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So, according to some, the rapture and the start of the great tribulation were supposed to take place on May 21. Media outlets all over sure had fun reporting the misfire. Atheists were celebrating and mocking. And many Christians were joining in.

Whenever I hear anyone predict any of these things with rock-solid certainty, I consider that they are either too weak with their exegesis or too strong with their personal confidence in their speculations. I don’t side with the haters, either, and call these predictors total lunatics for believing strongly that Jesus is coming back.

Why? Because that’s part of my core belief: The King—Jesus—is coming back, and I believe that relative to the timeline of human history, He is coming back pretty soon.

Instead of joining the mocking, believers have a great opportunity right now to do two things:

1.Remind people that whether or not the world ends soon, their end will come. Plenty of people died on May 21, and for them it was the end of the world regardless of whether or not Jesus came back for us all. We all need to be prepared for that day and help others prepare for it, too.

2.Reinvestigate the reality of the second coming of Christ. I kind of wish that Christians all over Twitter and Facebook who dismissed the idea of May 21 as judgment day also included a disclaimer that judgment day will, in fact, come. Maybe it wasn’t in May, but Jesus is coming, and instead of disregarding the whole idea, we could use misguided speculation to fuel our hope in the return of Christ.

Early Christians used to say “Maranatha” as a greeting to one another. That means, “Come, O Lord.” Do we have that same stance of hope that Jesus will come quickly?

It’s easy to take shots at someone who was so clearly wrong, and maybe make ourselves look a bit better or more acceptable in the process: “Hey, just because I’m a Christian—or a pastor—doesn’t mean I’m like the nut-job who said this stuff.” I’m not saying that we can’t point out the obvious blunder, but what if we also turned the conversation toward the real issues of life and death, heaven and hell, sin and redemption, and the return of our King?

Let’s encourage one another to make the most of every opportunity in this evil age (see Eph. 5:16). I hope that’s what I’ve done for you here!

By: Tim Clark, senior pastor of Lifehouse (San Dimas Southwest Foursquare Church) in San Dimas, Calif. This article was adapted from his blog, Used by permission.

is the senior pastor of The Church On The Way (Van Nuys Foursquare Church) in Van Nuys, Calif.