We’ve been talking about it. Late night talk shows are joking about it. May 21st came and went, we stayed and survived. Harold Camping has now explained why things happened the way they did. But, it’s neither here nor there — literally. The truth is, Camping is right. The day of judgment is coming.
It could be today. Could be tomorrow. The Bible is clear that there will be a day when God gathers all people and holds us accountable for the way we have lived our lives – we don’t know the hour or the day, but there will be a day. The Bible is also clear that our salvation is found not in what we have done but in the grace of God that comes in Jesus Christ. And yet, there will be a time for us to face the reality of the life we live – a time when we will know for certain how pleased God has been with our life.
The issue for us is not whether or not we can follow the math of Harold Camping and believe the dates he puts out. The issue is that we somehow believe that our acknowledgement of Jesus is all that matters to God. Why do we live and speak like what we do in life doesn’t matter as much? Why do we live gathering up wealth and filling our barns and acting as if our life must be our highest priority while others suffer and die? Why do we think that because we believe in Jesus we won’t have to face the wrath of God for the life we lived?
Do we really believe God is going to look at all our selfishness, greed, disrespect, lack of compassion, and self-promotion and simply shrug His shoulders? What do we imagine God would say? “Eh, humans sure have messed things up and their love is so small, but hey, they call themselves Christian so let’s party!”
God created us to do good. God has given us life that we might share life together. The first and ongoing sin of all people is giving into the temptation that we can take control of our lives and live by our own rules. It’s not simply that this attitude and way of living makes God angry, it’s that it saddens God to see us waste our life. There is so much more that God has for us than what we seek for ourselves. It really is true that we find our best life when we’re willing to give up the life we think we want and accept the life God calls us into. But, in our sin, we doubt that could be true, so we do what we think is best.
How we live our lives matters to God. The end IS near. We don’t know the day, but the day is coming. It is nearer now than it ever has been. God longs to celebrate our life for what He created it to be. Let us not fool ourselves and think it doesn’t matter. There will come a day when we stand before God. We will know either joy for the life we gave to God, or we will know shame for the life we kept for ourselves. It won’t change the status of our salvation, but it will matter.
The end IS near. Live your life making God proud. Live your life knowing joy. Live without fear of October 21st or any other day the Campings of the world come up with.
Holy high-five to you,