Harold Camping had a number of people convinced the world was going to end on Saturday. At 6pm PDT, I was surrounded by amazing friends--the kind of friends sure to populate heaven when it all really over. At six pm, we looked around the room with each person and every ounce of chaos accounted for. No one was surprised. We all knew, as a Facebook friend posted earlier in the day, "It ain't happenin today - God would never share His Glory with the arrogance of man."
I loved being a part of a social network Saturday, because everyone so freely spoke of heaven and hell and the great glory of God Almighty. It was fun and interesting seeing each individual assessment of the "prophesy."
I found the following article particularly relevant to the recent rapture craze. I hope it encourages you to live here and now, fully engaged and full steam ahead.
By Joe Stowell as seen on Strength for the Journey
"You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Periodically, current world events stir up discussion about the endtimes. While I believe in the importance of being ready for Christ’s return, I don’t put much stock in date setters who think they have the timing all figured out. After all, it has been almost 20 years since the book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 was published! In America, the book took Christians by storm, and, as the president of Moody Bible Institute at that time, I received dozens of copies from well-meaning saints who wanted us to spread the word through Moody Radio that Jesus was coming back on September 18. Since Jesus said that no one knew the time of His return, I dismissed the book as another Bible crackpot publication.
But to this day I’ll never forget getting up on the morning of September 18th. As skeptical as I was, I couldn’t help but wonder,What if the guy who wrote this book is right? What if this is my last day on earth? Our family talked about it at the breakfast table. And as my daughter walked down the driveway on her way to school, she turned around and said with a smile, “Hey, Dad—see ya in heaven.”
I couldn’t help but think how right that sounded. I found myself thinking that I should live every day as though this were my last day here—the day that He returns to take me home; the day that I will at last see Him face-to-face! I thought about how differently I would treat people, how interested I would be to share the gospel with friends and colleagues, how I would want to clear up past offenses and live to be really pure and ready.
As Jesus said in Luke 12, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home . . . . Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes” (Luke 12:35-37).
So here are four habits of hearts that are fixed on heaven:
• Be confidently riveted on His sudden return. Remember, He will come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2).
• Be pure. Throughout the New Testament, the strongest motivation for purity was always connected to the return of Jesus (1 John 3:3).
• Refuse to get stuck here. After all, as people of faith, we are “strangers and exiles” here (Hebrews 11:13).
• Invest in eternity. Commit your time and resources to kingdom gain and values (Luke 12:33).
God wants heaven to be the fire in your heart. As a friend of mine says, our lives here should be a sneak preview of the really big show to come!
See ya in heaven!