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REPENT – The end is near!

I was in downtown DC a few days ago, when I noticed a group handing out fliers. A lady in the group wearing a highlighter-bright yellow shirt that said “Earthquake So Mighty, So Great” approached me. She was shouting “have you heard the awesome news that Holy God will bring judgment day on May 21, 2011.” Since, I hadn’t heard – it got my attention. So I thought I’d inquire because something this important was valuable information. She gleefully said, “The End of the World is Almost Here. Awesome!”

Now, this notion or dare I say claim has been made since Jesus left us, meaning he would return and according to the Book of Revelations. I will admit I believe Jesus is coming back and the world will end one day, but I don’t think it will happen this week. With that said, I began to converse with this group wondering how they knew this secret. Moreover, I wanted to hear their explanation as to why the world ending was “great news”. Needless to say, I did not get anything from the lady that convinced me that she was sane. She was, in my opinion, simply a delusional foot soldier for some preacher, who she admits had predicted such a thing a few times before. I thought this should have been a clue.

I know the world is in turmoil: hurricanes, flood, tornadoes, earthquakes, wars, ect, ect. But these things have always existed since time began. So what would make someone represent such a position? Particularly, when this woman said she left her husband, children, home, job, and all worldly possessions to be with the Lord. Let me be clear, I also want to be with the Lord one day but not Saturday.

Law and Order theme!

Seems like every so often some nut comes out of the woodwork with an end of the world prediction or maybe scam. Especially when times are bad but the reality is times have always been bad somewhere in the world. This is not new; many people have been captivated by the idea of the end of time since man first walked the earth. Some have even been so bold as to pick a date. William Miller, who spawned a 19th-century religious movement that remains visible today, was the classic example. He created a nationwide stir when he predicted that Jesus would return and the world would end on March 21, 1844. He was stood up.

In fact: End Times, as the phenomenon is known, has spawned an economy that rivals the GDP of small countries. There have been scores of books, movies, video games and albums that revolve around Armageddon and the end of the world. Johnny Cash even dabbled in End Times lyrics, particularly in his popular song “The Man Comes Around”. In short, this is a cottage industry. For many Christians, it is a core part of their beliefs. About 41 percent of Americans thinks Jesus will return before 2050, according to a 2010 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

The man pushing the current forecast is Harold Camping, an 89-year-old Christian fundamentalist radio host and co-founder of the Family Radio network, which broadcasts on dozens of stations across the country. As his foot soldiers told me this is not Camping’s first end-of-the-world prophecy. In a 1992 book, he predicted that the world would end in 1994. When he woke up in 1995, clearly something had gone wrong. His excuse was “It’s just like anyone who invents something or comes to a truth or any technician — they don’t immediately make a finished product”. He went on to say, “I did not come to the finished product until three years ago. It was at that time that God showed some exquisite proof. We are at the threshold of being destroyed by fire and brimstone.” WELL!!!

REPENT: The end will come sometime around 6 p.m. on May 21 — not 6 p.m. California time or New York time or Hong Kong time. The world will end at 6 p.m. only when it is 6 p.m. locally, Camping said, citing his calculations. “People will see this coming to them from around the world… It will follow the sun around.” Camping doesn’t seem exceptionally sad to at the notion of seeing the world go: he says, “Frankly, I wonder why this hasn’t happened sooner.”

In 1844, when the news spread that the world was coming to an end: A priest ran into a salon and shouted, “Repent, the world is coming to an ending. What are you going to do?” There were three men playing cards at the time. One said, “Father I am going to the church to pray. I’ll be ready.” The second man said, “I am going to get a bottle, two women, go upstairs and go out with a smile”. The third man sat back in his chair at the card table and said, “I sir shall finish the game”.

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