Unless you missed it, Saturday May 21st was scheduled to be D-Day (Doomsday)... or so Rev Harold Camping told the many followers who listened to his radio show.
The 89 year old Californian preacher, who has built a multi-million-dollar Christian media empire publicizing his apocalyptic prediction, looked destined to be relegated to the file of forgotten failed prophets a couple of weeks ago, when his prediction that the world would end failed to materialise. However, on his radio programme on Monday he said that he hadn’t, in fact, got his dates wrong. May 21st had instead been ‘an invisible judgement day’ that was a spiritual, rather than physical event.
‘We had all of our dates correct’ Camping insisted, clarifying that he now understands that Christ’s May 21st arrival was ‘a spiritual coming’ before his ‘physical coming’ on October 21st.
‘It won’t be spiritual on October 21st,’ Camping said, adding, ‘the world is going to be destroyed all together, but it will be very quick.’
Of course, the really sad thing about all of this is how many have been taken in.
There have been heart-rending reports of those who sold everything they owned to pay for advertisements warning others about May 21st. There have also been reports of some people either attempting or succeeding to commit suicide on the day itself.
Tom Evans, one of the Board Members for Camping’s radio empire, hit the nail on the head when he said :
‘I don’t know where we went wrong other than that we obviously don’t understand the Scriptures in the way that we should.’
So what does the Bible teach about the second coming of Jesus?
In direct contrast with ‘the end of the world according to Camping’:
Jesus' return will be sudden, visible and physical
1 Thess 4:16, Rev 1:7, Acts 1:11
The date of Jesus' return is only known by God the Father
Jesus' return will be unexpected by all
Matt 24:44, 25:13, Luke 12:40
(And last but by no means least)
Jesus' return will be preceded by false prophets!
Mark 13:22-23, 2 Tim 4:3
We therefore need to be ready!
However being ready doesn’t mean becoming obsessed with cracking some hidden Bible code or scouring the internet to see if the minutiae of specific prophecies are being fulfilled today.
The Bible is very clear about what it means to ‘be ready’ for Jesus return.
- Living ‘sober, upright and godly lives in this world’ (Titus 2:12-13)
- Looking forward eagerly to Jesus return (Rev 22:20)
- Not becoming too attached to this world and it’s priorities (Phil3:20)
- Fulfilling the Great Commission, the last command Jesus left with his disciples (Matt 28:18-20, Matt 24:14)
It is only if we concentrate on these things that we will earn the reward we all long to have from Jesus when he finally returns: 'Well done good and faithful servant.'