I suppose you know by now that the world is coming to an end on Saturday. That’s the prediction made by Family Radio’s Harold Camping. True believers will be raptured and those left behind will be in for six months of terror. Camping’s followers have been traveling the country spreading the word for a while now distributing tracts, putting up billboards and warning the unbelievers.
More, many of them have sold their possessions to spread Camping’s false predictions. He’s done this before and will probably do it again.
Reporters have asked some of Camping’s followers what they’ll do when they wake up on the 22nd. Some won’t answer. Those who do have a very concerning answer. They say, “I guess I wasn’t truly saved.”
I suspect on the 22nd, there will be a line of media and the general public waiting to ridicule and laugh at these people. They’ll be the picture of scorn for a long time at work, in their families, and in public. A lot of people will think they have it coming.
I’ve got a different perspective on it. Camping probably will deserve what he gets. He’s a false prophet.
However, I think a lot of these people have been duped. And I also think there’s hope for some of them. What I hope happens is that when they wake up on the 22nd, they’ll see the error of the system they’re in and look to truth. They’ll stop following a man and start following what is known. That they can admit to being wrong and show humility.
Even if they do have that response, they’ll be ridiculed. However, that won’t matter. The only thing that matters is that they show humility.
Unfortunately, there will be others in the Camping group who will hold to their wrong beliefs even when the 22nd rolls around. Whether it be a new prediction from Camping (who has guaranteed the 21st as the right date) or a modified description of what actually happened. The ridicule may make them harden in their unbelief.
Now, we can sit here and look at Harold’s followers with scorn or we can realize we’re not that different. Let me use another example that hits closer home for me.
There are a lot of prideful pastors in the world. I know this because I was one. I’m still prideful in many ways. That’s why I can speak to this.
There are a lot of men who are chasing after the ministry instead of chasing after Christ. Chasing after a position or standing. Men who view God as an object to be studied instead of One to be feared and worshiped. Men who use education and studies as a way to separate themselves from the masses instead of a bridge to aid them. I know, I’ve been there.
Being a pastor is a dangerous thing. It’s a temptation to want to be the next John Piper, to dress trendy and hip, or to appear great in front of your people. This often happens unwittingly. We tell ourselves that we love Christ and that we’re just seeking after Him. That what we’re doing is just furthering the kingdom.
But when we’re alone at night and we ask ourselves honestly, “what is the end I am pursuing?” the answer won’t be so neat and Scriptural. It would probably be, “my ends by my means. So that I might be appreciated, honored and find a better position.”
I don’t want anyone to fall. Ever. I wouldn’t want to see my worst enemy fall. I don’t like pride anymore. I don’t think I really liked pride before, I just found a way to cozy up to it and hold it tight at night.
The best question I’ve learned to continually ask myself to guard against pride – “What if I’m wrong?” A good follow up? “How would I know?”
I’ve learned that whether we’re a prideful pastor, a prideful follower of Harold Camping, a prideful Christian (who doesn’t realize it), a prideful husband, we have two choices. We can either humble ourselves or wait for God to do it. And He will. Oh, yes. He will.