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May 21st 6p.m. Is this when Jesus returns?

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.

1. The whole idea of the rapture needs to be reconsidered in the light of Scripture.  I have written on the subject here and here.

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?

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5 Comments

  1. Great post, I recommend this one as well http://www.fightingpreacher.com/2011/05/is-may-21st-2011-going-to-be-judgement.html

    What is interesting is most of the people who have asked me about this are not Christians. So maybe because of this groups false teaching a door has been opened for us to teach the truth.

  2. Corey Sawyers

    May 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Excellent points. Another thing I have always thought was “interesting” with these “end-of-time prophets” is that they are claiming to know something that Jesus Himself said no one knew but God the Father (Mt. 24:36). Besides, even if it were May 21st, how are we to know one would live to that day (Thus, II Cor. 6:2).

  3. Well put. The always important fact is these predictions should further cause us to reflect on our own salvation and where our current focus resides. In that regard, I thank them for reminding us that this world shall pass away eventually but am afraid for their own salvation if they are so convinced of the fact.

  4. I agree this gives us an opening to talk to unbelievers, just this morning an 8th grader said something to me about it and I was able to explain that it will happen one day but it would not be the day this guy says and why it would not be.

    The Bible does say to pray for his quick return and pray to be found worthy to escape the coming tribulation. So keep that in mind. (That kind of makes me think we can escape by rapture)

    I am not sure why you would say a 1000 years from now though, the Bible plainly says the generation that sees Israel back in the land will not pass till all these thing take place correct?

  5. I agree with the above comments already made, and know that as a Believer in Christ Jesus, we will have a lot of explaining to give to any who thougtht Camping was right and then learn how wrong indeed that he is. He will have a lot of explaining to do as well. I do hope that those who have asked this question on yahooanswers.com, which have been several by the way, will realize their need for the Truth, and believe in the Truth of the Gospel, and not look to ‘man’s teachings on the subject matter !

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