Vain Predictions and A Silent Chair

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Vain Predictions and A Silent Chair

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I believe we have had enough talk of predictions of the end of the world for one week. Harold Camping's musings about a rapture and the end of the age and Christ's coming have been the fodder of skeptics and religious hobbyists. Mr. Camping has now moved his end of the world calculations to October 21, 2011. Please, let's end this foolish chatter.

It's not that we are against a responsible study of Bible prophecy. Visitors to this website can look at the thousands of articles on the subject and see that this organization strives to teach Bible prophecy from a position that does not make great leaps of speculation about Christ's return or any other subject. We well recognize the swamp of "prediction addiction" that awaits any who dabbles with this part of the subject.

We prefer to listen to the apostle Peter's instruction on the subject. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness" (1 Peter 3:10-11).

Prophecy should motivate us to be better people--practicing our faith in deep sincerity. Holy conduct should be the end result of a study of prophecy, not fear or self-righteousness. Those who get stuck on predictions seem to be motivated by a desire to exalt their knowledge rather than a humble submission to God's all-knowing guidance of time and history.

A balanced study of prophecy leads you to understand God is guiding history to His own conclusion in His time and manner. No man has any private interpretation of prophecy (2 Peter 1:20). It is folly to assume such a role.

Yesterday I was in Holmes County, Ohio, visiting an Amish cultural center. There in the center of the room stands a large chair built in 1853 by an Amishman named Jonas Stutzman. "White Jonas," as he is called, set that year as the date for Christ's return. He built a large wooden chair on which Christ could sit and judge the nations--from Holmes County of course. It was another failed prediction. The chair gives silent testimony to the folly of prophetic predictions–-a reminder to us all to move on with life, and leave the details to God.


  • bcerz811

    Feel free to correct me if I am mistaken anyone but:

    I THINK that even if suddenly we were being told to flee, we wouldn't necessarily know that it is exactly 3.5 years from that date that Christ would return. I think potentially, God could wait until during the tribulation to have us flee, or simply protect us during, or it could be a little bit before...However I think at some point we WILL be able to approximate pretty closely how soon it is until Christ's return. I think the point is, and always will be that we do not know the exact time or hour. So even if tomorrow during church, we hear "everyone meet at the airport Monday morning", that doesn't necessarily mean that we have exactly 3.5 years from July 11th until Christ returns. I think it would be more like APPROXIMATELY 3.5 years. Maybe. Also, there are other factors to consider as well, when we are at the point of fleeing, many many big things will have happened to let us know that the end is very close.

    So i guess my point is, that we will never know the exact time or hour of Christ's return, BUT with God's holy spirit and as long as we are watching for those big signs God gives us, we will eventually know at least an approximation. For example, when the two witnesses go out--that'll give us a pretty good idea of the time frame left on this earth. Does that make sense? Anyone please feel free to correct me if i'm missing something, but this is the way i have always understood it.

  • twk59

    i stand in wonder of how people try to predict the end when they all know the only one who knows is God Himself. What nerve.

  • the simplistic1

    I predict that there will be more predictions over time. lol

  • dust_i_am

    But if Church of God leaders eventually declare it's time to "flee to the place of safety" - whether it's Petra or wherever - won't they in effect be setting a date? That the return is 1,290 or 1,335 days away?

  • Susan Durnil

    Well said, Mr. McNeely. It is time to stop trying to predict when Christ will return and follow His instructions.

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