I have previously blogged about Harold Camping’s failed predictions concerning the day of Christ’s return. The Bible is extremely clear that no one can know the day or the hour of the Lord’s return (Matthew 24:36), and it also reveals that He will return like a “thief” in the night (Revelation 3:3)—meaning that His return will be a surprise in terms of timing.
Many people have denounced Camping’s claims and his bizarre interpretive scheme. Thankfully, many Christian leaders have also spoken out against these predictions. This has not stopped the atheists from mocking Bible-believing Christians. So-called “Rapture Parties” are being hosted around the country this evening. Just as 2 Peter 3 predicts, these scoffers will always mock the notion of the Second Coming, so let them mock. They are simply fulfilling Peter’s words written nearly 2000 years ago.
My main concern is how Christians respond to Harold Camping’s predictions. Do you feel like mocking him or those who have been duped by him? Are you concerned about the spiritual state of those who will be devastated when Jesus does not return today? Is there anything in your own life that gives skeptics reason to mock Jesus Christ?
I know I have plenty of my own problems that I need to work on. I call myself a Christian because I have repented of my sins and trusted in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. I know I am a sinner and could not save myself. I needed the Lord to save me. I am supposed to be like Him and by my actions I am supposed to show the world what He is like. Oh, how often have I fallen so short of this mark!
Although it is trendy to make fun of Camping’s predictions and those who have fallen for them, Christians have a higher calling. We are supposed to model Christ-like behavior at all times. This means that we correct those who are in error (e.g., we point out the errors in Camping’s predictions), but we also gently restore those who are in error (Galatians 6:1) rather than poking fun of them.
Today is another opportunity to show and tell an unbelieving world who Jesus is. How are you spending this day that He has given you? Are you wasting it or making fun of those who have fallen for a fanciful and misguided interpretation of the Bible?
Camping and his followers have shown that they truly believe Jesus will return today and many have made life-changing decisions based upon that belief. As Christians, we claim to believe in the risen Lord who will return someday (perhaps soon). What are you doing to make sure the good news of Jesus Christ is both seen in your life and heard by those you meet? Even though Jesus will probably not return today, we still need to live each day as though it may be our last.
Remember, 2 Peter 3 also tells us we should be holy and godly as we look forward to the day of the Lord:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:10–13, NKJV)