“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people 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 destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”
2 Peter 3:10-13
That’s the guy. He is the one that some of you may have heard about recently, who has predicted that Judgement Day is this coming Saturday, May 21st. He has made some calculations, based on his belief as to when the world was created, and using the Jewish calender and some other events, and made the decision that the end of the world is near. He has spent quite a bit of time advertising this fact, and there is a small minority who believe he is correct. A New York resident even spent his entire life savings – $140,000 – advertising the event on billboards.
So what do I think? No I don’t believe it. Mr. Camping wrote a book about his findings, and had previously stated the date was in 1994. We are still here. His calculations are also based on a date for creation that not only cannot be proven, but most people don’t agree with. In 1994, after the world did not end, he adjusted his calculations and tried again. Would a true prophet be so wrong? What does the Bible say? Well, the passage above says it all doesn’t it? The day will come like a thief. In other words, we won’t know when the day will come. Here is another one we should pay attention to.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
What does this passage say to us? Well, basically it tells us we can know a false prophet when their prophecy fails to “bear fruit”. Harold Camping’s predictions in 1994 obviously did not bear fruit. The passage also says something else to me. False prophets can also be said to bear false fruit when their prophesy is found to not be biblical. If we hear a prophecy, then find that it contradicts the bible, then the prophecy has been proven false. We should be very careful of anyone who claims to know the date and time of the second coming, since the bible tells us no one can know.
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
However, let’s take a look at this prediction in a different light. Our pastor recently spoke about this and I believe he is right. How are we to react to events like these? Well, what if he is right? What if May 21st is our last day on earth? Would you be ready for the second coming of Jesus? After all, it doesn’t take the second coming for us to be called back to God. It happens every day. God could come back for me on the 20th, or maybe I survive the 21st, but end up standing before Jesus on the 22nd.
Events like these should be an eye opener for all of us. It should remind us that we are only travelers through this life, and we should be preparing ourselves to meet Jesus every day. After all, we will all be there one day whether we like it or not. There is no where to hide from God. I learned some time ago, that this life is but a blip of time, and we should be treating every day as a gift from Him, honoring Him in all that we do. This is a tough lesson to learn, and one we learn usually through trials and tribulations.
So what are we to do with our time, whether we have a few days, a few months, or a few years? I believe Jesus shows us in the bible that we are to believe in him, repent of our sins, and follow His commandments. We are to love our God, and we are to love our neighbors. Is He really asking for too much? I think not. He is revealed to us in so many ways, it really is just about surrender. We need to realize that He is in control. Let Jesus take the wheel, and know that God’s will is what powers us, not our selfish interests.
I will leave you with Psalm 39, which I believe tells us how we are to deal with this earthly life. In it, David is in torment. He feels the heavy hand of God because of his sin. So this Psalm is about David crying out to God for mercy on his soul. I don’t end with a passage like this to depress my readers. I do it to show how we should consider our actions on earth in relation to God’s plans, and His un-ending grace. Like David, we are sinners, yet we are God’s children whom He loves with a love greater than we can understand. Our entrance into the kingdom is granted only by His grace, not by any of our actions.
We are taught by the bible to humble ourselves, to recognize our fallen state, and how merciful God is to pay the price for our transgressions through the cross of Jesus Christ. How are we to live our lives, if not as humble servants? I will continue to ask God to give me the strength to follow His plan for my life, until the day I sit in Heaven. I will do my best to make every day on this earth count, as if it is the last one I am given.
“I said, I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
so long as the wicked are in my presence.
was mute and silent;
I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse.
My heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
Remove your stroke from me;
I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
When you discipline a man
with rebukes for sin,
you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
surely all mankind is a mere breath!
Hear my prayer, O LORD,
and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest, like all my fathers.
Look away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart and am no more!”