Missionaries At Work - Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Saturday, May 21, 2011
The End Of The World?
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I wanted to drop a few short lines concerning all the media coverage about the "End of The World" and it happening this Saturday. ( Tomorrow as of this writing).
I would have written earlier but, honestly, I really did not think this effort by Mr. Camping and Family Radio would gain this much interest, much less the level of belief and the fears that are being generated with it. There are many reactions being seen: fear, loathing, panic, parties, expectation, the giving away of goods, homes, cars, pets, people quitting jobs, saying good-by's and all manner of things.
Sadly, I did expect some to react, but not at the level that is being seen.
There are a lot of good responses to have in this situation and,my first to you is this: I honestly cannot tell you the Lord will not be back tomorrow , nor any other day, anymore than Mr. Camping can rightly tell you He will, it simply is not something we are given to know, nor to try and "figure out".
Jesus tells us that it is not for us to know the "Day or the Hour" of the bridegrooms return, but rather for us to "be on the alert" with our lives, to live prepared for His return , by what we believe, by what we do, according with who He is. ( Parable of the 10 Virgins- Matt. 25:1-13 )
So what should our response be to this?
1. Fear not: If the Lord is coming back tomorrow or, whenever He comes back, it is not something for the Christian to fear, but something we should look forward too.
2. Have Compassion: Let us look with compassion on those who are being hurt in all of this, who will feel ashamed, broken, let down if the Lord does not return in the morning. Most of these souls have been led astray by poor theology, poor leadership, and just plain heretical teachings. In this, they are not to blame, they are indeed victims of abuse. It will be hard to ask for their job back, ask friends for the car back, the house, the mortgage and so forth. It will be hard when they realize they hurt some people when they asked if they could "leave" things with them, as if those people were not going where they were come judgement day- yes, there will be feelings hurt, that need to be mended, tended. Let us have compassion on these souls rather than ridicule them.
3.Use and Gain Wisdom: Let us use wisdom in this situation, for while Mr. Camping's theology is a mess, it does not mean God cannot come when He wants, even if it were the day Mr. Camping predicted! Mr. Camping's theology would still be a mess, but the Lord Sovereign. The old saying about "even a blind hog finds and acorn every now and again" might fit well here.
If the Lord was already coming for the final judgement, He is not going to change plans just because of Mr. Camping's poor theology and resulting prediction.
Let us be wise in knowing that just because some mis-use the Word of God, it does not mean God has failed or, that His word has failed- on the contrary, these mistakes are often used of God to show the difference between Truth and Error.
4. Be Merciful: Mr. Camping and many of those that follow him truly believe they are correct, from their hearts, they believe this, they want this and, they love God as best they can, with what they know, where they are, according to what they have been taught.
Let us not revile them, but instead be merciful with out thoughts and prayers.
Many are jeering, making fun, laughing, but Jesus tells us: ““Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NAS95)
5.Let us Remember:We need to remember why God sent His Son and what being saved is really all about. The whole of the Gospel is about relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, it is not about "going to heaven" , but about the person of Jesus Christ and our relationship with the Father through Him and this relationship empowered by the Holy Spirit. This is the purity of the Gospel , to be back in right relationship with our creator, Heaven and missing judgement, well, those things take care of themselves if we have this relationship with Christ Jesus. The Point is not trying to get to heaven, the Point is becoming One with Christ, thats where our hearts focus should be. ““Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NAS95)
I will close with this: It is not for me to say when the Lord is returning or not returning, it is however for me to say: He will come again in glory!
The day and time is not ours to know, what is for us to know is the person of The Lord Jesus Christ, everything else will be as it should be.
Mr. Camping's Theology is terribly flawed, some is outright heretical, and much of his staff plans on being at work on Monday.
However, as much pain as will be involved ( if/when the Lord does not return tomorrow ) a lot of good will come as well, many have found themselves questioning their thoughts, actions, the condition of their souls and this, this is a good thing, this again simply proves the amazing grace of God, in that no vessel is so cracked, so broken , that God cannot get good use from it.
And that my friends: Is Good News indeed!
As for me, well, I plan on seeing you all in Church on Sunday, not because any of you were found unworthy-smile- but because you have been found of such great worth, such great worth indeed, that He saved you and wants to be with you, to serve you of Himself as you seek to praise and adore Him in worship.
Think on this as you go about your day:““For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.“Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.“Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.”
(Matthew 24:37–41 NAS95)
And I ask you: In the days of Noah, Which were removed and which were "left behind"?
The evil was removed and the righteous servants left behind and, just as it was, so shall itbe. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NAS95)
See you Sunday.
Grace and Peace to all:
In His Service,
Fr Rusty Matheny MSJ is the pastor of St Luke, Tyler, TX
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