In the past few weeks we have been inundated with news that a certain self‐styled prophet in Northern California has predicted that the RAPTURE of the church will take place on May 21, 2011. He further prophesied that the world would be destroyed by fire on October 21, 2011.
His predictions have caused many people to use their life savings to share this message. It is now May 23, 2011 and the prophet and his followers, along with believers worldwide are still here. Many of this man’s followers are suffering greatly today with embarrassment. I truly feel sorry for them and their leader. I believe that they are all very sincere in their beliefs, BUT SINCERELY WRONG.
I do believe that Jesus is coming back for His church. I also believe that it could be very soon. The Bible is very clear in its teaching regarding the return of Christ and the end of the world as we know it. Unfortunately these folks in Northern California failed to read all of the words regarding Christ’s coming.
In Matthew’s gospel, chapter 24, Jesus shares with his disciples concerning things that will take place prior to His return to earth. His disciples responded in the same way that many people today respond. When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3)
Jesus answers their question by giving them a list of signs that will take place before He returns. One of the signs is that many false prophets will appear and will lead many people astray (Matthew 24:11).
In my lifetime there have been many sincere, but false prophets. Notably there was a prophet who wrote a book titled, 88 reasons why Jesus will come in 1988. He didn’t come! In 1994 the same prophet who predicted Jesus would return this last week, set a date that didn’t come to pass. Jesus goes on to say something that all of the false prophets fail to accept. However, no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows (Matthew 24:36).
Then Jesus says You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected (Matthew 24:44).
The Apostle Paul gives us more insight into the return of Jesus and the end of our world:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:1618).
In 1 Thessalonians chapter five Paul continues with these words:
For you know the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (v2)
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing (v11)
I think that it is fitting to end this post with the very appropriate words found in Deuteronomy chapter 18:
But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die. You may wonder, how will we know whether the prophecy is from the Lord or not? If the prophet predicts something in the Lord’s name and it does not happen, the Lord did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared (v20-22).
YES! Jesus is coming back again. He said, Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am (John 14:13).
When Jesus ascended into heaven in Acts 1:11, two angels appeared with this message to the disciples: Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!
YES! Someday He will return. I anticipate his return. Until he comes I am content to serve him with joy. I trust that you will do THE SAME.
(Scriptures quoted are from the New Living Translation.)