Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”Acts 1:6-10
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Matthew 24
Now let’s step back. Let’s look at what we know as believers in Jesus Christ if you who are reading are such. According to the Scriptures, there are a lot of things that hint around and say, “Yeah, maybe this is going to happen sometime in the near future and you need to be prepared for it just in case,” but Jesus Himself goes so far as to say something along the lines of: “Hey if someone goes saying that they know I’m here, don’t listen to them because they have been deceived!” He never went around saying that He was gonna come back and take us home at such and such a date, nor exact detail, just that eventually it was gonna happen, and that we needed to be prepared for it. Plain and simple. But was that good enough? Take a look below.
People lost their money, their property, their basics, thrown away. And for what? Numerology? Trust me, I know, and I believe that numbers hold the key to a lot of things, but this is a Biblical fallacy. If God really is God, and Jesus is His Son, then who deceived the many to believe that Christ’s statement that it is not for us to know the times nor the seasons which God has put in His own power is untrue? Well… Satan is the “father of lies” according to the book of Matthew. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this Camping guy is Satanic, but if the Bible is true, and he believes the Bible, then he obviously either has no clue what he believes and needs to be educated – I speak not as one with the wisdom of God, but with common sense – OR he needs to stop playing this game. A lot of people believed he was right. After all, if that numeric sequence had any sort of presentable value, it might even be valid, and I can see how the presence of a number can resemble closely the face of proof, just as being able to do magic tricks with the sleight of hand once gave the illusion of one possessing angelic and/or god-like qualities, invoking their worship. However, these are deceptions. And people believed them. People were let down.
Now, what’s gonna happen? How are they gonna survive in the world? Did not Christ command that we go “into all the world and preach the Gospel unto all nations,” as is taken roughly from the Gospel According To Mark? If the message of the Gospel has any sort of impact on a believer of Jesus Christ, there will be ONE impression left above all others: you’re not the only one who needs Jesus. Remember all those times you screwed up in life? falling off your bike, both literally and proverbially? when you scraped your knee and needed your parents to get you a bandage? Yeah? That’s everyone else in the world. To assume that we are the only ones who screw up is to assume that we don’t need to tell the rest of the screwed-up, two-faced, murderous world we came from and still abide in until He actually does come, and THAT assumes that we somehow are the only ones who fall under the category of “paid for in full by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
But the last time I checked, human = human. Yes, yes, I understand Michael doesn’t = Katie or Frank or Bob, but we are all inescapably human. And we cannot change that. Therefore, every human has the same general makeup, hormones, interactions, reactions, just as an across-the-board generalization, varied according to the person and his or her experiences. Since we are human, we all screw up. Since we are human, we fall under that “paid for in full” category. Since we are human, we have a duty to find our brothers and sisters and pull them from the same snare Christ pulled us from. It doesn’t have to do with judging someone ’cause they’re a drinker, or a smoker, or gay, or straight and just overly hormonal and such, or irresponsible, or thieves, or lustful, or murderers, or adulterers, or terrorists, or prideful, or arrogant in areas we shouldn’t be because we could all do better if we were God, or acting like we did anything to deserve the world bowing to us as if they owe us for something other than being part of the mess that tangles them. After all, obviously, we didn’t create ourselves (for cause and effect are separate, entirely). We are not responsible for any of the good things, just for messing them up ’cause we don’t have the capacity to be content with living. After all, if we did have that capacity for our entire lives, we’d be God. But we’re not. Obviously.
So, all of that having been said… how then are we supposed to be able to help the world as Christ helped us if we sell all our things not to give to the poor but to fund an improbable and unpredictable event that we know one day will happen but have no sound way of pinpointing a date? Yes! Give to the poor! Help the world out in any way possible! But God never said to throw your life away needlessly! He gives us things and opportunities and people for a reason! He made that clear when He gave Himself! So why can’t WE? Causing mass panic over potential fatality isn’t giving hope: it is stealing it. After all, God knows the heart. He knows if a person is “repenting” for a ticket to Heaven or for real. Souls aren’t won by terror but by compassion. Maybe I sound judgmental right now. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. It makes me cringe to think that we could undermine the world’s standing with God like this. I can understand the fact that for some the prospect of the return of Christ and the separation of good and evil once and for all is an awesome thing, and I cannot wait for it to happen, even though I have to by definition. But to believe that you have any clue how God plans on going about His business (though He has made it clear what His business is) is prideful, and impossible on top of that. It is downright blasphemous to believe that you understand the schedule of the person who knew your schedule before you were born. And it is downright scary to think about what that means for the people who are affected by such thinking.
There are going to be repercussions on the church for what has happened.
First of all, we are going to be mocked and ignored as a whole to a higher degree [though not infinite and unbreakable] because not everyone understands that this movement doesn’t speak on behalf of all Christians, and that will be detrimental in opposition to our change in ourselves and our ability to change the now more hardened heart of the world, thus preventing the true Gospel to be preached, and causing us to fight harder.
Second, we are going to be divided further amongst ourselves because there will be people who are uncontrollably enraged at this movement instead of trying to reach them and untwist the Scripture of the false gospel that was received.
Thirdly, everything we have and have not done has been recorded in the eye of God. If we are responsible for these first two consequences, we are accountable – after all, we just slapped God in the face and called Jesus a liar and ourselves geniuses.
So please, I’m begging you, don’t be like I was at first. We don’t have the time or energy to waste being bitter over this (which admittedly I was and still am and need prayer and encouragement and strength to overcome in Jesus’ name). We don’t even have the time to make a big scene out of it other than to acknowledge and dismiss as falsehood and return to the task at hand: find those who seek more than themselves. Stay strong, church. In spite of all of this, do not stop looking for His coming, and do not stop praying for one another. May He come quickly.
P.S.: The verse cited by the movement in question that states that the “Day of the Lord” will not overtake us as a thief (referencing the book of I Thessalonians) is something I struggled to understand. In light of this new movement, I believe I now understand. It has been used by this movement outside of its original context and made into a Biblical fallacy that implies that the day and the hour can be known. This is not the case. It merely states that, when it does happen, those of us who have been seeking Him for reasons outside of His return will at least be prepared for it in the sense that it won’t necessarily destroy us or surprise us entirely. The Bible clearly quotes Jesus in His proclamation that there will be signs of the coming times, but does not give an ETA. Preparedness is simply put in one word: surrender. Keep loving people, keep loving God, and put them together. It’s not over yet.