Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 22

May 22ndis right around the corner. I am waiting. Not so I can gloat and say, “I told you so” to all those who are trusting in Harold Camping’s prophecies, but to pick up the pieces. Our focus ought not to be on of who was right and who was wrong, but rather on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God sent His Son because it is His desire that none “should perish, but that all should come to repentance                (2 Peter 2:9).” We ought to seek how we can help those who have been swayed by Camping’s false doctrines to find significance of the true Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Camping’s date is not the most important issue here. It will come and go, and I do not have to claim any special unction from God to say so. However, the damage that has been done to the local church and the preaching of the Gospel will continue long after May 22, as long as people adhere to Camping’s teachings. The fact that Camping has set seven previous dates for Christ’s return and has been wrong seven times, has not deterred his followers. If Camping holds true to form to what he has done before, he will simply regroup and eventually we will hear of a new date he has set. Consequently, the damage he has done will in all likelihood continue.
We need to not gloat at this man’s failure, but rather point out the truth of the Gospel that “Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord, shall be saved (Romans 10 :13)”. Camping’s gospel is uncertain for he says you may call but God may or may not save you. The Bible clearly says “Whosever.” We need to continue to spread this truth and not add to it. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37).” One can ask, “But how do I know if God has chosen me to be saved?” The answer is that He has chosen the “whosoevers” of this world that will come to Him. One can have this certainty. There is salvation in Christ to any that will come.
False teachers will come and go, but the Gospel is here to stay until Jesus comes. The Church--the Body of Christ remains and needs to continue to proclaim this message, "But as many as received Him to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." The question to all is are you a "whosoever" who will receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If so, then come unto Him and God has promised to do the rest. This is the Gospel we must preach if we are to reach a lost and dying world.
But, what about those who have followed the false teachings of Camping? They mostly are sincere
in their beliefs. Many have put life on hold expected that they will not be here after May 21. Some have sacrificed life savings, family relationships and their futures because of their beliefs. Many will wake up on May 22 disappointed, disillusioned and destitute. How do we convince them that it was
not God that let them down, but rather a false teacher when they have already exchanged the truth of God for this lie? How do we convince them that they can be reconciled to the Body of Christ through the Blood of Christ?
Indeed, May 22 will not be the time to say, I told you so.It will not be the time for gloating that we were right and they were wrong, while it will be clear that once again Camping has shown himself a false prophet. It will be the time to show Christs love that is expressed so clearly in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. We must reach out in Gods love helping as we can, sharing this truth, that it is not that we are saved by convincing God by repenting long enough and hard enough (as Camping teaches) but that God simply wants us to receive His Son into our lives. God does the rest.

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