Summary: A sermon in response to Family Radio’s (Harold Camping) prediction of the end of the world; it gives five key principles that will help us “correctly handle the word of truth”
The L*I*G*H*T of Scripture*
Sermon Objective: A sermon in response to Family Radio’s (Harold Camping) prediction of the end of the world, it gives five key principles that will help us “correctly handle the word of truth”
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV)
So, you are all still here!!!! Somehow I am not surprised even though a self-proclaimed “Expert” on Biblical Eschatology said that Jesus would come back on May 21 (yesterday).
You may remember that in February I told you about Family Radio’s founder, Harold Camping, using his forum to tell the world that Jesus was coming back on May 21, 2011 – at 6 p.m. It angered me (still does) because of the abuse it puts some weaker Christians through and because of the disgrace it casts on Jesus’ church. Seriously, such nonsense makes the faith look foolish … it gives the Gospel a black eye!
This silly group put up billboards and sent out “missionaries.” Some even went on Caribbean Cruises to tell the vacationers to repent and be ready because Jesus was coming. Heh; even I might have been tempted to volunteer for that duty. Interesting enough, there message and ministry was only focused on the U.S. – I guess the rest of the world could just go to hell on that day.
Camping was called out by many people. One gentleman even told him to put his money where his mouth is and sign over his assets to him as of May 22. Can you believe it? Camping didn’t do it!
Seriously -- I feel sorry for the weaker saints who have been emotionally and spiritually traumatized by the fiasco. They have been led astray. A Fresno, California newspaper has a report of one man in New York who spent his entire life savings to tell people of the coming eschaton. He’s a pauper now and he’s not alone. Others quit their jobs and lived in sub-standard conditions over the past few months, going from place to place warning people.
And today … well what do you suppose those frail saints are thinking today? Do you think their faith is in a tail spin? I suspect it is.
The Camping fiasco reminds me of the words of Proverbs 30:4-5 -- “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar."
I made a promise to you that Sunday in February. I told that once the day had passed I was going to preach on Biblical hermeneutics for apocalyptic literature – how to responsibly interpret, understand, and apply the Scriptures. This seems very apropos to me since I am also preaching through The Revelation, a book which many people think is about future end time events more than it is about the life you are living here and now.
I intend to keep my promise today.
For the past couple of years I have been modeling for you what I taught you in a Biblical Hermeneutics class last summer (“Pastor Ken’s Top 20 Rules of Thumb for Life Long Bible Study”). I have been modeling, to the best of my ability, principles and skills of interpreting the Bible in a manner that is responsible and transferrable.