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May 21 -- After

Posted Monday, May 23, 2011, at 10:27 AM

If you are reading this one of three things have occurred:

(1) The much ballyhooed "rapture" of the saints most recently scheduled for May 21 has occurred and I, as with you, were left behind;

(2) the "rapture" came but there were too few faithful found to make a quorum, so the event had to be rescheduled for a date to be determined by they who gave us May 21; or

(3) the exact date of said taking away of the saints was somehow miscalculated (bringing yet more defamation to the name "Christian") and the end awaits a future, unknowable scheduling.

I'm guessing No. 3 most likely. Understanding, much less correctly interpreting, end of time prophecy is a dicey thing indeed.

Back in the days when I taught Bible Survey it was possible to skim over the prophetic parts in the Old Testament. When one gets to the Revelation to John however, how to understand "end-time" prophecy had to be dealt with. These are the guidelines I suggested:

1 -- It does not have to happen in America to have happened to America. It is an Americanism to think we will know it because we see it. Prophecy fulfillment might just happen someplace else.

2 -- Preacher's blow it! Clergy most likely will be the last to know (exactly why the May 21 date failed to impress). Church history indicates church leaders will not understand what is happening while it is happening. According to the written record Jesus came fulfilling all Messianic prophecy and the clergy of the time missed it entirely

3 -- He walks thin ice who holds any understanding, calculation, or prediction depending on some physical event happening that has not yet happened. The essence of Jesus own predictions were that everything He said was coming were things coming in every generation. By the second century of the Common Era it would have been difficult to convince practicing Christians that all things had not already been fulfilled.

4 -- The only real way a Christian can know when prophesy has been fulfilled is when the Bible says, "this was to fulfill;" everything else is Internet conjecture. Useful, perhaps; interesting, certainly; but conjecture.

5 - When all happens which is to happen, true understanding of all the happenings may surprise everyone but God. "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." (I Corinthians 13:9-10 KJV)

6 -- The challenge in the meantime, as always, is to live in such a relationship with God and man that May 21 would have worked out as good as any, thank you. "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." (Mark 13.32, KJV)

7 -- There's no guarantee to anyone they'll be around to see any of it. Life, the future and taking part therein consist solely in the ability to take the next breath. For any given person any given day can be their private May 21.

David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at kayanddavid@frontier.com.



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