An essay donated by Aerik Vondenburg
The 2011-MAY-21 apocalypse & a case for preterism
The president of the Radio Christian Network and fundamentalist preacher, Harold Camping, has announced the date of the End Times as foretold in the Book of Revelation. His followers have been traveling the nation and putting up billboards to publicize this revelation.
The date. . . May 21st, 2011.
Camping is basing his prediction on mathematic numerological calculations. However, according to the Bible itself, not only is Camping wrong, but others who believe that the Apocalypse has yet to come are wrong as well.
In the book of Luke, Jesus tells his followers that the great tribulation would occur in their very own “generation” (Luke 21.32).
This statement is documented in the Gospel of Mark as well:
"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Jesus,
Jesus was actually indicating that the tribulations would occur in their own generation, and not in the far future. For a Judeo-Christian to disagree with this, they would have to disagree with the words that are actually found in the Bible.
Even the account that is recorded in the Book of Revelation, clearly indicates that the time of the unveiling, and of the fiery war of Armageddon, were not 2000 years in the future, but “near”:
" Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the appointed time is near." Revelation 22.10
2000 years later is not "near." The Book of Revelation itself clearly reports that the time of the tribulation and Apocalypse would take place in the age in which it was written:
"Behold! I am coming soon." Revelation 22.12
A primary reason why these Biblical passages have been ignored by many present-day Judeo-Christians is because of the belief that Armageddon, the Tribulation, the Rapture, the Apocalypse, and the return of the Christ, are about to happen, infuses their belief-system with an element of exciting, faith-bolstering relevance.
The other effect that this interpretation has is that is compels fearful obedience for those who may be concerned about the horrendous adversity that is foretold and about the horror of being “left behind” during the “Rapture.”
Most biblical scholars know that the characters, places, and events in the book of Revelation refer to Rome and Roman authorities, who were the main persecutors of the Christians in those early years. The reason why Revelation was encrypted with symbolism was to conceal its message from the Roman authorities who would have burned it along with anyone who possessed it.
In this case, the more accurate view of the Apocalypse and the book of Revelation, is the Preteristic view.
Preterists believe that "end times" events were fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem, including the resurrection of the dead and Jesus' Second Coming. The reality is that the closest era of time that could be related to the four horsemen of the Apocalypse occurred just after the Roman empire collapsed during the Dark Ages.
Not included in the above essay are several Christian Scripture (New Testament) passages from the writings of Paul that confirm Paul's belief that the end times were to occur during the 1st century CE. The early Church also believed this and anticipated Jesus return during their lifetimes.