Thinking Out Loud

September 24, 2017

One Day After September 23rd: We’re Still Here

Filed under: Christianity, prophecy — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:46 am

At the very least we should have felt a loud impact yesterday as the planet Nibiru crashed into earth. That’s how some people interpret the writings of David Meade (pictured right) at the website Planet X News, though the post itself seems more focused on October 15th. Was it changed? In a UK interview two days ago with The Sun he says we all misunderstood the September 23rd date, and seems to be leaning to October 21st, and this date as more of the beginning of seven years of nuclear war.

Our friends at Internet Monk devoted their entire Saturday roundup to Meade — I’m not sure why — where you can turn for greater analysis. I would have been more reluctant to give him that space, and yet alas, here we are…

…Dates come and dates go. J. Lee Grady, a former editor and now columnist for Charisma News reminds us in a recent article,

Failed date-setting has discredited Christians many times before. Why can’t we learn from history? William Miller, the father of Seventh-day Adventism, was convinced Jesus would return in 1844. When his prediction turned out to be bogus, many disillusioned “Millerites” abandoned their faith.

Jehovah’s Witnesses taught that Jesus would begin His millennial reign in 1914. When that didn’t happen, they pointed to the outbreak of World War I and began teaching that this was the “beginning of the end.” A few years later they moved the date to 1925. Nothing happened that year, but more than a generation later they circulated the prediction that the world would end in 1975. (They also taught that only Jehovah’s Witnesses would survive a global holocaust.)

Recent history is littered with more of these embarrassing predictions. It hasn’t been that long since Edgar Whisenant, a Christian layman, wrote 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. Millions of believers bought that paperback book. Other Christians have made similar predictions—such as the Y2K scare in 1999 or Harold Camping’s infamous warning that the world would end on May 21, 2011.

Furthermore, we need to be wary of date-setters and especially precise date setters. We’re certainly given hints as to the times and seasons that might foretell of the immanent return of Christ, but not the day and the hour. Nobody’s got that. Jesus even goes so far as to suggest that there is some information that God the Father has shielded from (or not revealed) to God the Son, which can lead us to an interesting study on a possible chain of authority within the Godhead; “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” (Matthew 24:36)

On top of that, the dominant teaching in Evangelicalism clearly points us away from the total destruction of this planet. Cataclysmic events maybe; perhaps even precipitated by rogue dictators of Asian nations. But an eschatological view that incorporates New Earth should imply to us that the planet is not entirely doomed.

Finally, our posture in these situations should not be one of fear. Jesus tells his hearers, “So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:28; the whole chapter is instructive.)

Grady concludes,

End-times date-setting hinders the cause of Christ. It’s wrong-headed and irresponsible for any Christian to tell an unbeliever when Jesus is coming back or when the world will end. That’s not the message we were commissioned to preach. Dates and deadlines don’t have the power to save souls—only the gospel can do that.

When we share Christ with others, we don’t need to provide a date for His Second Coming. Instead, we should tell them about the miracle of Calvary and remind them: “Today is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). Hundreds of thousands of people die every day without Jesus, whether or not He returns in their generation. This alone should motivate us to avoid foolish distractions and false prophecies so we can get busy with the task of evangelism.

Our job is to preach the good news—not the bad news!

June 27, 2014

Your Sunday School Kids Shall Prophesy

The backyard of the house I grew up in had a small rock garden that had been built into a hill to prevent erosion and for aesthetic reasons. They called it “the rockery.”  As a just-turned 11-year old, I never paid it much attention except for the times I was conscripted to help with pulling weeds, a chore I found difficult due to the variety of things planted. “Is this a weed?” I would ask, followed seconds later by, “Is this a weed?”

Great plague of antsBeing too young to have a summer job, one July day I found myself wandering aimlessly in the yard and a section the rockery caught my eye. There were ants, many of them, coming and going and doing what ants do. It’s not that I’d never seen ants before, but this was quite an army.

Not content to merely observe, I focused on the small anthill that was their access point to the outside world, and using a stick opened it up the access point, just a little bit, all in the interests of science.

The colony was huge. I was mortified. I dug further. The earth gave up her ants. The visible ants were just a fraction of what lay beneath in their subterranean quarters.

I decided the authorities should be notified. Something must be done. I ran into the house where my mother was working in the kitchen and informed her that — wait for it — “The earth is being readied for a great plague.”

It’s interesting looking back that I chose apocalyptic language for my pronouncement. I guess that’s what it’s like growing up in church. I blame Moses. But it’s not nearly as interesting as something my sister-in-law once told us our nephew did one Sunday morning, as relayed by his S.S. teacher.

We’re not sure if a question had been asked or if was simply an interjection for that moment, but apparently Zach suddenly blurted out, “Casting brazen serpents into the fire.”

For years now, I’ve tried to figure out how to work “Casting brazen serpents into the fire” into song lyrics, but it never quite fits. I also thought it would be interesting to be speaking somewhere and warn people ahead of time that there is a secret word — a la Groucho Marx — and they should watch for the phrase and then add it randomly into the sermon and award a prize to the first person who jumps up.

It’s truly too good a line to waste.

But as a mature adult, looking back, and looking forward, I do believe the earth is being readied for a great plague.

May 21, 2011

5.21.11 — All Quiet on the Western Front

There’s been a volcano eruption in Iceland today, and a landslide in Malaysia, but beyond that it’s been a rather typical Saturday.   There will be a day that the course of world events changes, but it’s not 5.21.11.  All the prophetic markers will be lined up like dominoes, but only a very few will see it coming.  Internet traffic would seem to indicate that a large number of people are simply not ready.  Skeptical, mocking, laughing hysterically; but quietly hedging their bets.  People have an innate sense that if it were true that today was “last day of business” they are not right with God.  The ‘if” means that this potentially applies to everyone. So…ready?

This reminds me of the time — WOW! Did you hear that loud crack in the sky?  Honey could you look outside and see if anything — — — —

Are You Ready? – Pacific Gas & Electric

click above to play

There’s rumors of war
Men dying and women crying
If you breathe air, you’ll die
Perhaps you wonder the reason why
But wait! Don’t you worry
A new day is dawning
We’ll catch the sun, and away we’ll fly…

Are you ready to sit by His throne?
Are you ready not to be alone?
Someone’s coming to take you home
And if you’re ready, then He’ll carry you home

(Are you ready?) (2X)

People say that He won’t come
And I don’t know what say you
But if He should, would you be the one?
I’ve got a little question I’d like to ask you

Are you ready to sit by His throne?
Are you ready not to be alone?
Someone’s coming to take you home
And if you’re ready, then He’ll carry you home

(Are you ready?) (2X)

Brothers and sisters, I have many
Stumbling along to do their thing
Love is a song, it’s better than any
It’s better for music, it’s easy to sing

Are you ready to sit by His throne?
Are you ready not to be alone?
Someone’s coming to take you home
And if you’re ready, then He’ll carry you home…

Learn how to be ready.

graphic:  Artboy

July 30, 2010

Jesus to Return on 5.21.11 — Colorado Bus Bench Ads

Filed under: evangelism — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 12:29 pm

Be sure to read the May 18th update below…

They’re nice looking ads.   Buying space on the bus benches in Colorado Springs probably doesn’t come cheap, either.  (Try $1,200 for the period from now through October.)   Especially for a 31-year old woman who is unemployed.   The theme is “Save the Date.”   (It’s a Saturday, if you’ve got plans…)

Left Behind co-author Jerry Jenkins is happy the discussion is happening, but calls it “folly” to choose a date, since Jesus himself knew “neither the day nor the hour.”   (Though we are instructed to know “the times and the seasons.”)

Watch the CNN video report here.   Or check the website, WeCanKnow.com

What do you do with people who are willing to spend their own money for something they believe in so passionately?    The woman in the story compares herself to Noah, who was derided by his contemporaries when he began to build an ark.   What do you do when there probably will be some positive spin-offs in individual lives, as people contemplate the return of Christ or discuss it with friends?

But then, on the other hand, what do you do with the negative publicity in the [most probable] event that life continues as normal into the day the follows?

For all the lessons we’ve learned from date-setters — the book 88 Reasons Why Jesus is Returning in 1988 comes to mind — why do people keep doing this?

With files from the Colorado Springs Gazette.


May 18th update...

Okay, so over 100 people showed up here today. For this blog, that’s a lot of traffic.  So what if it’s true?  What if the world as we know it were to end on Saturday?

Better yet, what if you’re standing at the gate of heaven and God (or St. Peter!) is standing there saying, “Why should I let you in?”

If your answer is because you went to church, or lived a good life, or never stole or murdered, or gave money to the poor; then you’ve missed it.  That’s “religion,” where standing before God is measured by what you “do.”  But the only acceptable answer is that admittance to heaven is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Only his blood can satisfy a holy God.  In other words it’s not based on “do,” but based on “done.”  It’s been done.  You simply have to tell God, through prayer, that you recognize the need for forgiveness for those areas where you missed the mark, or standard, of his holiness, and want to be included, or covered, in what Jesus has already done.

Then you can have the assurance that you don’t have to worry about whatever happens on May 21st…

Click here to learn more.


7:00 PM (EDT), Saturday May 21st:  Here’s my take on how the day went!

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