Well, finally, here I am again but not with any real art updates as art hasn't been the main thing on my mind lately. Instead, I've been thinking about the recent stir caused by Harold Camping, the minister who predicted the Rapture would happen on May 21, 2011 with the end of the world shortly following. Of course, it didn't. I'm still here and so are all of you.
I am a Christian and I do believe in the "gathering together" of the believers by Jesus at some point in time. But I'd never heard of Harold Camping nor the huge campaign to promote May 21st as the day of what most Christians call the "Rapture" of the church before there was such big publicity about it. I do know the scripture that says no man knows the day nor the hour of this event and also the scriptures that say it will come as a thief in the night so I was pretty surprised that someone purporting to be Christian was actually predicting both the day and the hour that it would happen.
But I do think it's possible that someone will perhaps know the general time and maybe even the week it will occur as the Bible also says that believers shouldn't be ignorant of the end time, that believers shouldn't be in darkness so that the day overtakes them like a thief. It seems as if there's a contradiction there, doesn't it? And that's what I've been thinking about and studying on and I've come to believe that there's not any contradiction at all.
When the Bible says that Jesus will come as a thief in the night and that no one but the Father knows the day and the hour, I believe it's talking about those who either don't know or haven't believed or just don't care that Jesus will return for His Church.
I'm pretty sure that even believers who do know about the gathering together of the saints won't know the exact time of it, But the Bible has given enough details and predictions that they will know the general timing and will be prepared if they have any sense at all.
As I said above, I've been thinking on the end time events and asked God about the thief in the night scriptures and the seeming contradiction with the scriptures that say we shouldn't be ignorant nor be in darkness about those times. While I didn't hear an audible voice, I believe God did answer me in the following way.
While still praying about this, I was taken back in my mind to the time of being pregnant with my daughter a couple of days before her birth (which was over 40 years ago). I saw myself hugely pregnant and down on my hands and knees cleaning the oven, scrubbing the floors into the corners and cleaning areas of the house that I wouldn't have bothered to clean so thoroughly before. This seems to be a common action by most pregnant women shortly before giving birth.
Pregnant women know the approximate date that they'll deliver the baby - like the prediction that Jesus will return for His church, it's no secret. However, they usually don't know the day and the hour of the birth unless they have a cesarean section scheduled. Even then, the exact time of the birth is still not known. That urge to clean and prepare or "nest" is a pointer or a sign indicating that the time of the birth is very near and actual contractions indicate that the process has actually begun!
I believe signs of this type are what the Bible is talking about when it tells us we aren't to be ignorant or to be in darkness about the time of the catching away (commonly called the Rapture) of the Church. While we may not know the exact time, there will be definite signs that we should heed.
The Bible also says that the end times will be like the days of Noah. What happened back then? Well, Noah was instructed by God to build an ark and he set about doing just that. The Bible says that the townspeople laughed at him, mocked him and thought he was crazy when he tried to warn them and told them why he was building the ark. After all, none of them had ever even seen rain before and couldn't imagine a great flood. So they went about marrying, eating and drinking and just living life as always while Noah built the ark. When the rains came, the people were unprepared but Noah and his family and the animals were saved. Even though Noah's neighbors were told about the rain, they were taken by surprise (like a thief in the night) when the rain finally came!
I believe that our neighbors are laughing at Christians today and think we're crazy as we go about preparing for the return of Christ but that they, like Noah's neighbors, will be surprised when the Rapture actually occurs. The Bible says that there will be a loud trumpet sound and the dead in Christ will rise first followed by living believers. This will not be a hidden event like most people think so can you imagine the astonishment of any unbelieving caretakers or visitors of cemeteries around the world when the dead start leaving the graves? Or just the dropped jaws of the general population to see the dead rising to the clouds followed by living people floating past them?
I know most people don't believe that the events told of in the Bible will come to pass. Most people, even those professing to be Christian, don't even know what the Bible says about the future! But I know according to the signs the Bible says to watch for that the end times are drawing very, very near. It may not be in the next few hours or next few days or even the next few years (after all, it took Noah many years to build the ark!) but we would all do well to pay attention to the signs of the times!
One last thing - I'm not writing this trying to scare you into becoming Christian. God has always allowed people to decide for themselves who they will follow and I've always said that I can do no less. All I can do is point out that you do have a choice. Being Christian is a decision of the heart though, not because you're afraid of where you'll end up if you don't become one. But perhaps my words (and even the actions of Harold Camping) will encourage some of you to soften your heart enough to seek further information from the Word of God, the Bible. And maybe that seeking will further soften your heart to make the decision to follow Christ with the truest motives. I sincerely hope so.
And now back to our regularly scheduled program - art!