As you are probably aware, Pastor Harold Camping predicted the second coming of Christ was going to happen on May 21, at 6 pm, EST. Based on his interpretation of the Bible. But the Bible clearly says, "36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36) Yes, as Christians it is easy to sit back now and knowingly quote this verse. But I think of those people in this man's church who went out and sold EVERYTHING they had and spent their money going around promoting the message, "'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'” Matthew 4:17b.
Those were the words of Jesus.
The second coming of Jesus is not a joke. And yet, it has become one. To everyone. To many very very good Christians. Here is where I confess that I laughed a lot at some of the comments I have seen. "Worst Rapture EVER!" is one that comes to mind. Lots of quotes from R. E. M. (a pretty cool song, I admit and it gives you a little glimpse into my before children life. I wasn't in this group, but did perform for years and taught afterwards.) Anyway....
I doubt very much that Mr. Camping's focus was truly on Jesus. It may have started there, but if he was truly Bible focused, he would have remembered Jesus' very telling words. The Bible does not hide secrets about the second coming of Christ. It tells us that very clearly. So, Jesus was not returning on the 21st of May. Just as He is not coming in October as Mr. Camping is now predicting because he "misread' or 'misinterpreted' or whatever.
But I think, as Christians we need to remember that Jesus IS coming! Maybe tomorrow. Maybe sometime yet today. And it is our job, the only one He gave us, "19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20a
So, maybe we have a little bit to learn from the members of the congregation of Mr. Camping. First, to hold our pastors accountable, to not just take what they say as, well, gospel. To study and be in our Bibles. (As a pastor's wife, I urge you to do this, remember that your pastor is human!) And to remember that the people all around us need Jesus! They are not going to come into the church seeking Him, necessarily. We have to go and seek them! It is scary sometimes, but their very lives depend on it. And He promised to be with us, and to give us power that is as great as He had here on earth! Don't believe me? Look it up!
Because He Lives,