So why didn’t the world end yesterday? Where was Jesus? No doubt you read the many newspaper and internet stories about a gentleman named Harold Camping, and the many people who believed in his prediction that 21 May 2011 was the day of the rapture when Jesus would come to save his true believers and the rest of the world would perish in earthquake and fire.
It didn’t happen.
Here we all are, a day later, and nothing has changed.
And yet despite the craziness surrounding this non event I find a small amount of sympathy for the people who truly believed this was going to happen. As a Christian I know what it is to long for the second coming of Jesus. I believe that the Bible teaches the return of Christ, the resurrection of believers, the judgment, and then the setting up of God’s kingdom on earth which will be a cleansing of our poor abused planet. I can’t wait for that day, and I know many other Christians who feel the same way.
Unlike Mr Camping though I also believe that “about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24 vs 36) and I’m afraid that anyone who therefore says they know the exact date of the return of Christ must have been misled.
What we have been given is some signs, so that we can look at the world, and see that the time of the return of Jesus is drawing ever near. It is however impossible to be dogmatic about it. So what should we be looking out for:
- The Jews returning to their land – which quickly progressed with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
- Unrest and warfare in the Middle East centered around Israel.
- An increase in natural disasters.
- Men’s hearts “failing them for fear”.
- Troubled times among world leaders.
- A decline in the moral standards of society.
All of the above are signs given to us in the Bible that the time of the return of Christ is near – and all of the above have happened to a greater or lesser degree over the past fifty to one hundred years. How much worse will things get before we see the coming of the Son of Man with power and great glory?
We don’t know the answer, but we must all continue to watch and be ready, so that when the day finally comes we will be welcomed with the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25 vs 21)