Camping Out

Posted on May 20, 2011 · Posted in Authority, Bible, Worldview

I had decided not to blog about the Harold Camping prediction—the prediction that the rapture will occur tomorrow, and the end of the world will happen next October. But after hearing Rush Limbaugh mention it on his show, I need to comment.  Atheists have had a field day mocking this prediction. Fox News and other networks have run stories about Camping’s predictions.

Parents, this is an important opportunity for you to teach your children about the value of Scripture.  God’s word is always true. It is always reliable. So when someone like Mr. Camping claims that careful study of the Bible reveals definite predictions about the end of the world, these predictions are easily verified or rejected. Jesus Christ, in fact did, make a statement about whether or not we can know when the world will end. Here is what he said in Mark 13:31-33:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert!  You do not know when that time will come.

So, Mr. Camping is correct when he says the world will end. However, he is completely wrong in saying that he knows when this will happen.  It should not take a highly trained theologian to refute Mr. Camping. The wisdom that comes from God’s word provides the confidence necessary to see the folly of what his proclamations.

One reasons this story has any traction is the growing lack of understanding of Scripture in this culture. Christ’s statement could not be any clearer—no one knows! But God has been clear with regard to many things that our culture has embraced.  Extra-marital sex is rampant. The family is under attack. God is absent from education, and evolution is presented as a fact.

If your children are worried about the world ending, comfort them with Christ’s words. If you know someone who is mocking Christianity because of Camping’s delusions, let them know that Mr. Camping is out of step with Scripture. Compassionately, let them know that though Mr. Camping has the dates wrong, their judgment will come.  That is certain. Christ is the answer to the awful weight of sin.

Judgment day is coming; we just don’t know when. So believing the gospel of Jesus Christ is not an option – it is a must.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.