(Photo used by permission of Tom Chapin, Editor of The Punxsutawney Spirit)
Above is pictured a billboard near Punxsutawney PA stating that Jesus Christ will be returning to this world on May 21, 2011. A number of individuals and groups are attempting to spread this message in a variety of ways throughout the world. Source: Article in Punxsutawney Spirit on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Faithful Await
The date has been set and those who are convinced that May 21, 2011 is indeed the date of Jesus' return and judgment day are doing all they can to let the world know of this impending event.
Quite a few details are given in the article which can be read through access to the link given above. That these people are sincere there can be no doubt. That many are very zealous in spreading the word about this happening is quite evident. If you are willing to paint lettered warnings and pertinent information about Jesus' return on your Cadillac for all to see as you drive about town, it is obvious that there is more than just a casual interest in what God is going to be doing in the very near future!
It has been demonstrated in countless ways down through the millennia of human history that one can be very sincere but at the same time one can be sincerely wrong. In some cases at least, it can lead to disastrous consequences, even death.
As pointed out in a letter of response to The Punxsutawney Spirit such antics as these always bring Christians to a fork in the road with a decision to be made -- who is the authority to whom I am going to give a hearing on this issue and then adjust my life accordingly?
Is Jesus Christ the Authority on matters related to His return to earth and the conclusion of human history as we presently experience it, or are some self-appointed humans the authority to whom we must listen?
According to the calculations made by certain persons, the date is May 21, 2011 on which Jesus Christ is to return to this earth.
But Jesus said something far different relative to His personal return to this world. He actually said that no one knows the day nor the hour. How else can you interpret the statement, "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming." (Matthew 24:42). This was spoken in the context of trends that will take place as human history approaches its conclusion and God intervenes in order to prevent the total annihilation of the human race! Jesus referred to the fact that no one knows the time except God the Father Himself.
It is likely that the proponents of the May 21, 2011 date will have woven an extremely "clever" interpretation of those statements about no human, or even angels knowing precisely when the time will be. The human mind is very clever when it comes to sidestepping truth and replacing it with human speculation and fiction!
Just what is to be our attitude in regard to Jesus' return to earth? Live in light of what He did say about that event. We have responsibility to represent Him and His eternal Kingdom wherever we are on a daily basis. We are to be engaged in use of time, abilities, and material resources to carry out His parting command, which is to go into all the world and share the Gospel with all people in all nations. After all, He alone is the one and only answer to all human needs and problems, the greatest of which is sin in human nature and its horrifying manifestations!
It was His sacrifice on a Roman cross of execution that accomplished atonement for the sins of the entire human race. Every sin committed by every human being ever born into the world was placed on Him as He agonized on the cross for three hours. That sacrificial death on His part satisfied the demands of God's justice that every sin must be punished. Our response to that is to honestly admit we are sinners, repent and ask God's mercy, accept His forgiveness and receive Jesus as personal Savior and Lord of our lives.
That is the heart of what we are to be about as Jesus tarries in His return to this chaotic world. Live each day in expectation of His return but attempt to be sensitive to the doors of opportunity opening where by word and deed we can make an eternal difference in the lives of other persons! The fact that Christianity is the ONLY true way in this world rests on the solid foundation of Jesus' demands upon us humans, His absolute claims for Himself, His atoning sacrifice on our behalf, His victorious resurrection from the dead, and His promised return to set up His Kingdom on this earth at a time determined by God the Father and kept secret from all members of the human race.
It is pointless to argue about such a thing as a precise date someone has set for Jesus to return. As noted in my letter earlier to the editor I stated that the landscape of human history is cluttered with the wreckage of attempts to set dates as to when God was going to do a thing.
When you go to bed tonight and lay your head on the pillow, say to yourself, "Jesus may come back before the sun rises tomorrow morning." When you get out of bed tomorrow, say to yourself, "Jesus may come back today before the sun sets." And so long as He tarries, say also, "Jesus has work for me to do today before He comes back!" and then do it!
"But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." --- Matthew 24:36-39