Thursday, May 26, 2011

Waiting For the Rapture

Harold Camping was wrong in 1994 and he was wrong last weekend.  And because his latest prediction proved to once again  be wrong, before publicly explaining his error, he needed a couple of days to "recalculate" his math in order to continue to deceive his foolish handful of followers that blindly trot after him and believe his nonsense.

Camping's latest calculation has been officially publicized as October 21, 2011 - and his math will be just as wrong as the sum of his first two predictions.

To be blunt without sounding harsh, I wish he'd just shut his mouth, (Titus 1:11) read his Bible, and believe the words the LORD spoke in Matthew 24:36:

"But concerning that day and hour NO ONE  knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." 

If Camping would take this sound advice, he would make our jobs a whole lot easier in presenting the Gospel and leading others to salvation.  But because he continues to ignore the above-cited verse and the truth behind it, the world laughs, the lost scoff, and belief in Christ and His imminent return to Rapture His church is rejected.

I don't know Harold Camping.  Nor do I care to hear him preach his position on Scripture.  To be so blatantly wrong about one teaching tells me he's most likely in error on the rest of the Gospel.  What is evident, however, is that he has a unhealthy curiosity about the Rapture of Christ's church coming to fruition.  Whether it's because he's one of those the LORD warned us about that would try to deceive, or he's just plain ignorant, I have no desire to know him.  I do, however, have deep concern for anyone who would follow after him and his craziness.

Because of men like Camping, this puts me in the position of being on the opposite side of the fence from him: a healthy and Biblical curiosity about the Rapture.  And because I do yearn  for that "twinkling of an eye" moment (1Cor. 15:52), I find myself asking whether it is wrong for me to long for the day that the LORD’S enemies are at last defeated; when all evil and wickedness is cast down into the pits of darkness and eternal condemnation; and when Jesus Christ reestablishes His righteous holiness and perfect justice upon this imperfect world and all is made whole again. 

To be honest, I don’t know if my occasional impatience and the answer to the question above  is right or wrong.  But I can certainly relate to King David as he penned the imprecatory Psalms that plead with the LORD to destroy his enemies. 

A friend recently wrote that she would give anything to wake in the morning to good news.  Because of all that is going on in the world and the fact that we witness it in a matter of minutes on television or the internet, her heart longs for the promise made by God of peace and brighter days to come.   We mustn’t fault her because to truly know and love the LORD Jesus Christ means that His children yearn for all that He is, all that He gives, and all that He will eventually bring.  His providence that He now graciously pours out upon us is evident.  But we know that far better things await us and, for most, the expressions of our desire to finally be at rest from all that the sinful world brings is often seen by others as improper utterances. 

There are souls that need saving.  There is a message of hope and salvation that needs to be given to the world.  All who the Father promised to the Son must be brought into His haven.  Unlike Harold Camping, the saint understands this.  Yet, while he toils to serve the LORD to help Him fulfill this work and battles against the Harold Campings of the world, his longing for it to be completed resides in the back of his mind and often comes spilling out in expressions of disgust, dismay, or despair. 

Our time spent for God can be clouded with the face of apostasy and heresy, and of persecution upon His faithful children who live in dark nations.  Unspeakable vile deeds performed by wicked men and women, and even evidence of apostates like Camping inside the doors of Christ's church, can overwhelm us.  As my friend knows all too well, the battle for God’s righteousness and the souls of men has never been more fierce.   Neither has the saint’s desire been greater to see the LORD’S victory come to fruition. 

While I wait for an answer to my question, I am unable to rely on my own strength.  Like King David, I must draw upon the LORD’S strength to see me through to the end.  Although I have family and friends who could be counted as His enemy, I must persevere in fervent prayer that they soon become His friend and His child.  Each saint, including my friend who wants to hear some good news reported, knows with all their hearts that the LORD stands ready at the door and that His return is imminent. 

At present, our hearts cry out with King David’s, “O LORD, return to us!  May Your enemies be put to “shame and confusion”! (Ps 35:26)  Restore this fallen world to its former glory!”
But we are assured that there is a time that has been predetermined when He will step through the door to conclude what He began (Rev 19-22).  Until that time comes, I must wait for what I long for.  His enemies will eventually be made "His footstool" (Heb 10:12-13).  Christ has assured me of that.  But while He tarries, my prayer for my brothers and sisters, and myself, is that we remain fit and ready for battle, to continue to bear witness to His salvation, and be able to endure through what may come in our lifetime  and the end of this world as we know it. 

When the Rapture finally arrives and our LORD at last catches us up to be with Him forever, I will join my friend and a multitude of others as we shout with upraised voices in eternal and everlasting praise that the Lamb of God has gathered His saints in preparation for His final return to overcome the world and to defeat His enemies. 

But until that time comes, men like Harold Camping should be ignored, counted as a false prophet, and he and his followers should be recipients of our prayers.  At his advanced age, he'll find out soon enough just how wrong he has been and when he does, he'll wish he had taken the opportunity while he had it to recant, repent, and join the rest of us while we patiently wait for the glorious Rapture of Christ's churchAt this juncture, that's the best we can hope for in men like Camping. 

"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God.  And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses.  From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.  He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.  On His robe and on His thigh  He has a name written,  KING OF kINGS AND LORD OF lORDS."  (Rev 19:11-16 - ESV)

In spite of men like Harold Camping, come quickly, LORD Jesus.

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