“If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
“But in those days, following that distress, "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task,
and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
(Jesus' words from Mark 13)
Although I remember many predictions of the end of the world (1986, 1994, 1999, 2000), I thought this one was the most interesting, and only because it happens on my 40th birthday. Raptured for my birthday? Neat! Not having to live in the anxiety of turning 40? Even better!
-- Just 37% of those interviewed could name all four Gospels.
-- Only 42% of adults were able to name as many as five of the Ten Commandments correctly.
-- Seven in ten (70%) were able to name the town where Jesus was born, but just 42% could identify him as the person who delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
3) Goofy as their caravan was, Camping's troupe wanted to tell others about the 2nd coming of Christ.
As Kirk, my wise young friend, put it: "Why would they wait till the last minute?" Maybe this will challenge us, not to ask people to throw on a Jesus life preserver, but to preach the Gospel-to ourselves first, and then to those we love, and then to those who cross our paths. Believers have become a little nervous about this, I think. Probably related to too many apocalyptic predictions, but we can use them as a means to evangelize! Pray for boldness. Pray for opportunities. We shouldn't let chance pass to lovingly correct the rumors and share Christ with others!