Today is May 21, 2011 and according to a prominent bible teacher named Harold Camping, the world was supposed to end today at 10:00am with the rapture of the Church followed by massive earthquakes all over the world. Well, it is 2:00pm as I write this and we are all still here and there has been not one earthquake reported. Once again, thousands of Christians have fallen into the trap of trying to figure out God's timeline for the end times. The disciples asked Jesus to tell them when all these things would happen in Mark 13. Jesus responds by telling them that not even He knows the answer to that. Only the Father and He alone knows the time. So it is very presumptuous on anyone to assume that they know when the world will come to an end. When will we ever learn? Let me share some thoughts on this issue that I hope will give perspective and balance.
First, Harold Camping and anyone else who claims that they can predict the Day of Judgment only reveals one truth - they do not understand what the Bible says about the matter. They obviously either haven't read Mark 13, have forgotten what it says, or have chosen to ignore it altogether. Jesus is very clear that no one knows, can know, or will ever know and God will not ever reveal it, not even to Jesus.
Second, the Rapture and the Day of Judgment are two very different events that do not happen simultaneously. Whether you believe that the Rapture happens before the Tribulation, in the middle of it, or afterwards is irrelevant. The Day of Judgment is the final day after the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the 1000 year Reign of Christ on Earth take place. Even if the Rapture were to take place today it cannot be called Judgment Day. Again, Harold Camping does not understand basic Eschatology.
Thirdly, the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ are two separate and distinct events that do not coincide with each other. Again, this is basic theology which Harold Camping seems to have cast aside. Jesus warns us in Matthew 24:26 - 27, "So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.". Beware of any teaching that claims that Christ is coming on a specific day. If Christ were to come back today that means that we all missed the Rapture!
For this very reason and in light of today, it is absolutely imperative that all Christians become students of the Word of God. That is the only way we will not be led astray by false teachers who claim to know the truth. You cannot let anyone study the Bible for you. The only word we can believe is God's Word. Anything that doesn't not line up with His Word must be rejected no matter how nice it sounds, how reasonable it seems, or who says it. Your eternal future depends upon it.
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