It seems like every few years, another one comes along. You know, a Christian “prophet” who has figured out exactly when Jesus is coming back. In the 70’s, it was Hal Lindsey. His Late, Great Planet Earth sold more than any other book, Christian or secular in that decade. While not giving a specific date, he made it pretty clear that he thought it was going to be around 1981.
In the 80’s, Edgar Whisenant published a 90 page booklet called 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988. He sold around 5 million of those. That’s good money for a book that did not have the happy ending that the author hoped for. He wrote a couple of sequels but they did not sell as well.
Today, it is Harold Camping. Check out the news story for yourself. It is sad and entertaining at the same time. http://www.kens5.com/news/national/Save-the-date-billboard-predicts-end-of-the-world-117675278.html The Rapture is going to happen on May 21, 2011. The final judgment and consumation will be in October of 2011.
The saddest aspect of these stories is the fact that one clown destroys the credibility of the church for so many people. One of the foundational truthes of the Christian message is the fact that Jesus is returning. Jesus, Himself, said, “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.”
The message that Jesus left with His followers was that they should live everyday like the servant that is waiting for his master to return from a long trip. The Master left us with work to do. I don’t know about you, but I want to be working hard when Jesus comes back, not setting arbitrary dates and looking like a fool when they are wrong.
What do you think? Should we be trying to figure out when Jesus is returning?