There was no global earthquake, no sounds of the trumpet, and definitely no sightings of Jesus Christ nor His angels as millions of people worldwide awaited the rapture at 6 p.m. last Saturday.
Harold Camping, the co-founder and president of the California-based Family Radio, falsely predicted Judgment Day would take place on May 21, 2011. He advised his followers to quit their jobs, leave their families, sell their homes, and spend their savings. It is estimated that Camping spent $100 million on advertising while over $80 million was raised in the last five years for this Doomsday campaign, as reported by the International Business Times. Camping recently stated that the world would be destroyed on October 21, 2011. Sadly this was not his first false prediction and it won’t be his last.
In light of the international ridicule that Camping and the Christian faith continue to endure since May 21st, what can be done to change how Christianity and the gospel of Jesus Christ is perceived? The actions of Christians worldwide are being watched and put under great scrutiny. Therefore, it is very crucial that Christians act wisely towards their fellow man.
- Do not condemn Harold Camping nor his followers. Pray for them, hoping that they will cease all attempts to calculate the end of the world and Christ’s Second Coming. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Matthew 24:35-36, 42 (KJV)
- Do not turn your backs on them. Christ has given His followers the responsibility to love and care for one another. Now is the ideal time to be humble and show compassion to your neighbors. Thousands of people were left devastated last weekend, many with no money or jobs. These unfortunate men and women now question their faith. Intercede on their behalf. Help them in any way you can to rebuild their lives. Pray and study God’s word with them. Bring hope and reassurance that Christ will return as promised in His time–not ours.
- Just as millions of dollars were invested to alert the public of the rapture, Christians must share the gospel of Jesus Christ. He will soon return and He would like to receive all of His children into His kingdom. Preparation is key! Therefore, churches should pull their resources together to use every medium to share the good news throughout the world in every language. Post it on every bulletin board, billboard, in every train car and bus. Stream it online, on the radio, and television. Print it in every publication.
- Christianity can no longer be about the Baptists, Pentecostals, Episcopalians, or Seventh-day Adventists. Christianity is just Christianity–the followers of Jesus Christ. Encourage unity and not division.