Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Deuteronomy 16-18; Mark 13:1-20
5 Jesus said, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many people will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ They will deceive many people.7 When you hear of wars and reports of wars, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen, but this isn’t the end yet. 8 Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be earthquakes and famines in all sorts of places. These things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end (Mark 13:5-8, Common English Bible).
Harold Camping was a radio broadcaster, evangelist, and author but that is not his claim to fame. Yes, because of the radio broadcasts that went on more than 150 radio markets nationwide. Still, Camping was best known for his more than 12 predictions of Jesus’ return and the end time prior to his death in 2013. In 2011 he predicted Jesus would return on May 21st of that year. What that didn’t happen he said he had made a math error and the new date was October 21, 2011. He was obviously wrong again.
Camping, an extreme case, and others are exactly who Jesus warned us about in the lesson today. “Many people will come in my name…They will deceive many people.” In my lifetime alone there have been 72 predicted dates for the end of time. There are another seven dates predicted still resting in the future between 2020-2280. We can safely assume that at least six of those will also be wrong. It would also be a safe assumption there will be more predictions in the future.
Over the years, people have asked me many times what my prediction might be. I am not interested in being one of those people who come in Jesus’ name and deceive people. That is not my job. I fail to understand why some people are so obsessed with these predictions when Jesus said, “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the heavenly angels and not the Son. Only the Father knows (Matthew 24:36, Common English Bible).”
My usual answer is, “I don’t know and in my opinion, it isn’t the real question. The real question is, ‘If you knew the end was coming tomorrow, would you live your life differently today? If the answer to that question is yes, then you really need to change how you are living because the truth is, for any of us, the end could come tomorrow or even today.”
To me, being the person who comes in Jesus’ name and mislead the people around me is counterproductive to my call. The world doesn’t need a person who is prediction number 73 or 80 or however many there will have been by the day in question.
What God did call me to do is to share God’s love in word and deed the people God brings into my life. Jesus didn’t say the most important commandment was to predict the His return or the end of time. The most important commandment is to love God and love neighbor. That is the center of my call and I would argue, it is the center of your call as well. May we all demonstrate to the world what is truly important.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved