You can relax. The world is not coming to an end on May 21. I have it on authority.
Hindson says Harold Camping “doesn’t have the right date.” And it’s not the first time. Camping earlier predicted Rapture for September 1994 and has a backup date of Oct 21 in case he is wrong this time.
Hindson is quite confident that the world will go on past Saturday. In fact, he is giving a speech to 10,000 people in California on Sunday, the day after Camping’s doomsday. Presumably those who are planning to come also do not believe that Saturday will be their last day on Earth.
How does Hindson know for sure? “There’s no solid biblical basis” he says. “God doesn’t give us a specific date. Jesus said, nobody knows the day and the hour. The Bible also tells you not to set the date for the second coming.”
Still, Hindson believes that the second coming could be closer than we might think. But he says you have to live life the way you would anyway. He lives by the maxim, “Don’t waste your time, trying to guess the time; be ready all the time, because Jesus could come any time.”
Hindson is among a large segment of Christians who do believe in “end times.” The evidence, he says, that we are getting closer is in the Bible. It says Israel will return to the land. To Hindson that is “a flashing amber light that gets my attention.” He points to the crisis in the Middle East as evidence that wars in the Middle East signal the last days and says, to prepare, “we should work for peace to resolve human conflict.”
The big question then, is will he change his own life to prepare for the second coming? Should we change our lives? Should we stop dieting, cash in all of our chips and take a trip around the world, stop paying taxes, run off with that cutie from the office we’ve had our eye on?
He laughs. “Jesus says, ‘stay busy until I return,’ ” he says. In some cases people may be irresponsibly waiting for Him to come and not taking care of business.”
What about non believers? “You’re in big trouble,” he says, but all is not lost.
“I think the rapture will shock people and cause them to believe. So it’s only the really evil people who will actually be in trouble. “Evil people who don’t believe in God and made evil choices like Hitler and Islamic extremists. When you pick up the sword in the name of God you are violating Jesus’s basic teaching,” he says. Which is one reason he thinks the second coming may happen sooner rather than later.
In terms of evil, enough is enough. “If you’re God and you’ve been reaching out to people for thousands of years,” he says, You want to stop this.”
But Hindson is not at all happy with Camping’s prediction any more than he was over Camping’s previous prediction of Rapture occurring in September 1994. “He should have been more honest and said, ‘whoops, I goofed,’ ” he said. “The danger with what he is doing is that when nothing happens, people will throw the baby out with the bath [water]. It only encourages the scoffers. The Bible predicts there will be scoffers.”
So is Hindson doing anything to prepare for the end, just in case? Not really. “If Jesus comes back, I will be happy,” he says. However there is some conflict. At just 66, he doesn’t want the end to come prematurely. Yet, “the older you get, the sooner you want Jesus to come back because you’re running out of time. “
So what will he tell the 10,000 people on Sunday in Riverside, Calif., assuming we’re all still here?
“My speaking will be unrelated to this prediction,” he says. My emphasis will be on the true signs of the second coming and why this guy is wrong.”
My advice, after speaking with Hindson, and he agrees: We should all keep on flossing.
More On Faith and May 21, 2011
Photos, video: Scenes from the apocalypse
John Shelby Spong: Camping does not represent Christianity
Richard Dawkins: Science explains the end of the world
Matthew Paul Turner: The harm that ‘Judgment Day’ will do
Panel responds: How do end-times theologies impact real world behaviors?
Under God/ Twitter: What would you do if you knew you only had three days left? Use #bucketlist
Sally Quinn | May 20, 2011 9:45 AM