You probably have heard by now that the rapture will occur at 6 p.m. on this Saturday. That is 6 p.m. Pacific Time in case you want to set your alarms. A man by the name of Harold Camping has worked through the Biblical text and has found clear evidence for this date. Highway advertisement boards have been bought, and broadcasts have been paid for to make sure individuals hear the news.
Of course, this is not the first time that Mr. Camping has made this claim. Last time he states he was simply mistaken. This should tell us something about his credibility as a prophet. However, since I have been asked let me share a few thoughts on this subject.
2. Jesus was clear in the gospels that no one would know when He would return, and that no sign would precede that return (Matthew 24:36). Jesus, Paul, and Peter all describe this day as being unexpected like a thief and a woman with birth pains.
3. The type of Bible study done by Harold Camping is, well, to put in bluntly, a joke. It is a study of Scripture where you find hidden clues in the text. Instead of taking the plain reading, you look for codes within the text that lead you to deeper truth. These hidden clues are only seen by certain people who then reveal them to others. This has a commonality with the ancient heresy of Gnosticism, where only certain elite teachers were able to understand deeper truths and you had to go to them for knowledge.
4. Instead of being concerned when Jesus will return, Christians should focus on the fact that He will return, and live accordingly. Peter states that God has delayed His coming for the purpose of giving men time to repent. Peter, though, is clear that a coming judgment will take place. Due to this judgment we are urged to live our lives in holiness. As Christians we are like the 5 wise virgins in Matthew 24 waiting and prepared for the return of Jesus. We do not need a specific date told to us so that we can start living right, but rather we trust the promise of God, and live everyday waiting expectantly for the return of Jesus (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Harold Camping was not the first and will not be the last person to declare the End of the World is coming. However, as Christians we should be content knowing that God knows this date, not man, and that we should live in the hope of the coming of the Lord.
So, the real question is, whether Jesus comes Saturday, today, or a thousand years from now, are you prepared for that coming?