Monday, July 04, 2011

Deadlines

From July's News & Views, West Lavington Parish Magazine. 

If you are reading this, it is only down to the kind generosity of the editor. I’ve been contributing regularly to this magazine for long enough to know that the deadline for copy is the 20th of each month. However, it suddenly dawned on me that it was the 22nd and I hadn’t submitted my article. Cue some hurried bashing away at my computer keyboard and a note of humble apologies to the estimable Mr. Hodges.

If I feel a little embarrassed at my oversight, then just imagine Harold Camping's emotional state. He’s the American preacher and radio broadcaster who confidently predicted that the world would end on 21st May. As I’m writing this on 22nd June, I think we can safely conclude that Camping got it wrong. His deadline for the end of the world was missed. I said imagine how the poor man feels, but it seems that he has little capacity for embarrassment. Camping has now issued a revised prediction that the world will end on 21st October. Some people will never learn.

Jesus had quite a bit to say concerning his return in glory, but he refused tell us the date of that great event. Take this verse for example, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42). Doesn’t Mr. Camping have that verse in his Bible? Scripture is absolutely clear that Jesus is coming again, but absolutely unclear as to when. God alone knows the deadline and we can be sure that the Lord Jesus will not be late.

Christians believe that Christ became man and entered our world in order to die for our sins. Through faith in him we may be forgiven and put right with God. When Jesus comes again he will judge the world, defeat the power of evil and bring his people home to be with him for ever. There will be no missing that deadline. It is for us to be ready and waiting for his return, whenever that may be. 

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