“The Doomsdayers”

This post is in response to the religious leaders, including Harold Camping of Family Radio, who are broadcasting their erroneous belief that they know the specific date of Christ’s second coming.  This is a Christian response to those false prophets (in biblical terms) whom I call, “the Doomsdayers.”

First of all, we should not be surprised when we hear stories on the news about people claiming to know the exact date of Christ’s second coming.  Jesus warns us in Mark that in the “days of
distress…false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22 NIV).  Christ warns us 1.) that these “doomsdayers” would appear and perform wonders, and 2.) that they would deceive people—and
most notably even the elect (the sheep of God’s pasture).  In Mark, Christ warns us to, “be on [our] guard,” from these false prophets.  Christ explains what it means for us to be on guard when he warns us against “falling asleep” in our thinking and commands us to “Watch!” (Mark 13:37).  The best way to defend against the teaching of these “doomsdayers” is to reflect upon and proclaim what the Word tells us about Christ’s second coming.

Second, it is the good habit of all believers to desire with every fiber of our being the second coming of Christ.  Probably a good indication of someone who is not a believer is someone who could care less if Jesus returned today or tomorrow—or even someone who, in their hearts, never wants Jesus to return at all.  As Christians we must collaborate between these two extremes—on the one hand to will Christ’s return so much that we fabricate illusions about our own knowledge of the details of the second coming such as dates and specifics—on the other to get so wrapped up in reality of everyday life and the affairs of this world so as to lose our grip on the spiritual reality of God’s reign—we should strive to find a more truthful and honest middle ground.  The only clear and balanced view of Christ’s second coming is one based upon the Word of God.

Lastly, feeling the temptation to respond to the “Doomsdayers” in a mocking way, like joining a group that celebrates their being wrong on Facebook, is also a temptation we must resist.  Despite our greatest efforts, unbelievers will always link Christianity and Church to what they hear about “believers” in the news media. When they see believers on the news or on Facebook mocking others who believe that Christ will return, even if they are wrong about knowing the
exact day and time, they may begin to believe that Christ’s return is considered myth in the larger Christian community.  Who will tell them otherwise?  We ought always be aware of the theological illiteracy of our world and work hard to share what the Bible actually says about things like the “end times.”  Mocking the Doomsdayers only draws attention to their movement and away from the truth.



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