By Jeff Wehr
Harold Camping predicted the “secret rapture” to take place on May 21, 2011. He predicted that the world would end five months later on October 21, 2011. It didn’t happen!
The Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to hold the record for false predictions concerning the coming of Christ and the end of the world. They predicted Christ’s return for the following years: 1874, 1878, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and 1984.
Hal Lindsay, author of the best-seller, The Late Great Planet Earth, predicted the “rapture” to occur before December 31, 1981. Later, he predicted the coming of the Lord in 1988. He calculated this by adding 40 years to the birth of the nation of modern-day Israel in 1948. Then he reset his date for 2007 by adding 40 years to the Six Day War in 1967.
Of course, how can we forget Y2K? Computers were to malfunction and bring absolute chaos. On May 5, 2000 all the planets were to line up and some figure that the world would be thrown into convulsions. Others saw it as a symbolic year by dividing 3 into 2000 and coming up with 666.
Are there any predictions for the year 2012? Of course there are. And there will be predictions for the years 2013 and 2014, too. Some New Age writers predict the end of the world on December 21, 2012 by citing Mayan and Aztec calendars.
Michael Drosnin, author of The Bible Code, predicts a comet will hit planet Earth in 2012 and destroy all life.
Time-setting and end-of-the-world predictions are at least as old as the First Century.
“Again and again have I been warned in regard to time setting. There will never again be a message for the people of God that will be based on time. We are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ.” Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, vol. 1, 188.
There is a part each one of us plays in the ushering in of the second coming of Christ. “Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. Ellen G. White, Acts of the Apostles, 111.
“Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, 70.
We are wasting our time in time-setting. The signs foretell that His coming is near. So let us work while there is time. We have the Three Angels’ Messages to preach to the whole world.