Should I be relieved or disappointed?

Harold Camping’s prediction that the world would end today, May 21, 2011 at 6 p.m. has come and gone. Allowing for minor calculation errors and the difference in time zones, I suppose there is still reason to hold off on any major plans for a few more hours.

But, assuming that he was wrong, and that the world really ends another time — for instance, December 21, 2012, when the solar system aligns, magnetic poles shift, black holes multiply — what should be our attitude?

We should, of course, as believers eagerly await the return of our Lord, which could be at any time. But our inclination to fix dates and behave accordingly is one reason the Scriptures warn us to continue with our earthly responsibilites until He does. What better way to welcome Christ than to look up from proclaiming the gospel to an unbeliever? I can’t suppose that He would be pleased that I quit my duties to sell all my possessions, neglect my family, strip naked and wait on a mountaintop.

To paraphrase Martin Luther, our responsibility in light of the return of Christ is to weed the garden.

So, rather than be continually disappointed that another expected parousia has come and gone without incident, we should eagerly await his coming by worshiping Him faithfully and seeking to persuade as many as we can — through the proclamation of the gospel — to worship Him, too.

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