Several months ago, I wrote a post
on Harold Camping, an influential Christian radio broadcaster and president of Family Stations, Inc., who has predicted that the end of the world will begin on May 21, 2011. His followers have been all over the country getting the word out and placing hundreds of billboards to warn the world to make preparations for the Lord’s return that will precede the doom of this world. Many have found Camping’s message disconcerting, and there is increasing anxiety out there as we approach the May 21 date. Accordingly, I want to share several biblical truths about end of the world—or more accurately, the end of this present age—that we should bear in mind.
First, the Bible does declare that such a day will come. For instance, Jesus’ disciples, responding to something He had just said, requested, “When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3, NIV). For the remainder of Matthew 24, Jesus proceeded to answer their question. He makes it clear to them that there will be horrific signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth prior to the end of this world.
Secondly, the Bible teaches that the strange things that will be happening on earth will serve as signs that we are approaching the end. “When you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door,” Jesus said (verse 33). We have certainly been seeing some terrible signs on earth lately (the Gulf oil leak, the Haiti earthquake, the Japan nuclear disaster, tsunamis, uprisings in numerous Arab countries, etc.). As bad as these have been, the Scriptures indicate the worse is yet to come.
Thirdly, the Bible teaches that for everyone who places his or her trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, He will come back for them, prior to the end of this world. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven….and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV)! Please note that this verse refers to everyone who has died but who became a Christian before dying, as well as all Christians who will be alive when Jesus returns. This event is what we refer to as the rapture.
Finally, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). Harold Camping is not the first religious leader to try his hand at predicting when the Lord will return and when the end of the world occur. Interestingly, this same Harold Camping predicted the end of the world would occur in 1994, and was wrong that time. My prediction is that he will be wrong again. Nonetheless, the truth remains that the Bible declares the end of this age will occur one day, and the burden of that reality is that we don’t know when it will happen. “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (verse 44).
Copyright ©2011 by Frank King. All rights reserved.