I was recently driving around town one day and drove past a huge billboard that caught my attention. I glanced at it as I drove by, and I thought I misread what I saw. I slammed on the breaks and put it in reverse (which, thankfully, I was on a back road), and read the sign…
Sure enough, it read, “Judgment Day, May 21st, The Bible Guarantees It,” followed by a website address.
‘Oh boy,’ I thought to myself, ‘this should be good.’ So, I went to the website later on that day to take a look. At first glance (ignoring all the images, banners, scrolling text, and advertisements, of course), I thought it didn’t sound so bad… Parts of it read, “…While just about every church has a different idea as to what the Bible teaches concerning the end, they all seem to agree on one thing; no man can know the day or the hour of Christ’s return because the scriptures say that He is coming as a thief in the night…” And then it was downhill from here.
The website goes on to say, “…But are they correct? Can We Know?… WE CAN KNOW from the Bible alone that the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011… Study the proofs that God has so graciously given in His Word showing us that these dates are 100% accurate and beyond dispute.”
Now wait just a minute here… I was always taught that ‘no man knows’, and ‘He will come like a thief in the night,’ and ‘not even Jesus knew the day of His return.’ What’s this all about?
The spearhead of this website is Harold Camping, who has his own radio empire, and who ironically enough, predicted years ago in a similar manner that the end of the world would occur in 1994. Somehow, he is still given a voice. Camping also ‘teaches that God has done away with the church, and thus there should be no more local congregations, elders, deacons, and ordinances such as baptism or the Lord’s Supper. He maintains that the Holy Spirit has left the church as an empty shell with no power to proclaim the gospel.’
From what I can tell on his website, Camping seems to hang his entire argument on one verse in the entire Bible, and negating all the rest, like:
“But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.”
“Therefore, be on the alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning…”
“For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.”
And that’s just a few…
Here’s the thing… Jesus Christ Himself said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone…” If this is the case, can you give me one good reason why this guy or any single one of us would know?
I can’t think of one.
What I am not saying is Christ will not come on the 21st of May, 2011. What I am saying is that Harold Camping can’t know… nor can you. The End of Days could be tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or a thousand years from now… you don’t get that privilege of knowing until it happens.
Now, this also doesn’t give us liberty to go wild and crazy doing what we want, and think “I’ll make it right with God before I die, or when I’m good and ready.” As Christians, we should be ready, as Jesus said. After saying no man knows, Jesus went on to say, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
So my friends, do you live as if you are ready? Do you say you are a Christian, yet live a life essentially contradictory to how Christians ought to live? Do you think to yourself that one day when you are good and ready, you’ll get life right with God, and follow Him better? I was there once. I know what it’s like. I know it’s a lie I told myself… a lie Satan convinced me to think. But it’s not true… we don’t know when our life ends, and we don’t know when Christ will return, so why should we be waiting?
“We Can Know” is what this group of people are stating, and to that I say, no we can’t. But what we can know is how we should live while we are waiting for His return. This is what we can know, through knowing God, and Christ Jesus.
1 – We Can Know Website – http://www.wecanknow.com/
2 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Camping
3 – Christian Research Institute Website – http://www.equip.org/articles/harold-camping
4 – Family Radio Website- http://fsiforms.familyradio.org/dbqf/forum_010908i.html
5 – Mark 13:32
6 – Mark 13:33
7 – Mark 13:35
8 – I Thess 5:2