Saturday, May 21, 2011

But of that day and hour knoweth no man

People are interested in the latest prediction of the end of the world--perhaps not because they believe in it, but because someone has the audacity to make a prediction and, as has happened before (see William Miller), the one making the prediction has followers.

Every Christian knows Matthews 24:36-44. In the King James version, the verse reads: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man." So if you're a believer, and you dare to make a prediction of the rapture, it seems as though that alone would negate your prediction. Atheists are having a great time making fun of the prediction. See Friendly Atheist here and here. But not all Christians think the prediction should be taken seriously. See: Varieties of end-time believers and Why there will be no rapture. I frequently think that atheists without a religious background find it easy to disparage all of Christianity because they view it as a monolithic entity, ignoring the diversity of opinion, interpretation, and belief that has splintered the Faith since the Reformation.

Matthew 24: 36-44:

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:36-44, New International Version)

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