I won’t lie. Yesterday, at 6:02pm PST, I looked at the clock and smiled. It’s not that I think Jesus coming back is a joke, it’s that misguided gents like Harold Camping make it increasingly difficult to take him seriously.
And while Camping’s rapture promise is behind us (for now) I can’t help thinking that for some, heck, for quite a few people, May 21, 2011 really was the end of the world.
Yesterday, a friend of a friend lost his fight with lymphoma. Yesterday, twenty boys and four adults were buried alive at an orphanage in a Malaysian landslide. Yesterday, sixteen people were killed in Pakistan when a remote-control bomb detonated a tanker truck carrying fuel for NATO.
These, among many, many others, took their last breaths on May 21st. And while Harold Camping’s prediction was false, I wonder just how much damage he, and others like him, have caused.
Twitter and Facebook feeds were full to the brim with jokes (some of them chuckle-worthy) about the rapture and the end of the world. Apocalyptic references to everything from zombies to the Left Behind books were retweeted and passed off as original. And while much of it was good-natured and silly, partway through the day I couldn’t help but compare Harold Camping to the boy who cried wolf.
And I had a thought:
Harold Camping is wrong, sure, but that doesn’t mean the end of the world won’t come.
Oh, there won’t be zombies and I’m not sure Tim LaHaye has it right either, but the Bible does promise that Christ will return one day and that we’ll each be called to account for our actions in this life. And, there’s one action in particular He’ll be looking for:
In Christ. In His virgin birth and sinless life. In His divine nature. In our sin crucified with His broken body. In His resurrection (Did I just lose some of you?). In your life redeemed by His sacrifice and His sacrifice alone.
See, you must believe.
Cause one day, He is coming back. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matt 24:36)
Still, I wonder with all this crying “rapture” going on, how many souls will allow themselves to laugh off the reality that the end of the world has been determined. Because the God of all Creation has willed it so.
There’s good news though. The Bible also speaks of a new heaven and a new earth after the old has passed away. (Rev 21:1)
Now that’s something I want to see. And while the Harold Campings of this life wander about proclaiming doomsday, the reality is that God has made a way for each of us to spend eternity with Him. When the immature run about shouting “rapture, rapture” you can be sure your place next to the creator of the universe is secured.
Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart.
That’s what the Good Book says.
“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9)
And if you believe, if you really, really believe, you won’t have to wonder if every boy who cries “rapture” is onto something.
When Christ returns, you’ll be ready. Saved by His grace. Redeemed by His blood.
Utterly protected from the wolves of doomsday.