The recent stir up over Harold Camping and his prediction that “judgment day” is this Saturday, May 21st, is nothing new. In fact it is not new for Camping who also predicted the end in the mid-90’s, although he now says he calculations was off. While this is getting some media attention, the question for the Christian who does live in belief that there will be a judgement day, and Christ will return to make all things new, is how are we to think and speculate about such things. The bible is pretty clear that we are not supposed to speculate or calculate the end (Acts 1:7). Instead we are to know it is coming, and to continue living on mission, loving like Jesus and proclaiming the gospel to all who will hear .
To speculate or to think we have an understanding when the end will come, is not just unbiblical, it can be downright sinful. There are a couple of reasons we should not worry ourselves with when the end will be:
- Jesus told us not to worry. Over and over again the disciples were wondering when the end would come and when final judgment would happen (Luke 17: 20-21). Jesus would remind them that this was not something they should be worried about (Matt. 24:6), and that it is being kept secret from them and Him (Matt. 24:36, Mark 13:32)! If God our Father wants something to be kept secret for us, than it is wise to trust God in His wisdom, not try to disregard it out of curiosity (Deut. 29:29).
- Worrying about the end distracts from the present. Trying to figure out the end seems for some to be something worth reading up on, and wasting a lot of energy on, yet for Jesus he told us where our energy, passion and time should be spent, on mission (Matt. 28: 19-20). For the Christian our time here and now is to live in light of the end, and tell as many as we can about the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and what that good news means for them. The end will come, the call for the follower of Jesus is to love our neighbors (Mark 12:31) and enemies (Matt. 5:43) with the love of Jesus, not bunker down or try to decipher some supposed bible codes.
The book of Revelation is the closest we have to understanding the end and even that is not meant to be a predictor of the end date. John was given a glimpse, and in that glimpse the purpose was to show that among the pain, trials and seemingly endless darkness of the present age, a time is coming when Jesus will return, wreck shop on evil and reign victoriously forever.
The end of Revelation gives us the stance that Christians should take here and now, and that is with hope from Jesus and a prayer:
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!