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Thursday, April 28, 2011

"But the day and hour no one knows"

On my drive to work, I noticed a billboard sign that read: "Judgment Day is coming May 21, 2011."  Curiously, I decided to visit the website, FamilyRadio.com.  The website provides a countdown clock to "Judgment Day." 

Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping believes the world will end on October 21, 2011.  Before Armageddon, however, Camping believes Christians will be saved on May 21, 2011 in a massive ascension, known as the rapture. 

The rapture was described in a letter Paul the apostle wrote the Thessalonians.  Paul spent some time in Thessalonica (present day Thessaloniki) preaching the Word to Gentiles, Greeks and some Jews before leaving to Corinth and Athens.  Paul later wrote a letter of gratitute and encouragement meant to strengthen the followers' practice and beliefs.  In the letter, Paul mentions that the second coming of the Lord will rise the dead and those who believe in the Word: 

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound fo the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Many since have attempted to predict the second coming of Christ.  Most notably is Harold Camping's mathematical equation that dates the beginning of the end of times in May.  Of course, Camping also predicted that the second coming would occur on September 6, 1994.  I didn't--a fault he blames on bad math.

When Jesus was asked by his disciples when his return would occur, he warned of false prophets:

"...Take heed that no one leads you astray.  For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of was; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this but the beginning of the birth-pangs." - Matthew 24:4-8

Furthermore, Jesus stressed that no one, except for God himself, would be able to predict his second coming.

"But the day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." - Matthew 24:36

Perhaps Camping's equation will be correct; although, I doubt it.  I guess we'll see on May 22nd.

Sources: Wikipedia; The New Oxford Annotated Bible, 1962; http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-01-01/bay-area/17466332_1_east-bay-bay-area-first-time-camping; http://www.ebiblefellowship.com/may21/; http://www.familyradio.com/index2.html

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