Months and years ago talk show host Harold Camping predicted the rapture of the church for May 21, 2011. That obviously did not occur. I have not seen any further word from him or his followers.
My initial reaction is one of sorrow for those people who were caught up in his prediction. Some of his followers spent thousands of dollars and gave countless hours of time to warn others. I appreciate the sincerity of those folks. I only wish they had as much truth as they do sincerity.
How should we respond to this sad occasion?
First, we should emphasize the truth as found in Scripture. A little bit of biblical Christianity would have saved so much heartache for these folks. They would have known that no one knows the day or the hour.
Second, we must interpret the Bible correctly. Correct interpretation means understanding how and why God gave us His Word. It means that we use the Bible as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). It means that we do not use the Bible as a modern-day Nostradamus. Rather, we seek God’s revelation and seek to live by it. The Bible was given openly to all to reveal God; it is not a secret book open to some but not to all.
Third, we must remember that Christ is coming again. The fact that misguided and misled people missed the truth about Christ’s return must not let us miss the truth. Christ is returning to the earth.
Fourth, we must be prepared for His return. 1-2 Thessalonians would be a great read right now. People in Thessalonica thought Jesus would return almost immediately. They quit their jobs and sold their homes. When Jesus did not return they were dependent on others for their livelihood. That is the background for Paul’s command that a man who will not work should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).
Fifth, live today and this week as if Christ were returning today. When we have done this, we will fulfill the teaching of Scripture.