During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy often closed his speeches with the story of Colonel Davenport, the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives…
On May 19th, 1780 the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand. Quelling a clamor for immediate adjournment, Davenport rose and said, “The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought.” *
Recent headlines have included Harold Camping’s predictions that Jesus would return to this world on Saturday, May 21, 2011….
According to his website, the Family Radio Christian network website, Jesus will return in the ensuing chaos and destruction to rescue the true believers, who will ascend to heaven in the Rapture. Nonbelievers will remain to live in torture and torment, tsunamis and fire, for five more months until October 21, when God will destroy whatever and whoever remains.
Camping made similar – and erroneous – claims in 1994. He blamed his miscalculations then on “important subsequent biblical information not yet known.” This time he claims to have the correct Biblical and mathematical formula based on his calculations that Saturday marks exactly 7,000 years since Noah’s flood, and that, according to Camping, means Judgment Day.**
If Camping’s predictions are incorrect, then he will be TWICE proven to be a false prophet (see Deuteronomy 18:22). Jesus said, “But of that day and hour [of His second coming] NO ONE knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
The Bible teaches that Jesus will return one day to judge the world (cf. Acts 17:30-31). Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29).
So what do we do?
The words of Colonel Davenport are fitting: “The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty.”
When Jesus comes, it will be a SAD DAY for those who are unprepared (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). However, His coming will be joyously welcomed by those who are found in Him (Philippians 3:9) and faithfully doing His will.
Those who will welcome the 2nd coming of Christ are those who…. have placed their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turned from their sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessed His deity (Romans 10:9-10), and been baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). “Faithful until His return” is the mantra for those Christians who are watching and waiting for Him.
Vain attempts to calculate the exact time of Jesus’ return do NOT annul the FACT of His coming. The important response is to be ready at any time.
Minister, Church of Christ at Creekwood