Of course, one was Harold Camping’s failed prophecy about the Rapture, which is not his first! We were planning our Memorial Day BBQ fellowship, and I got a message from one of the Jewish people whom I had invited, which basically said (sarcastically), “Don’t bother buying any hotdogs for the BBQ, because you won’t be here! I guess the BBQ is canceled because of Rapture?” I called him back and shared with him that according to the Scriptures, no one knows the day or the hour of the coming of the Son of Man but our Father in heaven. I also shared Martin Luther’s quip, that “if I knew the end of the world was tomorrow, I’d plant a tree today.” (Ironically, but not intentionally, I did spend some of May 20 planting in my garden.) Subsequent to the failure of his “prophecy,” he came out saying he was astounded, and must have miscalculated, but was very disappointed that disaster did not strike the world on May 21. It is no wonder that many see the Church in caricature! So often we find ourselves embarrassed by the actions of men who purport to be serving God. And all we can do is use such opportunities to share the Gospel.
Another such opportunity came last month as President Obama insisted that any peace process must be contingent on Israel withdrawing to pre-1967 borders. Surprisingly, this did not raise the firestorm within the Jewish community that it should have. (That only serves to highlight just how blind our people can be!) But for several individuals, it was very concerning. And they talked to me about it.
Outside of our building there flies a flag of the United States and a flag of Israel. I fly that flag mostly to get attention, I confess, and it serves that purpose. Following Obama’s remarks, it certainly paid off, and gave me many opportunities to share the Gospel with people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who were alarmed by the President’s remarks.
I know that for those of us who are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, we possess a peace that truly does pass human understanding. And it is in that peace of God, that we do not get caught up in the rhetoric, and focus on the Gospel. May the peace of God be with you always…Shalom!