It’s The #EndofTheWorld As We Know It On #May21!

18 May

Thanks to REM for that rockin’ song!  It is a song that I will always associate with my childhood.  It quickly caught on and became a favorite on Casey Kasem’s Top 40 and it was definitely one of my favorites as a 12 year old.  In fairness, junior high kids are easily amused!

I’ve been thinking about this song in light of the recent predictions of the end of the world.  Harold Camping is the latest person to claim to know when Jesus is going to return.  Camping is 89 years old and has been talking about the end of days for quite some time now.  He seems to be pretty exclusively focused on it, actually.

What is even more interesting to me is that this isn’t the first time that Camping has predicted the end of the world.  His first recorded forecast was for September 6, 1994.  Maybe I missed that one because I was busy being a college student.  But then again, maybe I missed it because it wasn’t true.  Either way, I’m concerned by all of the attention that this guy is getting.

Here are three things that you need to know:  #1~  No one knows when the end of the world will occur.  In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 13, starting in verse 32,  Jesus was recorded as saying:

32 “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.

Jesus understood that people want to know the answers to everything.  But, by God’s design we are not supposed to know everything or to be able to figure everything out.  If we were able to, we’d probably get really impressed with ourselves.  The NT book of Ephesians warns us against being overly impressed with our own abilities and reminds us that what we have is only by the grace of God.

Here’s the second thing you need to know: #2~ We need to get back to LOVE.  We are so gifted at majoring in the minors.  Is Jesus going to return?  Yes.  Are we told to eagerly anticipate his return?  Yes.  But Jesus said there are other more important things.  In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 22, Jesus was asked about the most important things in life and he answered:


 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I’m tired of people hijacking the name of Jesus, like Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas (their website IS offensive.  You’ve been warned).  I’m not claiming that Camping has bad intentions or anything else, but I do think that the media enjoys making much of crazy things that people under the banner of Jesus say.  What if we were known more for our relief efforts in Haiti or for our work in tornado-devastated Alabama?  I think those efforts look more like the Jesus I read about in the Bible.

Here’s the final thing I want to share with you: #3God is still in control.  If for some reason the world does end on May 21, I want you to know that it had nothing to do with Harold Camping and his prediction.  He does not have any insider God- information like a crooked Wall Street executive.

We live in such uncertain times with tornadoes and earthquakes and new wars each time we turn on the news.  Don’t put your trust in Harold Camping.  Or in any other leader that doesn’t make love the focus of the teachings of Jesus.  We don’t know when the end of the world will be, but I want to learn to trust Jesus more fully on this journey of life.

God, please teach us to trust you more and to love the people you’ve placed in our lives.

God-willing, we’ll wake up on May 22nd and we’ll find out that the end of the world didn’t happen…and that we’ll all feel fine (Thanks again, Michael Stipe).

Peace,

Neil



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