Many Pastors in Albany are gearing up for the fascinating rapture event to happen on Saturday May 21st. Well, not really.
While many Albany Pastors have always been warning of an imminent rapture and believe it will take place sometime soon, no one would take the bold step to agree with the claim of Harold Camping.
He claims that after careful examination of the genealogies in the Bible and calculation of the times, he has narrowed down the event of the rapture to Saturday May 21 2011. That is tomorrow!
The rapture is a reference to the scripture 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that mentions those who are believers will be “caught up” together in the air at the calling of Jesus before the Tribulation period begins. The rest are the unredeemed who will suffer God's wrath on the earth before the millennium period begins where Christ and His saints will rule for a thousand years. The Latin for “being caught up” is “raptio” where we get the word “rapture” from.
Camping's prediction is not too far-fetched. The rapture may in fact happen tomorrow. It could happen next week, next year, or not for another thousand years. It is when God's time is. And Jesus said that we can discern the season. However, he warned not to predict the time or the day as even He did not recall it in His earthly body. We are only to be concerned of its imminence and know the time is near.
Nothing needs to happen before the rapture can occur. All necessary fulfilled prophecies are taken care of. Some believe that the rapture will happen prior to the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of the last week, which is a seven year period that Israel signs a peace treaty with the Antichrist, an agent of Satan, who will rule the world before destroying it.
Others believe that the rapture will happen during the seven years and that Christians are only spared of the second half of the treaty known as the Great Tribulation.
Either way those of us in Albany should be prepared. We should always be prepared. Do you not yet believe in the Savior? Then you have a bit more necessary preparation as you need to assure you have a Savior for your sins. That is what Jesus Christ provides. Otherwise you will be left behind in the wrath of God, when the Tribulation of Satan comes upon the world.
Either way, Christians should be ready. If it happens, we are overjoyed. If not, we still have work to do to evangelize the message of the gospel. We'll know soon.