*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.”