The world didn’t end, but what now?
Saturday, May 21 came and passed without a cataclysmic world-ending disaster. The sincere California pastor missed his prediction again.
Eighty-nine-year-old Harold Camping came up with numerological proof based on Genesis 7:4, which reads “For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things which I have made.”
Since one day is like 1,000 years in God’s eyes (2 Peter 3:8), and supposedly the flood occurred in 4990 BC, 7,000 years later is 2011. Then Camping devised some complicated formula using the number of days between the crucifixion and May 21 to decide that last Saturday was the day.
People’s response was interesting. Some bought into his prediction and zealously witnessed to the masses that the end is near and it’s time to repent. Others threw parties as the designated time approached. A Facebook page invited people to participate in “post rapture looting.”
Obviously, we’re still here. Despite the fact that Camping missed his mark, his bold campaign caused us to think about end times. What will happen when our life ends, or if the end times come before we leave this earth?
The truth is that either we will die and pass into eternity, or Jesus will come again and take His faithful with Him. The Bible says that what happens to us depends on what we do with Jesus.
So what did we learn?
First, I was reminded that no one really knows when the world’s end will come. On one occasion, Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives and his disciples came to Him privately and asked Him about His coming again and about the end of the age.
Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). Truly, God only knows.
Second, I was reminded that there will come a day in which we will stand before God in judgment. We kid about judgment day, but the Bible says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”
There will come a moment in which Jesus asks, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” And there will come a time in which we have to give account of our lives. When the end comes, there will be judgment.
Third, I was reminded that each day must be lived to the fullest. Paul encouraged us in Ephesians 5:16 to redeem the time, to make the most of every opportunity. Since we’ve been given more time beyond May 21, we should make every moment count. No matter how long one lives, life is short and goes by in such a blur. Life is too short to hold a grudge, or to withhold forgiveness, or to be bitter and ornery and grouchy. Enjoy the gift of each day.
Fourth, I was reminded that I live in the presence of Christ every day. My aim is to please Him daily. I fall short often, but that’s my aim.
Mark Karki, our minister of music and worship, was enjoying his morning coffee shop stop one day last week and was talking with a friend about the Camping prediction.
He asked, “If this was true, what would we be doing differently today? How would we act?”
The man responded, “I wouldn’t be mad at the person who cuts me off in traffic!” They laughed and went on.
The fact is, we should be different, not because the world might end at any moment, but because we want to live like Jesus wants us to live.
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, Fayetteville, just past the department of drivers’ services building. Join them this Sunday for Bible study for all ages at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Register online for Vacation Bible School at www.mcdonoughroad.org.