I know we’re supposed to be raptured before Thanksgiving, but I went ahead and prepaid for my turkey dinner anyway. Worst case scenario, I’m out a few bucks, and someone will enjoy some sliced turkey with bourbon-glazed sweet potatoes and creamed corn on me. Then again, if I’d given away all my earthly possessions, stopped paying my bills, curbed making plans, and ceased living every time I heard a definitive date as to when we would be caught up to glory, I would have been homeless a hundred times over.
Having been in ministry for so long and having established relationships over the years, many people send me things they’ve come across with the heading, what do you think about this? Usually, if there’s a date attached, my answer is the same every time: wait until a day after the date they mentioned, then assess whether or not their prophecy was accurate. Time is the constant enemy of the date setting prognosticator.
Some in the prophetic eco-system have adopted the motto ‘if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again’ when it comes to setting dates. We all remember the classic 88 reasons why Christ is coming in 88, followed by the sequel 89 reasons why Christ is coming in 89. One would think they could have squeezed out one more reason and put out 90 reasons why Christ is coming in 90, but maybe they made enough off the first two books that they didn’t think it worth the effort.
Harold Camping made so many predictions and set so many dates that God had to give him a stroke to shut him up. I know that sounds mean, but if you start predicting the end of the world in 1994, work yourself up to 2011, and it still hasn’t dawned on you that you may be off on your math, maybe you do need a smack upside the head.
Before you start thinking I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, and this is nothing more than a victimless spiritual crime, consider the emotional rollercoasters some believers have been on because somebody they trusted or lent their ear to set a date.
This is it, buddy! All you have to do is hang on until the day before Thanksgiving, and you’ve crossed the finish line. Then those same folks, barely hanging on by the skin of their teeth, wake up on Thanksgiving morning, not only still here but with an empty fridge, closed supermarkets, and one expired can of cranberry sauce in the cupboard. You took someone who was already in a bad situation and made it infinitely worse because you promised them something that did not come to pass.
Because they clung to your promise, they didn’t even do what they would have done had you not opened your maw, and now their kids are fighting over who’s going to scrape the bottom of the cranberry sauce can.
You go through these ups and downs often enough, and eventually, the heart begins to harden, and you find yourself walking down the street mumbling something about it all being a lie and nothing being true.
There is a marked difference between living with a sense of longing and expectation of Christ’s return and believing it will happen tomorrow by 8 pm. One instills hope in the hearts of those carrying their crosses, and the other sets an unrealistic expectation with an expiration date that will psychologically crush those who believe it.
It is in man’s moment of despair that the enemy finds his most opportune moment to attack. If, as those who were called to be wise as serpents, we would remind ourselves that not every dream is prophetic and wishful thinking isn’t a revelation, perhaps there would be fewer opportunities for the devil to shipwreck individuals.
Do some people really believe that if they just want it bad enough, it will be so regardless of God’s will? Not only is that childish, but it’s also unbiblical. If the Christ had to submit to the will of the Father, what makes you think you don’t?
Matthew 24:39, “He went a little farther and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.