It’s now after 9pm in Georgia and I’m still here … as are you if you’re reading this. Does this mean that we weren’t nearly as faithful in our walks as we thought? Did we miss the boat? Considering the fact that no reports of 200 million people going “poof” into thin air or earthquake after earthquake after earthquake hitting the world have made the news, I would have to say “no.” Harold Camping has turned out to be just another “false prophet” who scared a bunch of people into quitting their lives for nothing with his inaccurate prediction. (Matthew 7:15 did warn us that there would be people like Camping – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”)
Am I surprised by this? Disappointed? Nope again. Matthew 24:36 makes it pretty clear that no “doomsday clock” will be accurate when it quotes Jesus as saying “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
This whole thing makes me wonder about people – Harold Camping and those who bought into his hysteria in particular.
I wonder how Camping is dealing with yet another failed prediction about the end of the world. It appears that he has gone into hiding (probably a smart move), so he’s not exactly giving interviews sharing his thoughts and/or excuses.
I wonder about the families that quit their jobs, spent their life savings and alienated family members that didn’t join the “armageddon movement.” What are they thinking/doing now that the end is not here? I’ve read stories about people paying non-believers to take care of their pets after the Rapture. I even heard of a group that was talking on Yahoo about euthanizing their pets prior to 6pm (and horribly – they were serious). A story in the New York Times talked about a family in Maryland. Two years ago, the mom quit her job to travel around with her husband “sounding the trumpet.” Grace, the 16-year-old daughter, didn’t agree with their end of the world views, and in a real “mom moment,” the mother flat out told her that she “would not make it into Heaven.” Will Grace and the children that have watched their parents lose their minds over this ever be able to embrace any type of faith? Will they ever be able to see Jesus as more than the butt of a joke or a weapon used against them?
How did all of these people get Christianity so twisted that they bought into the lie Harold Camping was selling? How did they convince themselves that Jesus’s words in Matthew didn’t matter? Did they really believe that a mere man could out-think God?
If we knew when our own personal “expiration date” would arrive, even if it was just what year we would die, can you image how messed up we could make things? Saving for our families and retirement would go out the window in favor of “bucket lists.” Selfishness would inevitably come a-calling because in our humanity, we wouldn’t be able to stop ourselves from doing the “But what about what I want? I’m the one that will dead in a year!” dance. It would be very easy for the soon to be deceased to become a tyrant the closer they got to the end and the wonderful memories that should be getting made would turn sour fast.
None of us know when the end will come for ourselves – much less the entire world. That’s why we should dream like we will live forever and live like we will die tomorrow. That way, when our end does come, we won’t leave this earth with near as many regrets and we won’t leave those we love behind with more bad memories than good.
Image © 2011. Road to Revelation Ministries.