Last week I had several questions concerning the “end of the world” prophecies of Harold Camping and his Family Radio network. Scores of families sold all of their belongings, bought RV’s and traveled the country preaching that May 21, 2011, was the beginning of the end of the world. May 21 was to begin a five-month crash course with October, the inevitable “end.”
Obviously, there was no great exodus, only a torrent of liberals and Bible-denying groups getting “caught away” with their cynicism and laughter. Unfortunately, Mr. Camping’s predictions gave rise to all of these public onslaughts of indignation.
The fruits of this unbiblical date-setting are many. First, it brought a reproach on God’s people from the world. News pundits, radio talk-show hosts, sports writers and other public figures have joined in a harmonious choir of ridicule. Whether we admit it or not, some Christians acting unbiblically reflect poorly on all Christians. Second, it confused young Christians. Third, it set up a false hope. People who were looking for Christ to come at six o’clock or unbelievers who viewed the event from afar, experienced a false hope.
From where I sit, there is a much better message that is to be preached concerning Jesus Christ and His soon return. Allow me to give them concisely.
- “Doomsday” has no appeal to a lost and dying world. The preaching of the cross of Jesus Christ is the only message God sanctioned to win the world to Himself. If all of the money spent would have gone towards the establishing of Bible-preaching churches, Bible distribution, missionary fundraising, and tracts that emphasized the work of Christ in salvation, souls would have been saved and lives changed. Paul said in Romans 1:16, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.
Instead, unbelievers were emboldened and hardened toward the message of the Gospel, which was not prominently preached by the May 21st movement.
- A “doomsday” approach to end-times teaching leans towards an emphasis only on death and destruction. Again, God’s message is that Jesus Christ died on the cross to give us life. True Bible teaching helps people prepare for death by teaching them how to live, and vice-versa. Jesus said, I am come that they might have LIFE, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10). No one is prepared to die without knowing how to live, and no one is prepared to live without knowing how to die. Instead, people laughed and mocked, saying, “I’m still here,” many of whom are still lost in their trespasses and sins.
- The “doomsday” approach gave the atheists, agnostics and other Bible-denying persons a blanket with which to cover all Christians, when, in fact, I knew no Christians who accepted Camping’s teachings or were not verbally insulting towards them. The only banner under which all true born-again believes rally is the person of Jesus Christ. To many, Harold Camping became the epicenter of Christianity. Paul said to the Corinthians, I came not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified (I Cor. 2:2). Let’s keep the message on Jesus Christ- He can both DEFEND and DECLARE Himself (John 3:12).
In conclusion, allow me to be biblical when I say, JESUS IS COMING AGAIN.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:1-3). Jesus Himself said, Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh (Matt 24:44).
Christ is coming in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and when He comes, all time to make preparations will be gone forever. As Christians, we must move forward in preaching a biblical message concerning His coming, and keep the focus on His death, burial and resurrection.
If you are not a Christian and you are reading this article, please accept my apology. I regret that one preacher has brought reproach upon Christ’s coming and belittled the true message of God’s Word. Do not as Gandhi reject the work of Jesus Christ because one of our “Christians” acted ignorantly, for you shall stand before the Lord Jesus Christ some day and give an account of what you did with His death for your sin on the cross of Calvary.