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To the editor:
I am sure that if you watch the news at all, you saw the stories about Harold Camping last week and his predictions that the world would come to an end May 21. He even went so far as to give the time of day that we could expect the rapture: 6 p.m.
He and his followers spent millions to advertise and warn people of the impending doomsday. But after much debate and money spent, May 21 came and went and we are still here.
I’ve thought a lot this week about Mr. Camping’s predictions, and while I find his teachings heretical, I think there is much we can learn from this situation. First of all, we need to understand that Mr. Camping is not the first nor will he be the last to make such predictions, and therefore it is important to know the truth of what scripture says so that we do not trust in these false prophets.
Predictions such as these have happened all throughout history and have all been wrong. That is because the Bible is clear that only God the Father knows the appointed time.
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
It is only God the Father who knows when these things shall take place, so we should not give any credence to those who make these claims.
Secondly, since we do not know the day or time, we are to be prepared. Scripture says that Jesus will come like a thief in the night. Thieves come when you least expect them .
“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matt. 24: 43-44)
If you knew that Jesus Christ would return tomorrow, would you live your life different today? Would you be preparing? I think most of us would have to say yes. But since we do not know the time, scripture says to be ready. Are you ready?
If you had to stand before the Lord today, would you be found guilty or innocent? When God judges you according to his perfect standard, will he say, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” and welcome you to your eternal reward in Heaven or will he say to you, “depart from Me, I never knew you” and cast you into Hell forever?
Our only hope for that eternal reward is to confess our sins and place our trust in Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for our sins when he died on the cross. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
As I write this, news has just come in that a tornado in the middle of the night has claimed at least 89 lives in Joplin, Mo. I wonder if those 89 people could have imagined when they slipped into their comfortable beds that evening, that they would meet their God before daybreak? I wonder how many of them were ready? I wonder how many of them were not? Are you ready? If you’re not, I would love to tell you how you can be.