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Ruptured Rapture Prediction

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No, I am not referring to the much-publicized prediction of engineer-turned-evangelist Harold Camping, which flopped last Saturday. Neither do I intend to rub salt in the wounded spirit of his followers who spent hard-earned resources for the cause. While some ridiculed them, I still have high regard for people who dared to give all for a cause. Fanatic, naive, misled, misguided, blinded, or whatever adjectives we wish to use to describe them, they have done their share for the love of the gospel. Who knows, perhaps there were hearts renewed, lives changed through their perceived naïveté or fanaticism. Even just seeds planted, or souls led to the doorstep of salvation which later will enter into the gates of heaven.

 

 

I can still recall the prelude to my conversion. How I responded to the altar call of an evangelist after he preached the gospel and warned us of the urgency of making the decision at that moment. Seconds later would be too late. It was motivated, as it is for some, by fear of the apocalypse and eschatological perils of the unsaved, factual or exaggerated. Regardless of the motivation, that was instrumental to the real conversion and transformation which follow after a long, painful process.

Yes, I am writing on a different subject, although not totally unrelated. A different ruptured rapture experience. Ironically, I refer to myself – the quenched excitement for my 57th birthday celebration. Having been under medication for a health condition for more than a year, I had high hopes of receiving my long-requested gift from God – full recovery for my birthday celebration on May 27.

Such expectation is not without basis. Conditions have been favorable for its realization. There is considerable progress no matter how slow. I have been faithful in taking my medication, except when resources were occasionally drained. Religiously I watch my diet, and perform my daily walking exercise and other health-related activities with few lapses. My inner self has been subdued to wait patiently for the Lord. Negative thoughts are controlled, other mental baggage and emotions unloaded, liberally forgiving even the seemingly unforgivable.

Like a student trying hard to maintain passing grades until graduation, I had been expecting to get the reward on my birthday. But two weeks before the expected day, the progress was reversed. Triggered by a negligible lapse, I almost returned to the start when my blood pressure shot up. The progress and hopes almost came to naught.

The expected rapture-like experience was ruptured. Hurt, I geared for an argument with God in the early morning of my birthday. However, flashbacks of past memories dominated my thoughts. The pictures of my mother’s story concerning the circumstances of my birth played before me, followed by my father’s image – then my brothers and our only sister, and soon my wife, kids, and significant people who have influenced my life – until my mind was flooded with beautiful memories of past events and people I have worked with in development work and pastoral ministry, my colleagues in social work, and even those people I hurt and those who have wronged me, sans the ill feelings.

Overwhelmed by the grace of God for making me survive any storm in life, I almost cried. Subdued, I could only say, “Thank you for everything. And sorry for my unbelief, for my doubt, for complaining, for failing to fully appreciate what you have done to me. At times, blaming you. How glad I would be to receive complete healing as a birthday gift. If not, however, I know you will give it to me in the fullness of time.”

After meditation and breakfast, I was inspired to draft this article. I alternately worked on it, responded to birthday greetings on social networks, and read news online. At times, I checked updates on Harold Camping’s followers’ reaction to their ruptured rapture prediction. There appears to be a similarity in our experience: the peril of confining God in our human timetable. 

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About Edwin Lariza

Registered Social Worker. Ordained Baptist Minister. Chairperson, Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University, Iloilo City
  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Now THERE’s a timely message. Thankyou.

  • http://www.dannyhaszard.com Danny Haszard

    Harold Camping sounds like he plagiarized Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Jehovah Witnesses are a spin-off of the second Adventist which all came from the Millerite movement.American war of 1812 army captain William Miller is ground zero for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Yes,the “great disappointment” of Oct 22 1844 has never died out… it lives on in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    The central CORE doctrine of the Watchtower,yes the reason the Watchtower came into existence was to declare Jesus second coming in 1914.When the prophecy (derived from William Miller of 1842) failed they said that he came “invisibly”.
    Watchtower reckless predictions of the (1914) (1975)….. second coming of Christ hardens skeptics in their unbelief and provides new fodder for cynics to mock the Christian faith.

    Danny Haszard been there

  • http://www.jwfiles.com Kenny Peters

    Harold Camping has to be a PR nightmare for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The overlap between Harold Camping’s methodology and Jehovah’s Witnesses is so similar.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses take the cake as they have predicted Doomsday more than any other other doomsday cult.
    1874, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1925, 1942, 1975 and now they simply say “ANY MOMENT”

  • Steve

    Kenny Peters,
    Are you not making some of these dates up about Jehovah’s Witnesses?

  • Mia

    Did Jesus tell his disciples to Keep on the Watch? Don’t you think all true Christians should be doing that. The signs written in Matt 24, Luke 21, Mark 13, and 2 timothy 3: 1-5, Rev. 11:18, all point to our time we are living in. True no man know the day or the hour, but Jesus did pinpoint the time period. Can you really blame a religion for keeping on the watch.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    True no man know the day or the hour, but Jesus did pinpoint the time period.

    Really? Where?

    Matthew 24, 5-12 (KJV):

    “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

    “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

    What period of history is the above not true of? Where is the pinpointing?

    It’s the height of hubris to assume Jesus is referring only to the time you personally happen to be living in.

    In my view, he’s counseling that these happenings shouldn’t be taken as signs of the End because they’re either (a) natural phenomena or (b) human nature. “All these things,” he observes shrewdly, “must come to pass.”

  • Margarett

    1 Thessalonian 4: 13-18 (mentions a trumpet)
    1 Corinthians 50-52(mentions last trumpet)
    Revelation 14:13
    (7th and last trumpet mentioned at Revelation 11 14-15)

    There are 4 salvations: A heavenly resurrection, 2 earthly resurrections, and a live earthly salvation.

    What is taught as the rapture is actually the first salvation (the invisible heavenly resurrection) which took place SHORTLY AFTER the 4 horsemen started making this world a smaller place in 1914. It’s now ongoing and instantaneous for the ones dying with the heavenly hope in this time period. (Those sleeping in death with this hope rose first shortly after 1914)

    Please take advantage of our free home bible studies. If not interested right now please read the short story of the “true prophet” Jonah, who’s prophecy “failed” … and also read Habakkuk 2;3 Regards.