by Cindy Bleuler Tucker
Church of God-pkg prophet Ronald Weinland predicts that Christ will return to claim His own and the earth will fall into great disaster. The date? May 27, 2012, this coming Sunday. My initial reaction? Oh, if this was true- a sense of great relief! No more bills, no more worries, no more conflicts. All the anxiety about the future falls away. Any physical, emotional, or financial problems would be solved in four days. We can take all our savings, max out all our credit cards and live a worry free life of royalty-for four days. Gather together those we love most and have the vacation of vacations. Why continue working?
Wow! I reveal my true self! Spending the last days in self-gratification, isolating myself from those I don’t like and clinging to the few I truly love. Of course I believe I would see all believers when Christ blows that trumpet Sunday, but what of concern for the lost? What about the many left behind to endure a world without good, a world in battle and chaos? I’m just ready to party on and leave them with it.
If I truly believed God’s promises, I would know that the real party and vacation is when He blows that trumpet, not before. If I really loved unbelievers, I would be using those last few days on my knees interceding for the lost. Maybe I’m not ready for that blessed day because my priorities are skewed. I need to take a good look at my life and prepare my heart for that glorious day.
Is May 27, 2012 really the date of the Lord’s return? The answer is, we just don’t know. We are told repeatedly that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10, Rev.16:15). Jesus describes signs of His return, but states “…concerning that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only”(Matthew24:36) God is wise to not reveal the exact time. Some, like me, might make the decision to stop all normal activity and just wait on Him. There were many groups in history that were sure of a certain date and suspended all activity to await Christ’s return. Others might choose to live for themselves and put off repentance until the time was near.
As Christians anticipating Christ’s return but not knowing when, how are we to live? We are to be always prepared and living in hope. We are given signs to observe in order to strengthen our faith and pray for all God’s people to answer God’s call. In 2nd Peter 3:10-18, Peter encourages Christians to be diligent to be found in Him holy and at peace. We are not to be led astray by unbiblical prophecies and date setters, but always be ready. We are to keep awake and live soberly (wisely) and encourage one another (1st Thessalonians 5).
After meditating on this, I am convicted about how I sometimes live. Do I live as one anticipating Christ’s return? Do I pray for the furtherance of God’s kingdom? Do I live as one who is preparing to see Christ face to face? I fall very short. Thank God for His mercy and long suffering patience.