2 Timothy 2: 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Correction is what God requires of His people-while men point at past errors-not to correct in any way, but only to use as weapons in their discussions with others with whom they disagree on doctrine. Here, they say, you were wrong. “OK,” I respond, “Yes, I was.” But I have since gone back to the Bible and studied even more diligently than before. I not only see the reasons why I was wrong, but by God’s grace I have received correction on those things and now present the corrected information. Oh, but the man doing battle in doctrinal discussion, doesn’t want to hear about correction at all. That was never his purpose in bringing it up in the first place. It was stated, simply, in order to imply that the past error means I am disqualified from speaking now, or ever again on the topic of the end of the world, and, obviously, since it is his judgment my past erring disqualifies me, he therefore believes he has soundly won the debate that he’s trying to win (e.g. which is that no man knows the timing for the end of the world). Of course, this is not true at all in relationship to the Bible or really in any field of endeavor. God does not say that a man is disqualified from speaking on a subject due to a past error. No! The Bible is actually given by God in order for a man to use for correction.
The same kind of foolish reasoning has been used against inventors of the past-who often failed before finally finding success. It was said of the Wright brothers after some of their early attempts failed. “You’ll never fly. Man cannot fly”. The same reasoning you’re using arguing against setting dates is the reasoning used against the Wright brothers. The Wright brothers erred. Therefore, the conclusion is drawn: they will err in the future. They, and any who attempt to do the same thing will also err every time in the future. However, we now fly around the world on the same very same contraptions that some said would never fly. But you see, the critics of the Wright brothers, or the critics of Thomas Edison, did not allow for the learning (correction) that occurs after something fails. Edison is quoted to have said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
We look back and see the foolishness of those people who were all for giving up and forgetting the whole idea. What a terrible waste it would have been if these secular men had listened and thrown away all of their notes and done something more accepted by others. Likewise, I think it’s a terrible thing many have done in throwing out all of Mr. Camping’s excellent work in the Bible concerning time and judgment. E Bible Fellowship has not thrown it out. No. We’ve carefully read those studious notes of his, and we’ve seen some errors and made correction and continue to build upon them. You counsel me, but the one in real need of counseling on these things is you. You were a FR listener and listened to Mr. Camping and read the Bible a whole lot. Good. Good for you. I mean that. It’s really fine to have done that. But it also means nothing today. You cannot rest upon those things. No man can rest upon the laurels of past obedience and past action and expect God to accept him in the present.
Again, it’s very fine to have run a good race for 60% of the way, or 70%, or even 90% of the race. You ran well for the duration of time that you ran, but, the complete duration of the race was not finished. You pulled up short. This is what a good number of people have done when they turned back on a particularly troubling doctrine like the end of the Church Age; or it is what others have done when they saw nothing with their physical eyes on the date of May 21, 2011. And its what still more have done since. They made it far, in some cases, they even made it through the entire 23-year great tribulation period. And by make it, I mean faithfully followed the true teachings of the Bible. Wow. Yes, they made it up till then, but then turned back. In many things this would be commendable. To go so far running so well, it really would be something to be proud of. In many things, but not when it comes to the race which is the Christian life. And especially, the race of living the Christian life at the time of the end of the world. 90% doesn’t cut it. 90% of the way gets one to the door, after its been shut, wherein they can remind Christ of all the wonderful works they did on His behalf in the past:
Matthew 7: 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The race is won only when we reach the finish line. The finish line is the end. The saved-still alive and remaining on the earth- will reach the finish line in a God glorifying manner:
1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Matthew 24: 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
We’ve discussed this enough. You’re welcome to call EBF’s live Bible Q & A program held on Fridays at 9:30 pm (EST) and Sundays at 1:30 pm (EST) at this number: (701) 801-9989. Thank you.