Saturday, May 21, 2011

THE REVELATION OF A FALSE PROPHET: HAROLD CAMPING

May 21, 2011 has come and gone, and Harold Camping has once again misled his faithful followers on Family Radio-- only this time he has also demonstrated beyond all doubt that he is a false prophet. His failed 1994 prophecy of the end of the world came with a question mark, but not this time. Repeatedly, Camping has predicted that the rapture of the true believers, and that judgment upon the wicked, would occur on May 21st, based on what he claims the Bible has revealed. Since the Bible is God’s inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16), we must assume that Camping was speaking in God’s name when he insisted, time after time, that May 21st is Judgment Day. Additionally, according to Family Radio’s Bible answer man, God had opened the eyes of His elect to see this great truth about the time of the end, the way of salvation, as well as many other doctrines which are peculiar to Camping’s cult. But what does the Scripture really say? It states very clearly that false prophets are easy to identify: “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:21,22 NKJV).

Mr. Camping has now taken his place in a long list of men and women claiming to speak in God’s name who have come and gone, along with their failed prophecies. On Thursday, May 19th, I heard Mr. Camping give his farewell address at the conclusion of Open Forum. I can only hope that the program is now a closed forum and that all those who have been deceived by his arrogant assertions and wild speculations will humble themselves and seek out good, Bible-believing, Christ-honoring churches in which they can learn God’s Word in the place that God has established as “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Whatever excuse Harold Camping presents as to what went wrong is not acceptable. He has vilified and condemned churches and pastors worldwide with his teaching that Satan has been ruling in the church since 1988. This was a diabolical teaching which brought great division in families and led multitudes astray, causing them to abandon the very place God established for their spiritual growth so they could discern truth from error (Ephesians 4:11-16). This is not to say that every church claiming to be Christian is doctrinally sound, but that there are many which do remain faithful to the essential truths of the faith. It is also a recognition that God did not give the Bible to any man or select group of men, but to His church, over which Jesus rules, not Satan: “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18 NKJV).

Tragically, Harold Camping’s teaching that true believers must flee the church leaves them feeling disillusioned, empty, wounded and betrayed. They are the ones who have been “left behind”. What they must remember is that they have not been betrayed or misled by God but by a man who fits the very description of the kind of spiritual predators against whom Paul warned the church of Ephesus: “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29, 30 NKJV) .

May the Lord be gracious to all those who were drawn away from God to follow this man. May they also know that they are welcome back into the household of faith (Galatians 6:10), where God’s people gather to worship Him Who alone is worthy of all glory and honor, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Keep trusting in Jesus,

Pastor Tom

Monday, May 09, 2011

ONLY ONE LIFE


Recently I read the words of the hymn, "Only One Life." It was written many years ago by Avis Christiansen. Above the hymn were the words from James 4:14, “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” As I pondered these words, I thought back to the times I played with soap bubbles in my childhood. I would take the little wand from the colored bottle my mom purchased at a local five-and-dime store, put it near my lips and blow gently. Almost like magic, an assortment of various-sized bubbles would begin to float in the air and then vanish almost as suddenly as they appeared. It was cheap entertainment on a long summer day, but little did I realize the picture of life it was painting before my eyes. Back to the hymn I began with: The second stanza is what struck me the most. In it, the dedication of a life is narrowed down to the present moments that we all possess. It reads in part, "Only this hour is mine, Lord-- may it be used for thee; May every passing moment count for eternity." What is a moment in the light of eternity? Not very much at all, but it is all that we can be assured of, so we must take the moments, bundle them into hours, days, months, and years, and use them for the glory of God. The lesson of soap bubbles need not escape us now. The Christian must not live without purpose or plan. We are not on this earth to be entertained, but to redeem the time, because life is short, and we have "only one life." “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Dear Christian friends, make it your aim to give your life wholly to the One who gave his life wholly for you. “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7, 8). This side of heaven is the only time we have to sow diligently, pray faithfully, and reap joyfully. All that we do for Jesus in this world will bring us great joy when we see him face to face and hear him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

May the Lord richly bless your labors for him,

Pastor Tom

“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again”(2 Corinthians 5:14-15,NKJ).