However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
– Matthew 24:36-39
The “last time” Harold Camping says his calculations were off due to a mathematical error. This time, he says that his calculations are correct. Is he right, this time? Is he wrong again?
Everyone has determined Mr. Camping a “kook.” Mocking him has become a viable distraction from the mundane. ; People are busy planning rapture parties and finding other hedonistic ways to have a “good time” at Mr. Camping’s expense. But, is that the proper response?
True indeed, “no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen.” But also true is that “in those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties…right up to (that) time…”
And because we know the mantra that “history tends to repeat itself,” we must ask: Will we witness the rapture this time?
Now, is Harold Camping right in his prediction that Judgment Day is indeed slated for May 21, 2001? I do not know…neither do I care! ; I trust in the words of our Lord: “No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen.” But, every coin has two sides. So while Harold Camping does not know the hour or day of Judgment, neither do I and neither do you.
What then ought be our response? Well again, I trust in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when reminding us that we do not know:
…you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. (Matt. 24:42-44)
Our job is not to predict, neither is it to mock predictions. Our task is to keep watch over our souls…to “watch and pray,” so that we are not “caught with our pants down” on the Day of our Lord’s Coming.
Will we witness the rapture this time?
I myself will not venture to predict. But, neither will I tell you to put down your guard. I will not say to plan parties: for as you mock Harold Camping, you might inadvertently mock God.
Rather, I will say as St. John the Baptist did say: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” You do not want to be caught enjoying your Rapture Parties when the Son of Man returns, whether He comes tomorrow, next week, next year or some other time in the near or distant future. For “The Lord, the LORD Almighty, called you on that day to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth. But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! ‘Let us eat and drink,’ you say, ‘for tomorrow we die!’” (Isaiah 22:12&13)
Do not be like the five foolish virgins (Matt 25:1-13) who were not ready to meet the Bridegroom. Rather, “keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Will we see the rapture this time?
Beloved, I do not know…I cannot say. But, I also cannot say that we will not see the rapture. Again, to me, the date of the Rapture is of little consequence. Therefore, all I can – all I will – say is this: rather than planning and attending “Rapture Parties,” watch and pray…attend to you soul – not just this weekend, but always – so that whenever the Day of Judgment comes you might be found worthy “to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
Father help us Thy people to return to You, our Lord and our God! Amen.