Leaving work Thursday night a co-worker mentioned that someone had said Saturday was the end of the world. I responded with a smile and I said I was ready. Friday morning comes around and I get a calendar reminder to do some reading. I am not much for watching TV and the plans and tasks of running a business and other aspects of my life tend to leave me unaware of what is going on in the news – so I have to have calendar reminders to read the news. I opened my Droid smart phone, updated the feeds on my RSS Reader and then started reviewing the headline summaries of the New York Times. Sure enough there was a group of people in New York City proclaiming that Saturday, May 21, 2011 was the end of the world. I clicked through to read more; curious to know where these people were coming from. The article did not tell me much so I moved on to my BBC (British Broadcasting) News Feed wondering what the British were saying about this. I found one article commenting on it. I then pulled up Bing and the most popular search phrase for the day was “World Ending Tomorrow”. I went to Google and typed e in the search field and the first auto complete phrase was “End of the World”.
[SIDE NOTE: There is probably a great lesson in Public Relations in there somewhere – just think if our businesses could create so much buzz about them to get the attention of the world.]
Anyway, a bit eager to find out how this group leader, Harold Camping, came up with this date I did some more searching. I found a few sites that commented on the various calculations used. It seemed like it was some calculation from the time of the flood in the days of Noah. I remembered something that Jesus said to his disciples in the book of Matthew (Holy Bible), chapter 24, verse 36. Jesus had made a comment that alluded to “the end”. His disciples (in verse 4) eagerly said “Tell us, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” So Jesus, in His kind and patient way shared a few things. And then in verse 36 said, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”.
According to the Holy Bible, it is clear that there will be an end, but it also seems clear that we cannot tell EXACTLY to the day when this will happen. There are signs we can look for and, yes we are seeing some of those signs take place (major earthquakes, etc.), but it seems to me that trying to come up with an exact date is pointless. I think the main issue, regardless of the date, is appropriately responding to God’s love He showed us in sending His Son Jesus into the world – being ready for “the end” at all times. Part of Harold Camping’s message is true. There is a saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” (i.e. if part of something we read or hear is not true it does not mean that there are not some worthy truths that we should consider). The Holy Bible is clear that we all miss the mark when it comes to living our lives in ways perfectly before God and that as a result we stand condemned to judgment. The Bible is also very clear that God loved us so much that He sent His Son into the world to make a way for our rescue (dying in our place). Jesus lived perfectly before God. He then received the judgment of death in our place (taking the punishment for us).
So, what is an appropriate response to all of this? I guess the first thing we have to decide is whether or not the Holy Bible is true. If not, who cares, let’s live our lives however we want and deal with the natural cause and effect consequences (good and bad) that come from the choices we make. If the Holy Bible is true then we can choose to respond to God’s kindness in humility. We can acknowledge that we have blown it and do indeed need to be rescued “saved” from judgment. We can put our hope and faith in Jesus and trust that He took the judgment for us. We can ask Jesus to be the leader of our lives and follow Him. The result is not only escape from judgment and eternal life but fullness of life now. Another choice is to continue to live our lives on our own terms, rejecting God’s kind offer of rescue, joy and peace and, when His kind offer expires (when we die or the end comes), appropriately face His judgment.
I made the decision to follow Jesus a number of years ago. The joy and peace I now have is priceless. The benefits of having Jesus walk with me and guide me through life are amazing. Oh, and having no worries about of standing before God on the day of judgment is just icing on the cake.
PS: In our software terms, the Bible is our owner’s manual, providing instruction for how our lives work. It is God’s knowledge base that helps us know Him better. We can search it daily to troubleshoot the problems we face and gain wise counsel with any changes we need to make. So, what are you waiting for? Submit a help desk request to God and be rescued today.