It’s almost like kicking a man while he is down, but it’s hard not to comment on the recent Apocalypse Not that occurred… er… didn’t occur yesterday.
We couldn’t help but mention it to each other at Sabbath services and had a good number of yuks at the idea that a May 21 “rapture” was going to occur yesterday accompanied by world rattling earthquakes, and there isn’t something wrong with that in general (at least, Elijah didn’t seem to think so).
Yet in the larger scheme of things it isn’t funny. After all, many people ruined themselves financially in anticipation of this event. Some surely burned bridges that will be hard, if not impossible, to rebuild. Lives may be destroyed–many are certainly altered forever. And, in the end, the idea of “prophecy” is a subject of public ridicule, affecting all who would choose to warn the world of the things to come, whether responsibly or not.
The Scriptures are clear that the end times would be rife with scoffers, and failures of false prophets like this do nothing but encourge such scoffers and increase their ranks:
“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation'” (2 Peter 3:1-4).
Really, the damage is multiplied: lives hurt, even destroyed, in the present in the cases of those who commit everything to false prophecies, and lives damaged on into the future as true prophecies are ignored. Because, while there is no “rapture,” it is very true that a day is coming when the Tribulation will begin, and there will be earthquakes such as the world has never seen — as well as much, much more — and the events, or non-events, of May 21, 2011 will have done nothing but influenced even greater numbers of people to dismiss prophecy, to dismiss God’s Word, and to dismiss the message of Jesus Christ.
So, it may be easy to laugh about all of this, and I readily admit that I do, too. But make no mistake about it: Satan is laughing, as well.
[EDIT, 5/24/2011: It seems Mr. Harold Camping has figured out a way to prolong the problem of his false prophecies by saying that he was wrong and that May 21 was only the beginning of spiritual judgment. Rather than being destroyed over five months, he now says that the world will end quickly in one cataclysmic day on October 21, 2011. And, of course, when this doesn’t happen, his followers will be all the more dejected and depressed that they fell for the same thing twice in one year. Real prophetic understanding, however, will continue to take a hit thanks to such lunacy.]
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P.S. It occurred to me that this might be a good place to plug a couple of Tomorrow’s World telecasts that came to mind in all of this: Prophets and Pretenders and Terror of the Tribulation, both of them by… oh, what’s his name… Oh yeah, me! 🙂 And for those who don’t get the title of this post, you must not have spent the same amount of time in corporate America as I did: “Who Moved My Cheese?”