June 1, 2011

Harold Camping was wrong. But still, are you ready?

In the days and weeks leading up to 6:00pm on Saturday, May 22nd, we all heard about and/or watched Harold Camping and those who followed his teaching herald their message about the “end of the world”. As 6:00pm on May 22nd came and went in time zone after time zone most of us were not surprised that the predictions of Harold Camping didn’t come to pass.

So…what now?

As with all teaching that comes from the mouth of man, we have to look at what Scripture has to say and I believe Jesus said it as clear as it can be said… Matthew 24:42 “So be prepared, because you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.”

Three things seem pretty clear by this verse:

  • 1. The Lord IS coming.
  • 2. We don’t know when that is.
  • 3. We are to be prepared.

This verse begs the question…what does being prepared look like? Does it look like Harold Camping and those who follow(ed) his teaching? Instead of “prepared”, other Bible versions use the phrase “stay awake” or “watch” or “stay awake, alert”. In researching the phrases, they all carry with them the idea of being wakened or roused from inactivity (literally) or from obscurity/nonexistence (figuratively).

One of my favorite passages is Proverbs 2:1-4 “My child, listen to me and treasure my instructions. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure.”

These verses challenge anyone who would be tempted to live a passive Christian life! Look at all the action verbs in those four verses…Listen, Treasure, tune, concentrate, cry out, search.

What about Jesus’ final instructions just before his ascension into Heaven? Matthew 28 says, “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So what did Jesus tell them to do? He said to “go and make disciples”, “baptize them”, “teach them”.

More action…

Here is a quote from “M3 Master’s Men Method” that says it well: “I believe that the final words, the final instructions of anyone, are really significant when weighed against other messages they gave. Knowing that Jesus took this time before He ascended to Heaven for one final exhortation to His disciples is remarkable.”

Here is where I have to hand it to Harold Camping and his followers…they were serious about what they believed and took action based on those beliefs and their faith. In addition to their actions, they had a real urgency to their message.

From Genesis and Creation (Gen. 1:28) to Revelation and Jesus’ return (Rev 1:1-3), we are called to action. And each calling carries with it a sense of urgency. That is why we are challenging men from all over the world and in vocations as diverse as race car drivers to tailors, to grow in Christ-likeness and reach their workplace, friends and community with the Gospel using what is relevant to the men around them.

Thank you for standing with us!

— Article contributed by Daryl Barker. Director of MMi for the Master’s Men ministry.