Saturday was supposed to be Judgement Day, according to 89-year-old Harold Camping and his followers, who reportedly spent a significant sum of money in promoting this non-event.
It’s kind of sad and amusing at the same time because yet again some radical religious person has gone out on a limb and falsely reported the end of the world.
It doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to read the Bible and discover that the next great religious event is the coming of Jesus Christ for his church. As to when that will happen, it’s impossible to predict. Jesus himself said, ‘No one knows the day or the hour, not the angels in heaven or even Christ himself; only the Father knows” (Matt. 24:36).
So, anyone who attempts to predict the timing of Christ’s return or Judgement Day or whatever, is a false prophet and not to be believed.
There is, however, a sort-of timeline that is observable from the book of Revelation.
By the way, the original Greek word for revelation is transliterated ‘apocalypse’ and that simply means: a revealing. I think that is insightful because there seems to be a significant number of religious people who are doomsday prophets.
2 Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is patient not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance. But Peter also says that followers of Jesus can hasten his return.
The timeline in reference to recorded future Biblical prophecies reveals a number of notable events that affect the nation of Israel and the whole world, for that matter. One major sequence of time following Christ’s return for his church should put people at ease in reference to the so-called end of the world. It’s called the Millennium, and is a period of 1,000 years where Christ sets up his kingdom here on earth. My understanding of Scripture indicates that the great judgement doesn’t occur until after this period of time is over (Rev. 20:7-15). That means that Judgement Day is postponed, at least, in reference to our latest prognosticator.
The primary work of Christ and the church in our day is not to scare people to hell, but to love them and meet their needs and reveal to them the God of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.”
The unfortunate thing about doomsday prophets is that those who make such predictions bring embarrassment and shame to the name of Christ and those who genuinely follow him. Although, it is possible that it gets some people thinking about their eternal destiny, and that isn’t bad if they realize that Jesus is their only hope.
Les Warriner is pastor at Living Way Foursquare Church.