One of the headlines for the past month or so has been this prediction by Harold Camping that the rapture is scheduled in less than three days on May 21. Oddly, his website’s online donation page is still active. With two and half days left, do they really need any more donations?
All of this hype is nothing new, not even for Harold who made a similar prediction in the 1990’s. But it adds confusion for Christians and non-Christians alike as to what Scripture actually says about God’s kingdom, its present condition and future advent. Further, it encourages skepticism as those with a superficial understanding of Christianity and Scripture see this as one more water cooler punchline to save for Monday, May 24. The bottom line is that Scripture is clear no one knows, except God, the time or day the end will come.
As Americans, we love our privacy and individualism. We can live next door to someone for years and never interact or get to know them, and this is culturally acceptable. The right to privacy is a foundation of our constitution and intertwined with our history as settlers sought religious freedom here. There are some strengths this value brings to our nation and culture, but I believe some weaknesses as well.
As a believer in Christ and an American, I often speak of my salvation in Christ as a very personal (or more accurately “private”) affair. Our current culture even gets offended if we do not keep our faith private enough. But something in Scripture seems to keep coming to the surface for me. Romans 8:18-25 speaks of how all of creation longs for the “revealing of the sons of God,” waiting for its freedom from bondage to corruption and “obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Scripture in multiple places affirms that just as creation was harmed by the fall of humanity into sin, creation will be healed by our salvation in Christ. He will make all things new.
So, is my salvation just about me? Is my salvation some private matter that has no impact outside of my own heart and mind? I believe we may need a bigger view of salvation. Maybe it reaches further than we ever imagined. How would this change our understanding of the impact of our own discipleship as well as making disciples elsewhere? How does your salvation impact your family, church, community, the world and the universe?
We are approaching the one year mark. On Sunday, it will have been a year since our little girl went Home. Today, I saw a picture of her in the river at Camp New Hope and something about her neck and shoulders reminded me about what it felt like to hold her. It reminded me of the daily need to move her from the bed to her chair and back again. I would have to support her head and neck much like an infant, but she was an eight-year-old infant! So often she would smile when I picked her up. She would roll her eyes upward as if looking toward the sky. She would smile and sometimes give a coo knowing she was being picked up by her Daddy. Sometimes these memories hurt deeply. Today they brought joy and reconnected me with my little girl. We miss her. We praise God for her.