I have to admit that I really enjoyed all the banter surrounding Harold Camping's rapture prediction this past weekend. It was incredibly interesting listening to what people had to say and how creative they were in poking fun at the prediction. And, it gave me the opportunity to take my friend Ken's advice. He has always told me, "In case of the rapture, always eat your dessert first!" Some great advice from a wise man, especially since 6pm was so close to dinner time last Saturday!
But back to Mr. Camping and his prediction. He isn't the only person to predict a date for the end of the world only to see it pass by. History is littered with people and organizations who all felt that they had some special revelation into when the world was going to end or when Christians would be raptured. In fact, Mr. Camping had already predicted this same event would occur back in 1994, but he became convinced a mathematical error caused him to get the date wrong. Now he is saying he was off by a few months and it will actually occur in October. Mr. Camping, like so many others, are looking for the mysteries that are hidden in the Bible. Whether it be mathematical formulas, Bible code, or trying to figure out who the beast, false prophet, and whore of Babylon are, millions of people are reading the Bible trying to figure things out that pertain to our current times as well as the end times. They know that something is hidden in those pages and they are looking for answers.
Well, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. The mystery has been revealed! And His name is Christ! Sure, there are other mysteries out there, but God's mystery is Christ Himself. We see this in Paul's letter to Colossae: "that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ" (Col 2:2). Paul wrote these words, among other reasons, to combat some that had come to Colossae and tried to convince them that certain knowledge was more important than faith (Gnosticism).
Christ is a mystery, not because He is hard to figure out, but because He was hidden from ages past (Rom 16:25). The entirety of the Old Testament speak of and point to Christ, yet He was hidden. Even when He showed up on the scene as the Word become flesh, folks missed who He really was - especially the religious folks. Peter was the first to be commended for exclaiming the mystery that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the Living God. Christ's response was to let Peter know that the church would be founded on that revelation. Jesus even tells his disciples that Peter did not have this understanding revealed to him by flesh and blood, but rather God the Father gave Peter that revelation.
Revelation isn't something that comes from intense study and following the teachings of men, even when they are teaching things from the Bible. Revelation comes from the Father. And the Father wants to reveal His Son. And He wants to reveal His Son to you and to me. Christ's riches are infinite and boundless, unfathomable and wonderful. We can spend the rest of our lives and eternity searching out Christ and we will never exhaust this Wonderful Mystery.
My question to Mr. Camping and so many others out there - and, if I'm totally honest, my question to myself, is, "Why would we waste our time searching out anything else?" God has deposited this mystery in every person that belongs to Him. In fact, Paul tells us in Colossians 1:27 that the glorious riches of this mystery is "Christ in you, the hope of glory!" Those are the riches that I want - the glorious riches! Christ in me, the hope of glory. Christ in you, the hope of glory. Let's dive together headfirst into the mystery of Christ and watch all other "so-called" mysteries lose their luster as we delve the depths of Jesus Christ. And I say "we" because Christ wasn't meant to be explored alone - He is a corporate pursuit.