Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 21, 2011

A Task Not A Timetable

Harold Camping gets it wrong -- again!

The world did not end today as predicted by Harold Camping, the 89 year-old retired engineer-turned-biblical numerologist and radio evangelist. This is not the first time Camping has erroneously predicted the date that the world would end, or rather the date of the beginning of the end. However, in spite of that, he managed to lead others to believe that he had now arrived at the correct date because he had corrected his previously faulty metrics. And, once again, like others before him, Camping was wrong. Behind Camping’s failed prediction are gullible people who stopped making their mortgage payments, gave away all of their possessions, euthanized pets, and more as they anticipated the event that did not happen today. Camping also spent millions on billboard advertising and recreational vehicles wrapped in doomsday advertisements. All of these things will remain, for a time, as mute testimony to Camping’s failed prediction.

Just before His ascension into heaven, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). His teaching prompted the disciples to ask a question that was not entirely unreasonable, but reflected their misunderstanding of the kingdom (Acts 1:6). Like other Jews, they expected the Messiah to set up a political kingdom—restoring Israel to the political sovereignty and glory the nation had enjoyed in the days of King David. On one occasion they had argued among themselves as to who would have the highest rank in the kingdom (Luke 22:24-30). They now wondered if Jesus was going to free the nation from Roman rule.

Jesus gently rebuked the disciples for asking about God’s timetable for the restoration of the kingdom. The Father alone has the authority to set the timetable for all events (Acts 1:7), including the end of the world (Mark 13:32). Instead of speculating about the future, the disciples needed to focus on more immediate concerns—specifically their new assignment. Perspiration for the kingdom is more important than speculation about the end times! We should live and serve as though Jesus will return at any moment (Mark 13:32-37). In His last recorded statement on earth, Jesus gave His disciples a task rather than a timetable. He charged them with the responsibility of being His witnesses (Acts 1:8).

The Apostle Paul later addressed similar concerns about the believers at the church at Thessalonica. Because Paul had previously written to tell them that Christ could return at any moment, some of the believers had stopped working in order to wait for Him. Paul therefore wrote a second letter to enlighten these confused believers who had stopped working in order to wait for Christ’s return. Paul had strong words for these careless believers who focused on a timetable rather than on the task of living for Christ day to day. Jesus promised that He will return. But, because we do not know the date of His return, the wisest thing we can do is to focus on the task of living incarnationally and expectantly. We need to be about the business of loving God, loving people, and living life in a way that pleases Him. Don’t let speculation about timetables distract you from the task of living for Him today. That’s the best thing we can do while waiting for His return.


  1. May I reprint this post on, with a link back to you?

  2. […] Reprinted with Permission From Omar Garcia […]

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