Harold Camping Is (Sort of) Right
Yes and no. Loving our neighbors requires works of mercy and justice, which can be a powerful witness to and taste of life in the coming kingdom. Jesus commanded us to seek the kingdom and its justice as our first priority, and not to worry about the risks involved (Matt. 6:33). But carefree engagement in kingdom activity is possible only because it is God who brings the kingdom and therefore guarantees its success. We do not build or create the kingdom. We inherit it as something prepared for us from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34). This is tremendous news; it puts the responsibility not on the shoulders of the fickle and sinful, but on the strong and merciful back of Jesus.
Love also requires us to tell our comfortable neighbors (and ourselves) that Jesus' kingdom "is not of this world" (John 18:36), that a day of judgment is coming after which this earth will be destroyed and remade. As important as it is to show forth the future by justice and mercy in the present, it is also important to call people to repentance and faith, that they might enjoy the new world Christ will bring.
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Previous coverage of Harold Camping includes:
Harold Camping's Rapture Campaign: Can He Be Sued for Fraud? | As an atheist group asks the California attorney general for action, legal scholars say efforts are almost certainly doomed. (June 3, 2011)
What to Do with Aunt Julie | Harold Camping and our problem relatives. (May 26, 2011)
New Dispensation? Camping: 'Leave Church' | Family Radio founder's latest teaching prompts church defections. (May 21, 2002)
Previous articles on the end times, heaven, and the kingdom of God include:
Who Gets Left Behind? | How end times theories shape the ways we view our earthly abode. (May 23, 2011)
Dwelling in Heaven's Suburbs | Creating a culture of resurrection is key to full-orbed ministry. (September 28, 2010)
Heaven is Not Our Home | The bodily resurrection is the good news of the gospel—and thus our social and political mandate. (March 24, 2008)
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