The End

When Harold Camping’s latest prediction about the end of the world fails to come true, I hope we learn the right lessons. One is that we cannot predict precisely when he will come back, and it is wrong to say we can. That informmation has not been revvealed to us. As the Lord said during his Olivet Discourse:

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

I am afraid that many observers of this fiasco, however, will draw the wrong conclusion, namely, that Christ is not coming back at all. He is definitely coming back, and we will all know it when he does. As the apostle Peter noted, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”

The end is indeed coming, and we are to stay awake and alert. I understand and sympathize with the terrible excitement of looking for the imminent return of Christ–indeed, he could come back any day. That will be a day of glory for believers, and disaster for unbelievers.

We should be motivated to tell others to repent with that same kind of zeal. But let’s stop setting dates.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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