The world didn’t end. Now what?


The world didn’t end. May 21st has come and gone and we are still here. What does that mean? Ask ten different people and you will get ten different answers. There are some pastors within the Christian community, some of whom I greatly admire, who are denouncing Harold Camping as a false prophet and a heretic. Christians who were not followers of Camping’s end times scenario are quick to say “I told you so.” Secular skeptics point to the events of May 21st, or the lack there of, as further proof that there is no God. And somewhere in the middle of all this, those who had put their faith in Harold Camping are left to pick up the pieces of whatever life they have left to them after quitting jobs and draining savings accounts to preach the end of the world. These are the ones that I worry most about.

Marie Exley is a 32 year old Army veteran and a follower of Harold Camping. Though Exley is still employed by the US Army, her belief in the May 21st judgment day has cost her most of her relationships with her family and friends.

Or what about the Haddad family? Robert and Abby Haddad were firm believers in the May 21st rapture. Their three teenage children were not. While Robert kept his job as an engineer, Abby quit her nursing job to devote more time to spreading the news about the impending rapture. Their belief has also lead them to stop putting money aside for the college education of their three children. The effect on the children has been massive. “I don’t really have any motivation to try and figure out what I want to do anymore,” says their 14 year old son Joseph, “because my main support line, my parents, don’t care.”

These are two examples among thousands. I don’t think we fully comprehend the damage that has been done. What must be going through the minds of all of those who truly believed that at this moment they would be in the presence of God, seeing Jesus face to face? I shudder to think how many people have had their faith completely shipwrecked by this event.

If we boil it down, the primary issue is that these people put their faith in a man instead of in Jesus Christ. The gospel became secondary to an event. When that event never happened, the foundation of their belief structure was pulled out from under them. I can think of no more potent example for why it is so important that we as Christians always point people back to Jesus. He is the blazing center of the Gospel. He is the beginning and the end of all things. It is for Him that we exist and it is through Him that we are saved. He is the means and He is the end. He is our purpose and our passion. If we preach anything other than Christ, all we do is set people up for disappointment.

Unfortunately that disappointment is then projected upon God. It is important to remember that the misunderstandings of one man have no bearing on the existence or character of God. If I were to claim that you, the reader, were to do such and such a thing next month, you are in no way committed to that course of action by my statement. In fact, if you do not act in my predicted manner the only one who this reflects poorly on is me. It is important that we keep this perspective in regards to a man’s predictions regarding God. This doesn’t invalidate the truth of the rapture or the existence of God. It only further validates the statements of Jesus, that no man knows the day or the hour at which He will come for His Church. (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32)

How then should we respond to this as Christians? With gentleness and love. Many have been shaken, many of been wrecked, some feel further validated in their belief that God doesn’t exist. Saying “I told you so” doesn’t point someone to Jesus. Even this can be used to point to the mercy, grace, and glory of God.

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” –2 Peter 3:9

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About Brandon Cantello

Husband to Nicole, Lover of God, Dependent on the Spirit, Passion for His Church. My name is Brandon. I love Jesus. For more visit My Blog

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One Comment on “The world didn’t end. Now what?”

  1. Lazo Says:

    My heart goes out to the people who were duped by Camping. Many people who are let down by such outlandish promises of the Lord’s coming suffer a tremendous blow to their faith. Makes me want to be careful about what I say in public.

    Speaking of, there is a difference between the rapture and the second coming of Christ. And while I don’t see as much evidence As you do in scripture that there is a rapture as Camping suggests, there is ample evidence that the second coming will. It’s the second coming that we should be thinking about.

    Reply

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