Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21, 2011--The Rapture of the Church?

I don't know about you, but the discussion of the rapture of the church has taken center stage as a result of a certain group claiming that the rapture is happening today at 6:00pm. There is some confusion about which 6:00pm exactly...but as I type this post at 11:34am PST many time-zones have been ruled out. I suspect May 21, 2011 will pass as normal. Who knows what Harold Camping will say Sunday morning when he is proved wrong yet again?

There seem to be two camps of people: 1) those who think this prediction is right, and 2) those who are scoffing at this prediction. Obviously, by the picture on the left, you can see that I am in the scoffing group...or I was until a few hours ago. I would like to present a third option--the Bible's teaching concerning the rapture of the church.

As a Christian I don't feel any sort of connection to Harold Camping's group. They seem like the wacko fringe that I don't identify with. But as I have been shaking my head and laughing at the precise predictions being made, I realized that there are many who are mocking the return of Christ. I think Christians need to be cautious in our response to this group. I think Harold Camping is a false prophet and cannot be trusted as a Bible teacher. My heart breaks for those who have followed after him and made great sacrifices.

What does the Bible say about the rapture? I have no intention of writing a theological perspective concerning End Times, but if you are interested in reading more click HERE to read a paper by John Walvoord. Here are a few points for us to consider.

1. Nothing in the Bible points to the exact time of the rapture, we are simply to be expectant (1 Thess. 5:1-11).

2. Christ is coming for the church (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:50-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

3. We are to abide in Christ until He returns (1 John 2:28).

4. Christ is coming to earth again to reign and rule (Matt. 24; Rev. 19-20).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I also scoff and believe this is another false prophesy... but I think it is important to remember that Christ is coming again soon.
As a Christian, are we living as if every day may be our last? If Christ did return today, would we be ready to stand before Christ and Him say to us "Well done good and faithful servant!"

Alan H said...

Ok, now what? December 21, 2012 from the Mayan calendar? Could it be a supervolcano that's going to eradicate everyone? Maybe we should get ready right away or simply just wait for Superman to save the world.

Hannahjohnson said...

While I know how easy it is to flag Camping as a false prophet, an apostate, and the like, I prefer to think of him as simply mentally ill. He will not be the last minister to destroy the credibility of a life time of genuine service for lack of an exit plan. I think a wise pastor should surround himself with a group of men who will let him know when he is experiencing a disconnect with reality. Happens sooner for some, later for others, and not at all for a few, but I believe it has happened for Camping. So sad.
JJ

Gunnar Hanson said...

JJ,

First, the "false prophet" designation was aimed at his prophecy concerning the end of the world...both times. This designation still stands in my opinion.

But, I will concede that after posting this blog I had a conversation about this subject. I don't know much about Camping, but it seems that prior to '94 he did not make many outrageous claims (I haven't done my homework on this one). The reality is that he is 89 and could be suffering from dementia...I don't know, but if this is the case, I would hope that those close to him would take away his platform because he has successfully erased all his work prior to the age of 72.

I am saddened about the people who sacrificed their savings he duped into following him concerning May 21.