The end? When?
If you’re reading this article I guess you already know the world has not come to an end, but then again, if you’ve witnessed the “rapture” of the church and you’ve been left behind, good luck.
In case you missed it, Harold Camping had once again predicted the end of the Christian age to occur May 21, 2011, the same as he predicted it to happen in September of 1994. He admits a slight miscalculation in his last prediction. I have no doubt that as I write today that Mr. Camping is going to miss the mark again.
Of course, if he should get lucky, I wonder who’s going to pat him on the back and honor his success. I feel if someone is going to use the Word of God to preach and predict from, they ought to at least read the book first.
Well, maybe I’m being harsh and insensitive again. To be politically correct I should allow Mr. Camping the right to disregard any part of the Bible he deems obscure and irrelevant. Has he erased Matthew 24:36? There’s a Greek word for the message Mr. Camping and others like him are delivering -- “hogwash.”
I think a different approach to life and living is more favorable to God. Be prepared, for we don’t know the hour of our Lord’s return.
A boy was watching his father, a preacher, as he wrote a sermon. “How do you know what to say?” he asked. “Why, God tells me,” answered his father. “Oh,” the boy said with a puzzled look. “Then why do you keep crossing things out?”
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five- and six-year-olds. After explaining the commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy answered, “Thou shall not kill!”
There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year, he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew his corn. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” asked the reporter. “Why, sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
The farmer is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve if his neighbor’s corn does not improve.
(Proverbs 11: 24-25) So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.
The lesson for each of us is this: If we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbor grow good corn. It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself. God’s love will cost you everything, but the trickle-down effect for being obedient to His Word is happiness. I’m not worrying about when the end will come; I’m prepared, waiting on the Lord.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. This column will be available in the Wilson County News when space is available. Readers can also find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com .
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