For many Christians, now would be an optimal time for Jesus Christ to return. For Christians like Marie Exley of Colorado Springs, Colorado, it would be both an answer to their prayers and to their unemployment status. According to Exley and others with beliefs like her, the Second Coming of Jesus will occur in less than a year — on May 21, 2011. They’re so certain that they have purchased ad space in several states proclaiming the date of the Second Coming. The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Marie Exley, who placed her message in ads on the backs of ten bus benches around the city, got the idea from Family Radio, a syndicated Christian program hosted by the controversial Christian leader Harold Camping.
Where does Harold Camping get his end date from, considering that bible is rather vague about an set time and date, simply noting that no man will know it and that he (Jesus Christ) will return “in the blink of an eye”? His exact methodology is unexplained by the Gazette, but he tells his listeners that Jesus Christ will return on May 21, 2011. Soon afterward, Armageddon will occur and nonbelievers will be destroyed. The Rapture, a “calling away” of true believers, will also occur, setting the stage for the end times.
But Harold Camping’s belief and Second Coming prediction is controversial even within the Christian community. John Fuller, pastor of Harbor Lights Church in Colorado Springs, told the Gazette: “It’s just wrong. Those who make predictions are just trying to get recognition for themselves.”
The story even made CNN…
There may be something to Fuller’s statement. Harold Camping is syndicated on 55 radio stations, including the station in Pueblo where Marie Exley took to heart Camping’s prediction and had it placed on the backs of several of the city’s bus benches. She said she wanted to do what she could to “get the message out.”
The message reads: “Save the Date! Return of Christ: May 21, 2011, WeCanKnow.com.” It cost the unemployed Exley $1,200 for the ten ads.
As for WeCanKnow.com, they are a website dedicating themselves to “reminding people of Christ’s return.” A spokesman told the paper, “We hope it raises awareness and sends people to their bible. Time is running out, but there is still time for salvation.”
According to Harold Camping and Exley and others in several states that have purchased ad space to alert other Christians and non-Christians, time certainly is running out. There’s less than ten months before Jesus’ expected return.
“There are things I felt I always wanted to do – get married, have a kid, travel more,” the 31-year-old Exley said. “But it’s not about what I want out of life. It’s about what God wants.”
Christians have been calling for the return or the Second Coming of Christ since the recording of his death. Even the bible itself mentions that, among his followers, it was a widely held belief that Jesus would return during their lifetimes.
He did not.
As time went on and other books were added to the growing religious tracts that make up the books of the modern bible, Jesus Christ’s return became more vague and dependent upon certain portents and “signs.” The idea of the Rapture has only been around since the 19th century. Armageddon, which is a cataclysmic battle between the forces of good and evil at the end of time, also has many adherents, but its exact date of occurrence is shrouded in the mystical writing of John of Patmos, the Revelator.
And no exact date is given.
In fact, the exact date of the end of the world as we know it, the Second Coming of Christ, the tribulations, the end times, and the Rapture has been prophesied and prepared for many times over the centuries between the time that Jesus was said to have walked as a man in Judaea and the present. Some Christians have even coincided their Second Coming beliefs with planetary alignments and other astrological occurrences. Some have reconciled their religious ideology with the end date of the Mayan calendar — December 21, 2112.
Many simply choose a ‘wait and see’ attitude, an attitude that might be prudent (see video on Page 3).
People like Marie Exley might want to be careful in these tough economic times. Being unemployed and spending one’s savings on bus bench notifications on the off-chance that Jesus is headed back to Earth on May 21, 2011, might find one disappointed, jobless, and broke on May 22, 2011, praying for a refund of that $1,200.
Check out the CNN video via KOAA in Pueblo:
KOAA via CNN.com