Friday, May 13, 2011

How Will You Respond May 22, 2011?

Hundreds of dooms-day bill board signs will begin coming down. Frightened, confused, hurt and disillusioned thousands will clog cell phone lines in desperate attempts to contact family members. Had they been left behind too?

For the fortunate, reality will be immediate. For others, not so. Their hearts will writhe in unimaginable pain. A few may even take their fate into their own hands.

It will be the headline of every newspaper, the opening segment for every major media network, and the topic of every social network. Fodder for late night comedians, sermon topics for the pastorate, the truth will now be evident.

The Messiah did not come; the rapture did not take place.

Family Radio Stations, Inc., may choose to play 24 hours of music; perhaps 48 - at least until the dust begins to settle. A dedicated team will deliberately put into motion their well rehearsed plan B. The plan? It has no doubt been secretly orchestrated for months now.

Most of the daily programing is produced on a master roll two weeks in advance of air date and time. On this roll producers pot in high frequency tones activating cues for live news and comment from each individual station. By this, all programing appears to be “in the moment”. Perhaps a special tape has been produced; a master only a select few are aware of. There will be no cue for a live, “open forum”. That line will be out of service. Dedicated employees will, as directed, stay home until they receive further notice. They will have been admonished to not talk with the press or engage in conversations with others about the non-event - which will have become the event.

My guess is that station attorneys have rehearsed this day for years. For now, they will be the station’s only messengers. Cleverly, no member of the station ever encouraged listeners to take specific action; only to pray. Any costs incurred by “listener faithfuls” were made voluntarily at the listener’s own discretion and personal choice. Since the station has distributed tracks and books freely it will be held harmless for any voluntary action, costs or losses incurred by the listening public.

So, how will you respond?

If you are a Christian will you be saddened or perhaps repulsed at the scores of individuals influenced by this false prophet? Will you be angry; defensive? How should a Christian respond?

“Therefore, rejecting all falsity and done now with it, let every one express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members of one another. When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath - your exasperation, your fury or indignation last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil give no opportunity to him. Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth; but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s unmerited favor) to those who hear it. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God (do not offend, or vex or sadden Him) by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption - of final deliverance, through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin. Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will or baseness of any kind). AND BECOME USEFUL AND HELPFUL AND KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.” - Ephesians 4:25-32

This is no inconsequential event. The soon to be experienced results of reckless interpretation and proclamation are by no means to be taken lightly. In some cases this has or will forever scar family relationships. Even more sadly, it will give any reasonable thinking individual cause to [all the more] ignore any future conversation with reference to the Gospel. I am saddened and angered. However, I am also overwhelmed with a renewed sense of responsibility and love.

It is important that we consider the influence one very passionate man, with a false message, has had upon so many. By comparison, what can the simple loving message of a risen Savior have upon the world when we humbly and sacrificially share it?

The fact that Jesus will someday return is not so much the message as is the fact that those who open their hearts to Him can enjoy this life all the more as a result of His salvation and daily presence. The story has not changed.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [shall eat] with Me.” - Revelation 3:20

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