Faith
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*Note: This past weekend, we attended my parents church instead of our regular service. I thought I’d share the lesson from the service we attended, but it is a little different than the series I’ve been following at my church. I may pick up my own church’s lesson later this week and share.*

Do you remember this (picture to the right)? That’s right, the “rapture” and “judgment day” was said to happen on May 21, 2011 at 6 pm. Obviously, that day has come and gone…and we’re all here, but those responsible for this message (namely, Harold Camping) were absolutely convinced that our day of judgement was finally here. In fact, May 21st was widely publicized around the country and globe: print ads, vehicles, billboards, radio, the internet, etc. As a result, our FAITH was tested.

We saw our first sign while on our way down to a wedding at the beach. I remember looking at my husband and saying, “I didn’t think we were supposed to know when that would happen.” And apparently…we still don’t. But, if we study the book of Revelation, it has been written.
Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 3:3 then says, “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”
Mr. Camping determined the date of May 21, 2011 at 6 pm based on some sort of numerological calculation and his study of the bible. It’s now said (according to this website) that the end of the world will come on October 21…and we’ve all heard the “Doom’s Day” predictions for December 21, 2012. But again…if we refer back to Revelation 3:3, “you will not know at what time I will come to you.”

So, here’s the thing (and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t fully understand the book of Revelation), Biblical scholars regularly disagree about the details of this prophesy. Furthermore, there are no exact dates referenced in the bible. We don’t now exactly when the rapture will come, we only know that it will happen.
See to Believe RS
What does all of this mean for us then? It means we cannot trust false prophets [Matthew 7:15], but we must rely on FAITH.
Hebrews 11:1-6 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Remember Thomas, commonly referred to as “Doubting Thomas?” 
John 20:25 “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” - Thomas
John 20:29 “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” - Jesus
Thomas did not believe until he saw it with his own eyes. We don’t have the same luxury, but we must still believe…with faith like a child. Speaking of which, have you read Heaven is For Real? Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven (for three minutes). This book has caused a bit of controversy, but for me it just affirms my beliefs. If you have a chance…it’s worth the read!

All that being said, I don’t know when the “rapture” and “day of judgment” will come (and for those that truly believed May 21st was their day, I’m sure there are experiencing a faith crisis). I don’t know if it’ll be in my lifetime or the next. I’ve never been to heaven. I’ve never “seen” Jesus face-to-face. But I do believe in the Word and I have faith that when it’s my time to go, I too will stand before God.
So…what does your faith look like? And, are you a living reflection of that faith? James 1:23-25, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
27 COMMENTS

    I always find more humor in these guys who start up with their ideas on when the world will end. I don’t believe in numerology or any of that. And I’m almost 100% certain that since God promises that we won’t know the date or the time, that there is no way to “crack the code” and figure things out for ourselves. It’s all about Faith. That’s the only thing we can rely on. :)

    Matt 24:35-37 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. 36″But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.”

    Unexpected no time and hour. I beleive that time and seasons are only meant for here on earth.
    Hope that helps

    I really liked this post! I find people just doubt to much. They don’t have a strong faith in letting God do his work.

    Such a true word. Thanks for the reminder!

    Amen . Loved your blog.

    This is one of my fav songs.. Love it.
    xo

    I loved the book, “Heaven is for Real.” It just made me long to be there even more! And the song you posted? One of my all time favorites! I’m so thankful for my faith!

    Love that verse, and it fits the picture perfectly.

    Looks like an interesting read. :)

    Great post! I will admit that I really thought the rapture guy was looney, simply because we AREN’T supposed to know the date of the second coming (just like you said). Surprises are more fun, right?

    Very nice and interesting post!
    Kisses.

    Great post! I’ve always found it funny when others predict the second coming. How can they just skip over this verse? Pick and choose I suppose.

    Love the last verse. Thanks for reminding me to live out my faith. ;)

    Hmm, this was a good and thought-provoking post. I honestly feel sorry for all of the people who fell for the May 21st thing, because we honestly can’t know the hour of our Savior’s return. But it’s so good to know that we can have faith meanwhile and seek Him and wait for Him.

    Aannnd I love that song. =)

    Great post.

    It is amazing how some feel they can predict when the end of the world will be when really only one knows. And I don’t think he’s telling.

    Great verse, fits the photo! I love catching up on your blog :)

    I rely on faith. I don’t think we can predict when Jesus will come back, but I know it will happen someday.

    I feel so bad for all those people (some of them very young) who followed Camping, quit their jobs, and really thought the world was going to end.

    Marla @ http://www.blueskiesphotoblog.com

    I’ve read the book, love it! I’ve heard that song, love it!

    I think I try, but yet I fall short. That is when I need to go back to His word and be reminded that I need to be a reflection of Him. Nice reminder, my friend :-)

    LOVED that book! So glad you read it. Yeah, I never understood how people that claim to be Christian come up with these dates predicting when the rapture will occur when the bible clearly states we will not know. My first reaction tends to be “what a quack” but then realize they are just not on the right track most likely and are obviously not in the Word of God. They just need our prayers.

    That is so interesting, our whole VBS was based on Hebrews 11:1-6. My kids have been running around singing ” Faith is being certain of what we hope for and sure of what we don not see”. It does a mother good to here her children joyfully singing scripture!!!

    great post! i read that book that you posted, and it was wonderful. i was doubting my faith, and after reading that book, i didn’t anymore. great post!

    As always, an incredibly convicting post, Ashley. But I admit, you’ve got me thinking hard about those last verses you quote from Matthew. Honestly, I don’t think I always read the Word and then do what He says. I stray. Often.

    On a lighter note…it sounds like I need to read that book (and I live in Nebraska — even more reason!).

    John 20:29 gives me such chills…because somehow that verse makes me feel as though He’s talking directly about me. (and every other individual person who believes without seeing!)

    that Camping guy really ticked me off. thanks for this post, I enjoyed reading it.
    Thanks for the tip on that book, it sounds a little bit like The Shack.

    I will definitely check this book out! What a great post! All in His time, not in the form of predictions…

    Love this post. Revelation is my one of my favorite books. I actually loved that the Rapture was so well publicized….it opened a great dialog with my kids:)

    Tiffany

    I haven’t read the entire book, but I did browse through it once when I was at my MILs house. I’d love to read it someday.

    great post!

    ASHLEY! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, yours is gorgeous! So awesome to meet a fellow shutterbug <3

    Ashley–

    I definitely do not comment on these weekly sermon-etts like I should — but I do read them and enjoy them!

    While I never saw any of the signs, I did hear about all the “world is ending” blah — and really, it broke my heart. Like you said, we do NOT know when he’ll come back, and there’s no way we will ever find a magic “code” that will tell us! Our job is to spread the gospel as far and as wide as we can, in the little time we have left. I don’t know when Jesus is returning for his Bride, but I do know, that time is very short…. does that mean I think it will happen in my lifetime — I’m praying so… only because I’m ready to be with my Savior!! But it could also happen 50 years+ from now… and that would give more people time to seek and find HIM!!

    <3
    ~Michelle


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