student of the bible, and seems to have a particular interest in attempting to decipher dates from the bible to uncover when the Day of the Lord will occur. Mr. Camping seems to have settled on May 21, 2011 as the “Day of the Lord.”

This is not the first time that Camping has predicted Judgment day.  Back in the 90’s, Camping predicted that the world would end in September of 1994.  When the Lord did not return on that date, Camping adjusted his prophecy (a sure sign that he is NOT a true prophet) to say that 1994 marked the “end of the church age” and that the world is now in the last days, with May 21, 2011 being the true day of judgment.

While attempting to figure out the date of Jesus return may be an interesting exercise, it is in fact a pointless exercise.  When Jesus disciples asked Him about His return, Jesus told them:

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 
-- Matt 24:36

In other words, God the Father knows the day and hour that Jesus will return, but no one else knows, including Jesus and the angels.  While Jesus did not pinpoint the date of His return, He did tell us about the signs that would lead up to His return:

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. – Matt 24:4-14

In other words, Jesus wanted us to be able to see the times and the signs to be able to understand the day in which we live.  But Jesus NEVER called us to try and pinpoint that date.  Matter of fact He was quite clear: NO ONE knows the day and hour except God the Father.

I do believe that as Christians we are called watch for the return of Christ, and we are to live our lives as if He could return at any moment.  The apostle Paul encouraged the church at Thessolonica:

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. – 1 Thess 4:13-18

So all this talk about Saturday being "Judgment Day" is nothing but speculation, and pointless in my opinion. So don't fear, and don't run up your credit card! Live for today, love God, love people, serve the Living God, and await His return.  

For more info, you can listen to my teaching series from the book of Revelation, you can start at chapter 19 which deals with the return of the Lord.

...till the whole world hears,

Pastor Clay

1 comment:

Rachel Royal Rowell said...

LOVE this post. It's the truth, spoken with authority. It's the best response to all of this nonsense I've read.