It is Friday, May 20, 2011. I think of Harold Camping's prediction that the world will end tomorrow (May 21). By the time these words are printed and read, May 21 will have come and gone. Did the world end?
I am not a skeptic. In fact, I look forward to the return of Christ. However, I agree with the article that Pat Murphy wrote for last Wednesday's paper—it is impossible to know when Christ will return. Date setting is a joke. The irony is that I am a Seventh-day Adventist and I agree with every sentence in Pat Murphy's article, except the one about Seventh-day Adventists.
Murphy references Seventh-day Adventists as a church with a documented history of false predictions concerning the end of the world. If you Google "Seventh-day Adventist date setting" you will get a wide array of YouTube videos and outspoken articles that make the Seventh-day Adventist church look like a group of loony conspiracy theorists. You can also find that Elvis is alive and working as an undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration. It's not true.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church grew out of a movement that believed Christ would return on Oct. 22, 1844. When this did not happen, Adventist pioneers did not abandoned their faith but they did learn from their mistake. Since its establishment in 1863, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has looked forward to the Second Coming of Christ but never attempted to say when that coming will take place.
We do not need to know when Christ will return, we only need to know that he will. Since no one is guaranteed tomorrow, each individual should be prepared as if Christ were coming today. Christ is coming and I want to be ready. Do you?
Pastor, Wood River Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church