The Sky is Falling!
May 18, 2011 • By Ed Wrather
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. – Matthew 24:36-44 NKJV.
Most of us heard the story of Chicken Little, or Henny Penny when we were children. An acorn fell on the little chicken, and he then believes the sky is falling. Of course, the sky was not really falling; but still, in some stories the chicken is able to gain some followers as he goes to tell the king. Sometimes the sky does fall, as in things fall out of the sky like an acorn, or a plane, or a meteorite, and even satellites sometimes. However, that does not necessarily mean that the end of all things is near.
By now many of you have heard of Harold Camping, the owner of a network of radio stations known as “Family Radio (Family Stations Inc).” Harold has been proclaiming loudly in his own way that the sky is falling. According to Camping, the sky will fall, the world will end as we know it on May 21st (2011). He actually paid for a full-page ad in USA Today, and on billboards across the country, to make known his prediction. Much like Chicken Little, Camping has picked up some followers along the way. One of Camping's followers is 60-year-old retired New York subway worker, Robert Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has used his life savings of $140,000 to spread the word about the impending End of the World as we Know It Event on May 21st (2011).
Reportedly, Camping's prediction is based on Biblical dates and calculations. This includes the exact date of the flood during the time of Noah, and the exact date of the crucifixion. 2 Peter 3:8 is also involved which states, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The number of days from the crucifixion until May 21, 2011 results in the exact number of 722,500. Camping then has somehow determined that the numbers 5 x 10 x 17 x 5 10 x 17 = 722,500, and that each of those numbers have a specific meaning. Camping believes that the meaning of those numbers along with the time indicates the world ends on May 21, 2011.
Immediately, you can see some problems with Camping's method of prediction. First, no one knows the exact date of the flood, or even the exact date of the crucifixion although that may be more closely calculated within a few years (There is still much debate about the year of the crucifixion.). Second, is the subjective nature of determining numbers to be multiplied equaling 722,500. The bigger problems for believers are that Camping's prediction directly contradicts two statements of our Lord Jesus. Jesus says in Matthew 24:37, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Jesus also says this in Matthew 24:44, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
While I do not personally believe that Camping's prediction is correct, I do believe that there is nothing Biblically preventing the return of Jesus (the rapture) at any time. The more important question for all believers is this: If Jesus were to return today, or May 21st, or 20 years from now - will we be ready?
Here are some other devotionals that I have written about the rapture and the end times, which can be easily found at the Burning Bush website:
Until Jesus Returns 02.28.11
Is Now the Time 03.18.09
Are You Ready? 08.16.06
What If? 08.15.06
The Shock of Your Life 07.28.06
The End is Coming 07.25.02