The world didn’t end this past weekend but there may be many of multi-millionaire Harold Camping’s followers who might beg to differ. I’m sure this is a hard time for them because they, no doubt, have lost far more than just the time they spent doing Camping’s bidding. If any good has come out of this ordeal, it’s the light that has been shed on this futile mission. Hopefully, the followers will see their way clear to move on with their lives. In pondering over their plight, oddly enough, I found myself learning some valuable life lessons.
First, there’s no real need for people like Harold Camp to get Christians prepared for the rapture. Jesus told his followers in Mark 13:22 that, ‘false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” The elect are believers and the good news is captured in the wonderful word, “if.” If it were possible, a believer could be seduced. But, as a believer you don’t have to be. It is not a requirement for being a genuine Christian. The book of Jude, verse 24, encourages us with this revelation, “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling…” In the immortal words of Grammy Award winning gospel artist, Marvin Winnans, “It’s good to know (Jesus) will be there whenever you fall, but it’s better to know that you don’t have to fall at all.”
Mark 13:32 continues with information equally as important by stating no man actually knows when Jesus is coming again, not even Him. There is no amendment to this fact and this should forever be every Christian’s unchanging guide regarding the end of the world. Nobody knows when it will happen except the Father. If we read II Peter chapter 3, we see that Peter’s emphasis to every believer is to be ready when the end comes. He further admonishes that the end will come as a thief in the night, denoting that it will surprise everybody—no person on this earth will be exempt from this reality. As a result, we are to be devoted to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His purpose for our lives. These factors are the key components of making us ready when He arrives.
Finally, I was struck deeply with this powerful revelation. When it comes to the heart of our Father God Almighty, the end of the world is not some kind of an “us and them” event. Our God doesn’t want anyone to parish or to be left behind. False prophets always emphasize leaving the “others” behind, don’t they? It’s interesting that Peter dealt with this issue as well in Chapter 3 of II Peter. In verse 3-4, Peter continues by saying there will be many scoffers in the last days, as the time draws closer to the actual rapture, and the scoffers are going to be asking why hasn’t the end come yet, why is it taking so long to happen? Peter responds in verse 8 of the same chapter, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should parish, but that all should come to repentance.” When the world finally ends, most assuredly, every person on earth will have had ample opportunity to make an informed decision on where they choose to spend eternity.