Update: Umm, the “new” date is supposed to be today (October 21, 2011) so I’m re-posting since in case the world does end or…doesn’t end. Either way, this post will cover the two options and everything in between.
The rapture date and prediction has come and gone.
By now, all of you have heard about the frenzy around 89-year-old, Harold Camping, and his prediction of the rapture to have taken place on May 21, 2011. If I’m correct, this was his
7th 8th official rapture prediction. I’m familiar with him because growing up in the Bay Area, he was conducting bible studies all the time on one of those obscure TV stations.
The media and cultural frenzy around the rapture has been nothing but amazing (if that’s an appropriate word to use). And some of you have sent me some crazy articles and images – like the one above joking that the rapture didn’t take place because of Randy “Macho Man” Savage.” (RIP)
I have to admit. I couldn’t stop laughing…
But all kidding aside, it’s not funny when you consider the number of people this “false prophet” and scam artist has misled. The damage he has done – especially to those who have placed their faith, trust, lives, present, and future with him – are beyond comprehension.
There are also some gut-wrenching stories like this one (from March) about a mom trying to kill her own daughters to spare them the pain of the tribulation – and you realize that in the midst of all the funny comments, this really ain’t no funny matter.
I don’t wish anyone to go to hell for eternal suffering. You see…because I believe in hell and I believe in eternity.
And I do want be careful with my words and need to temper myself before I write anything foolish! But I want Harold Camping and all of us to consider these words from Scripture:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. – Luke 17:1-2
I think this is one example of the consequences and the gravity of those who use their influence, platform, and pulpit – to lead others – whether they be the young, old, impressionable, or vulnerable…astray.
Away from the Truth rather than a deeper relationship and discipleship with Christ.
So, may Mr. Harold Camping come to deep and true repentance because there’s still grace and (ironically) time. But be warned: there are consequences.
Finally, I think of the individuals, families and communities that have been duped by this false teaching and prophet. Back in October 1992, I witnessed another similar movement that actually influenced friends of friends. I was a youth pastor then in Flushing, New York and as I drove away in my car on a Sunday evening (back to Princeton, NJ where I was a student in seminary), I can still recall – with pain and tears – numerous families and individuals that were waiting in street corners for the return of Jesus. Waiting. Waiting. And waiting.
I join with others in praying for the followers of Harold Camping today and in the days to come. We pray for their restoration and renewed hope – not in men, women, and false teachings – but ultimately, in the gospel of Christ.
To you, them, and other impacted by this, I leave you with these words:
“God loves you.”
And those words are Truth and Legit.
And for all of us, consider these words:
In recent months and days, there’s been a great deal of conversations, media coverage, books, tweets, smoke signals, and various forms of communication of Heaven and Hell.
No doubt. Contending for heaven & hell are important. But so is everything in between. Do your contending and…
let’s work together and pursue heaven on earth, too.