The end of the world is not so nigh
This is in response to the news piece titled, "The End of the world is Nigh" (Index-Tribune, May 3) by David Bolling. In this article Mr. Bolling interviews Bill Tinker, a devout follower of the false teacher, Harold Camping.
As a local pastor (and the elder I suspect he referenced in his interview who told him Camping's book was trash), I feel compelled to respond to some of the comments made.
First of all, I love Bill Tinker. He used to attend our church, his daughter and son-in-law are my dearest friends, and I remember Bill to be a man of faith, before he allowed the false teachings of Harold Camping to turn him from the one true God.
I don't want this to be an attack on Bill or anyone else currently caught in the lies of Harold Camping.
I wish for this to be an invitation to seek the scriptures for yourself. The Bible is inerrant and has stood up to scrutiny for generations unscathed. It is truly the word of God. It declares that all are sinners and deserve judgment from a Holy God. That's the bad news. However, the good news is that God sent His only Son to die on the cross for any that will accept this truth in their heart.
Harold Camping has changed the gospel message, you see. That takes a lot of brass. Just think about it. The very gospel of Christ has been changed by a man who took the liberty upon himself to do so, apparently thinking that he's become qualified to do such a tremendous thing. I thought the truth was in Jesus (Eph 4:21).
These poor souls are actually looking to Camping for revelations from God in the same way that the apostles looked to Christ for revelations from God. These lost people have put their trust in the revelations of a man, when the Bible makes no mention of an end time prophet rising up near the end of time.
God's word actually indicates that we are to let no man deceive us. We're to put our trust in God alone, not any man. I pray daily for Bill Tinker and all of those caught up in false teaching. I do not intend to cause offense to anyone. I merely wish to point all to the cross of Jesus Christ.
Harold Camping is not the way. Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the Way, the Truth and the Life in the gospel of John. Harold Camping is a false teacher. One need only look at the materials his organization publishes to see it for themselves.
From the tract entitled, "The End of the World is Almost Here! HOLY GOD will Bring Judgment Day on May 21, 2011," we read the following: "Each name tells us something about the glorious character and nature of God. Thus, in the Bible we find such names as God, Jehovah, Christ, Jesus, Lord, Allah, Holy Spirit, Savior, etc." Open up your Bible and search. See if the Bible ever uses the name "Allah" for God. It doesn't. It is not there and Camping knows it!
Bill says that you cannot know whether you will be saved or not. That is a lie. The Bible verily clearly says in Romans 10:9-10: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." And in 1 John 5:13 we read, "I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life." You can know you are saved! God is not elusive. He desires a relationship with each one of us. I can go on and on about what Camping teaches and what Bill said. I will just say this: If you have questions, seek God. Come to any of the evangelical churches in the Valley. Come to our church, Sonoma Alliance Church. We will be having a very special evening service on May 21 at 7 p.m. called, "The Gathering." Come and see that God loves you and is not going to call for the end of the world. I invite you to come to Sunday morning worship service on May 22. You, too, Bill. ... There will be no judgment or ridicule for any that have become disillusioned by the false teachings of Harold Camping.
You will be - as the prodigal son - welcomed with open arms and celebration!
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Rob Goerzen is Senior Pastor at Sonoma Alliance Church.