Danish writer Søren Kierkegaard had written: “A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s how the world will come to an end: to the general applause of wits who believe it’s a joke.”
Of course it’s no joke, though Christians have at times said and done things to make it appear that way. Such as the predictions of the late Howard Camping, who had predicted that true Christians would be secretly raptured to heaven on May 21, 2011 while the people remaining behind would be engulfed in fire, plagues and violence as the world ended.
This wasn’t the first time Brother Camping had warned of such an end. September 6, 1994, then revised to 29th, and once again to October 2 of the same year, was to be the end. However, his May 21, 2001 prediction gained him not only a following, but millions of dollars in donations as thousands of people, believing they were going to be taken to heaven, gave him money and property that, they were led to believe, would no longer be needed. After all, what good are your Certificates of Deposit or shares of Apple stock in heaven?
This silliness aside, the world will end when Jesus Christ returns, a return guaranteed by His first coming. Without the Second Coming, Christ’s death on the cross, when He “bore our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4) and when “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5), would have all been for nothing, and who believes that?
Thus, the end will come. And, as Kierkegaard warned, it will indeed be no joke.