Everyone who has been following the MAY 21 JUDGEMENT DAY saga has figured it out by now. May 21 was just another Saturday. The day passed unremarkably. The Tribulation-commencing-world-wide-earthquake didn’t happen. The true believers weren’t Tribulation-avoiding-raptured-out to meet Jesus. We’re still here.
Harold Camping and the “Caravan Movement” were wrong. Saturday was not The Day of the Lord. Harold’s name is now added to the list of infamous prophets who calculated wrongly, who set a bogus date, who wedded a band of followers to that date.
Today Camping’s followers, like others before them, are faced with the question, WHAT HAPPENED? Or to be more precise, WHY DIDN’T IT HAPPEN? Faced with the painful task of salvaging their faith and re-booting their lives.
The rest of us are left to consider the fallout from another highly-publicized fiasco in the Christian community. Satan must be eating buttered popcorn and watching the show:
- Americans can now relax in our sin. The notion that God intends to hold America – and each of us — accountable for our lives and our sin can safely be tossed on the ‘Idiot Pile’ next to the UFO abduction reports, suspicions of George Bush & Halliburton downing the World Trade Centers to boost oil prices, and bill boards asking “Where’s the Birth Certificate?”
- The Christophobic rants in the national media directed toward Jesus and his crew look more credible. Maybe Bill Maher is right. Christians are delusional. They are mentally ill. They should all be locked up. For their protection, of course. “Please report to your nearest FEMA Compassion for Christians Concentration Camp for processing.”
- Pity those trying to accurately share the Biblical view of The End of the Age this week. Watch the eyes of their listeners glaze over.
- Pity those trying to disseminate ANY true counsel from God this week!
But let’s not be too harsh. Camping wasn’t entirely wrong.
Yesterday, over 7,500 people in America died. (That figure doesn’t include the bonus-contributions of 3,500 aborted babies.) Worldwide over 150,000 other people also launched into eternity.
Nothing unusual. Those are the same numbers of people who leave Planet Earth EVERY SINGLE DAY to face whatever judgment awaits them. Death comes with astonishing regularity to snatch its prey from among us.
Life insurance actuaries can accurately predict how many people will die each year based on their age, gender, previous health history, height & weight, tobacco use, driving record, vocation and recreational pursuits. Down to the third decimal point. Death is that predictable.
Between 150 and 200 thousand people – prepared or unprepared – launched into eternity on Saturday. Another 150 to 200 thousand people – prepared or unprepared – are launching today. And 150 to 200 thousand people – prepared or unprepared – will launch on Monday. Each day this week an additional 150 to 200 thousand people – prepared or unprepared – will follow.
But, back to the May 21 media-driven theological Circus:
- Misdirection. That false teaching is most successful which sails closest to the truth. Such deceit has the power to attract attention, even generate rabid devotion. False teaching always misdirects people from reality.
- The Day of the Lord. The DOTL is coming for America. For the world. For you. Jesus expected us to recognize the season of his appearing (even if we don’t know the exact day) when GOD will conclude this evil age, will judge the nations, dispatch the wicked, and commence the 1000 years of GOD Country on earth.
There is more than enough evidence to deem those promised happenings ‘in season’.
- In GOD’s economy, nothing is wasted. That is true even of the MAY 21 fraud.
I have been amazed at the number of people in the business world the last couple of weeks who have talked to me about death, eternity and judgment. People whom I would NOT expect ordinarily to display such interest.
One man last Tuesday asked, “Do you think Judgment Day is coming this Saturday?”
I replied, “Whether it comes Saturday, the following Thursday or next year, I have spent my entire life preparing for The Day and I will be ready whenever it comes.” He was astonished that I took the claims of the Bible seriously.
I asked him, “Are you ready?” With a heaviness he replied, “No.” I said with all seriousness, “I’d use the next three days to get ready, if I were you.”
- Nothing Wasted, part 2.
If you will notice, the MIDDLE GROUND is rapidly eroding. The world situation and the impending collapse of American culture are driving people to declare their true values – their true HEART if you will.
Christophobia is at an all-time high in America. It is fashionable to mock Christians, defend the ‘right’ of atheists to live in a GOD-free zone that used to be called America, and to openly blaspheme Jesus. (Have you watched South Park, The Colbert Report or CNN lately?)
Conversely, at the grass-roots level, more and more people are openly expresing their dependency on God and their devotion to Jesus. Check it out: when someone asks you, “How are you doing?” just smile and say “I am BLESSED!” See what happens.
GOD is using tsunamis, tornadoes, fires, floods, threats of economic collapse – and even Harold Camping – to motivate people to seriously consider their ultimate end.
This is a wonderful time to slow down, engage people, and have a gentle heart-to-heart talk with them.
You’ll find some people becoming aggressive in their hatred-of-all-things-GOD. But many more are revealing softer, questioning hearts open to Jesus and his Good News.
Now is the BEST time in 50 years to introduce folks to the soon-to-appear Savior of the World and Master of the Universe.
- To that end, WE MUST GET THE MESSAGE RIGHT, or we may find ourselves inadvertantly working for ‘the other side’.
Paul (in Galatians 1 & 3) makes it crystal clear that there is ONLY ONE Gospel. To preach any other ‘gospel’ – to live by any other – to call folks to any other – is to place one’s self (and those I influence) under a curse. A curse, which if not broken, transports one to hell! (Gal 1:8)
It’s not enough to deride Camping for getting the message wrong, however.
Can you clearly, accurately, compellingly explain THE Gospel to an inquiring person?
Imagine yourself in a conversation with a Muslim exchange student from Saudi Arabia. He says to you, “I have been hearing people talking about ‘the gospel’. The ‘gospel this’ and the ‘gospel that’. I don’t know what they are talking about. Can you briefly explain what is this ‘gospel’?”
The excitement for this false date-setting is over. Guess I’ll have to go to work tomorrow.
Fortunately, I didn’t quit my job, didn’t sell my house, didn’t give away my car, didn’t max out my credit cards and didn’t totally destroy whatever credibility I have by embracing The Wrong Date.
Nevertheless, I won’t let Harold Camping’s error discourage me.
This week I’ll be a little more sensitive to people who aren’t ready for The Day, but who might be open to discussing how they can get ready.
This week I’ll give a little fresh attention to my own preparations for The Appearing. After all, The Day is one day closer than it was May 21st.