THE END OF THE WORLD IS ALMOST HERE!
HOLY GOD WILL BRING JUDGMENT DAY ON
MAY 21, 2011
This radio ministry espouses that judgment day will be a time when the world will end and true believers will be raptured into heaven. This kind of message kind of puts a damper on our "Happy New Year" greetings as we approach the new year.
- First of all (and most importantly) the overall biblical theme that the good creator God who created the earth and will one day redeem and reclaim it through a special act of God's grace (the second coming of Jesus) is totally absent in this group's pronouncement. Instead, they have opted for a view that the world that God created will be destroyed. For a biblical view, check out Revelation 21 where we are told that heaven and earth will finally be united and there will be no more suffering or death. Or just check out the Lord's Prayer where we pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven." The whole mission of the church is to offer the healing love of God through Jesus Christ to the world.
- Secondly, when Jesus returns, we will not be "snatched away" into heaven as rapture theology espouses. This is a misreading of metaphors used by Paul in I Thessalonians 4. From a 1st century historical perspective, the image is that when Jesus reappears, believers will welcome the newly arrived king. The first readers of this epistle would have associated what Paul was saying with how a Roman citizen would welcome the Roman Emperor who had left Rome to visit one of his Roman colonies. They would have met him from a distance and then would have personally escorted him into their city. If you believe in bullet point #1 above, then this second bullet point makes perfectly good sense from a biblical perspective.
- Thirdly, "Family Radio" has taken a creative biblical literary device of describing time from God's point of view (1 day = 1,000 years) and has turned it into a very literal and wooden interpretation. Using the Noah and the Ark story in the Book of Genesis, and this literal use of a poetic way of describing time, they have arrived at the date of May 21, 2011.
Having offered this rebuttal, I'll end on a positive note. It's always a good thing to anticipate Christ's second coming. But instead of focusing on a specific date that is centered around a theology that is void of fundamental doctrines (ie. God's good creation of the world and desire to redeem it), instead we should live in such a way that anticipates the way God has always intended his creation to be; a place of peace, harmony, justice, love, and joy. Of course, this happens as we depend on the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit as we feed the poor, care for the sick, find shelter for the homeless, and offer a welcome to those who feel outside of God's fold.
My advice? If you should drive down the highway and notice a large billboard with the date of May 21, 2011, pray "The Lord's Prayer." And when you get to the part that says, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven," invite God to strengthen you to use each day to offer the healing love of God through Jesus Christ in our community and world.
...including May 21, 2011.