OK, I know (hope?) that everyone at Crew recognizes Harold Camping to be a false prophet. This is the guy who years ago told Christians that God wanted them to leave their churches, i.e., “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb 10:25). So when he says that he (and he alone!) has divined from the Scripture the exact date and time of the rapture of the church to be with Jesus (i.e., this Saturday, May 21, at 6:00 pm), we have good reason for skepticism.
After all, didn’t Jesus say that ““But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36)? There’s a part of us that wants Jesus to not come back on Saturday, just so that Harold Camping will be proved a false prophet.
Because of this, we might be tempted to not expect the rapture (or Christ’s return, depending on your eschatology, or view of the sequence of end-time events) this Saturday. So, surprise! Here are 5 reasons why you should expect to see Jesus face-to-face this Saturday.
1. Jesus solemnly warns us to be ready for His return. As Christians, we should always live lives prepared for His imminent return. “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42).
2. Jesus also tells us that the time He will come will be the time we are least likely to expect it. For many of us, this Saturday is about the least likely time for Jesus to return. After all, who is really expecting Harold Camping to be right? “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44).
3. Scripture presents the eager expectation of Jesus’ return as one of the marks of a Christian: “Christ… will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Heb 9:28).
4. We ought to always live as if today were our last day on earth. As Christians we are called to live in light of eternity. “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:14).
5. Christians have been praying for two millennia, “Maranatha” (“Come quickly, Lord Jesus”—1or 16:22, Rev 22:20). Should we not expect that at some point He will answer this prayer?
Let’s not allow someone that we may consider a “false prophet” to push us away from our hope. Maranatha!