This month marks the 1st anniversary of the failed (and false) prophecy of Harold Camping. As you would recall, he made a declaration that May 21 will be the end of the world and the second coming of Christ. The media got into the frenzy and social media got wind of this it became viral. Then as you know it, it failed. The problem is, not just the followers of Camping got a bad rap on this audacity, but those Bible believing Christians. All of us, in the eyes of unbelievers a bunch of nut case.
So we got the lesson or did we? I hope so. It’s not just the lesson of falling into a belief of some prophecy but getting crazy over it. What I mean to say is for those people who are into a never ending unwarranted speculation over end times. They are the Christians who looks at the headlines even in tiny bits and try to shove it to the Holy Writ. Eisegesis galore. Or those people who are constantly looking for conspiracy stuff or symbols about the 666 or the identity of the Anti-Christ or what have you. Worst they would tell it to public (rather speak of the gospel that saves) or make websites of their bogus claims.
Yes I would say some of them are true and sincere followers of Christ. Yes, I have some prophecy and end times ministries that I love and respect. And Yes I believe in rapture, 7 years tribulation, anti-Christ etc. In addition I also believe that Christians are entitled to speak on behalf what the Bible teaches and live for it so believers can see our testimony. Im talking to those Christians who are being over the top in presenting prophecies and those Christians who are scared of it. However speculations and fear won’t bring edification through the body of Christ and an exceptional Christian lifestyle that will get unregenerated individuals consider Christ, but will only bring shame and embarrassment to Christianity. Speculations that won’t help bring others to Christ but endless rabbits trail. So please if you’re a Christian handle biblical truth with reverence and care for others.
For us Christians we should remember the following:
- The last book of the Bible, Revelation, in context is not spook us out but to encourage us. Address to Christians scattered because of the ongoing persecution, the apostle John (being exiled because of it) it primary purpose of this entire end times vision is, over all tell believers throughout the ages that God is still in control. God is not blind to the suffering of His redeem but as He unveils future events, He is pointing out that no matter what; Christians win because God wins in the end.
- Since we know these end times (as it was written in the Bible) we must will our strength preach the Gospel. We don’t want our friends or family suffers in the tribulation so let’s reach them with the gospel. Read my interview with Nathan Jones of Lamb and Lion Ministries to get more insight of this.
- If properly use, prophecy can be use to prove the Bible is the Word of God to answer skeptics. Like what Nathan Jones in this blog interview, it is the best apologetics.
- Finally lets heed on what the late Herb Vander Lugt RBC senior research editor (and one of my favorites over RBC’s Discovery Series Booklets) wrote:
I started a more careful reading of the Old Testament prophets and began to see that God certainly does have an earthly program for Israel. I also saw that Israel and the church are distinct entities. Before long, the prophecies of the Old Testament began to come alive. The Word of God became more vital and real to me. As a result, I grew spiritually. I became more conscious of the promise that Jesus is coming again. My conduct improved and my desire to win others to Christ grew.
The study of Bible prophecy can be just a mental exercise—but so can a study of the attributes of God or any other aspect of Bible doctrine. The secret for success is our relationship with God. If we love the Lord, view the Scriptures as His message to us, and desire above all else to know Him more intimately and serve Him more perfectly, we will grow through the study of prophecy.
(Understanding the End-times, 2004 RBC Ministries pp. 70-71)
I think what Vander Lugt said nails it. End times prophecy will be coming soon but Christians should anticipate it not with hysteria but praise. Let’s all look forward for Christ imminent return with gladness and joy as we serve our God and others!