Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Making a living, part two, postponed due to end of the world

Judgment Day billboard in Mesa, AZ
Bill Underwood

In my last column I had promised to continue a series about making a living in these difficult economic times. However, so many of my friends have asked if I’m going to write about this nut Harold Camping who has predicted that the world will end today, I decided I can’t really ignore it. I really hate to give the guy any more press.

It’s not merely the fact that he’s raking in millions from this. If he really were going to be raptured today, what’s he need with all the money? And what do his contributors expect to get for their money? Do they believe that, having failed to take the time to build a relationship with God, they can buy Him off at the last minute? Any guy can tell you how his girl feels about him trying to substitute giving her money for giving her his undivided attention.
(I also heard about several scam artists, such as the guy that promised, for $99, to take care of your dog after you’re gone. I thought that was hilarious, especially when I realized what a bad deal it is for the scam artist. You should hire him; he’ll be taking care of your dog for how ever long it takes for the end to really come, and you’ll never have to buy dog food again!)
No, what really frosts me about this stupidity is that tomorrow, and in the weeks to come, I’m going to meet people who have never read the Bible; who, when I try to encourage them to do so, are going to tell me, ‘Hey, the Bible said the world was going to end on May 21 and it didn’t. Why should I read it?’
The Bible does NOT say the world will end on May 21, 2011, or any other day. It in fact says, 'God has made the earth strong on its bases, so that it may not be moved forever and ever.' (Psalms 104:5)
I suppose it should be noted that today is The End, for some. On average about 150,000 people die worldwide, each day. As I write this, at noon here in Arizona, several people have no doubt died in my state from disease, car wrecks, and the like. But the 150,000 people who may die today will die, not because of Camping's supposed end-of-the-world scenario, but simply because, as the Bible says at Ecclesiastes 9:11, "Time and unpredictable events overtake all of them."
But as for the global ‘Judgment Day' (which, it should be noted, WILL happen someday - but clearly, as Psalm 104 points out, not in an end-of-the-world kind of way), far from telling us what day and hour that will happen, Jesus said exactly the opposite: "No one knows when that day and hour will come - neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; the Father alone knows.” (Matthew 24:36) If it were possible to calculate, from the Bible, the day and hour of Judgment Day, Jesus would have been lying when he said he didn’t know, that no one knows but the father. Surely Jesus is at least as good at math as Harold Camping.
And if we could calculate the exact date it would have been pointless for Jesus to tell us, as he did just a few verses later, “Always be ready, because you don't know the day your Lord will come.”
If you are reading this, the world has kept on turning, for now. There is still a need for all of us to take care of business, both in building our relationship with God and providing for our families. So I’ll get back to writing the next piece in my series about making a living. And I’ll see you tomorrow.
If you haven’t been raptured, please leave a polite comment. Comments containing links or derogatory language will be deleted. If you would like to be notified when I write my next column click on the line that reads ‘Subscribe to Phoenix Signs of the Times Examiner.’ No obligation, no fees, no spam.

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