RAPTURE: OKONKWO, OTHERS SLAM AMERICAN PREACHER
The prediction by American preacher, Harold Camping, that the world would end May 21 has no doubt proved to be a hoax. It has also been thrown into the bin by Nigerian preachers who feel his prediction is way out of consonance with what the Bible says. Bishop Mike Okonkwo, the General Overseer of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, simply laughed it away as a preposterous assumption.
'We are still here,' he jokingly replied reporters who had inquired about the veracity of the prediction at an event in Lagos on Saturday afternoon. Another preacher Pastor Ituah Ighodalo of the Trinity House, Lagos, reacts more keenly, saying the world wouldn't end on May 21, though he agrees there are signs of the end times.
'The world wouldn't end on May 21. The signs are coming but not in full, this date was arrived at by calculations of an American who leads a religious sect. I haven't studied the calculations but they are unlikely to be true. The world ends everyday for those that leave the world, that is those that die, also the final end of the world will come by revelation that is very clear and the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ, which everyone will see and notice. Most important thing is for all of us to be prepared and we can start by giving our lives to Jesus and living right. So that indeed when that comes we are all well and truly prepared.'
Speaking in the same vein, another preacher, Pastor Eunice Iferi Emedago , Senior Pastor of Faith World Harvest Church, Lagos and Coordinator of Stop Hurting Ministries, noted that Camping was indeed in error of judgement and calculation as the Bible was clear on the issue. Camping, she said was posturing as an antichrist in search of cheap popularity. 'Camping had admitted that he made the wrong calculation as his earlier prediction of September 6, 1994 did not come true. He is certain that by 12pm Jerusalem time, the end would come. Many Bible scholars and end time experts have faulted Camping's predictions and believe it doesn't hold water.
Gospel of Matthew 24 from the first to the last is a guide. Verses 4 through to 14 paint the present day picture, the holocaust and September 11 and others. But verse 36 is very categorical and nullifies all fixation of dates for the second coming of Christ or the rapture. To go ahead and do that is to assume the status of antichrist. Unfortunately, because many have yielded to the god of this world who himself is a son of perdition and error, do not be surprised that many will tell you they are the Christ. In all these, we must adhere to Matthew 24;36 and Rev 22;12-16 and in particular verses 18 through to 20.
We are not going to have an occasion to speculate his coming, it will be too sudden for any to want to use to become cheap superstar, because any who is raptured has suddenly become a superstar and too glorious to seek cheap popularity. Angels don't seek that either. Today is no other day than yesterday or tomorrow. The second coming of Christ which signals the end of the world as we presently know it will be as the coming of a thief in the night. The present world will end suddenly without warning. We can only prepare as if it's the next second accepting and working in the salvation from eternal domination offered by Jesus Christ.'
Further giving a thumbs down for Camping, she said, the calculation by Camping is based on an interpretation of prophecies concerning the end time using the end of the flood in the days of Noah as the starting point. According to her, these calculations of days, seasons and times have been faulted on grounds that the Bible says that no man knows the day of judgement. She rather enjoins all to be prepared for that day as it can come at any time. 'Let us be prepared, we can start by giving our lives to Jesus and living right. So that indeed when that comes we are all well and truly prepared.'
Prophet Omega Barry of Divine Solution Ministries, Lagos, also added, 'no man would know when the world would come to an end. Thos people making the calculations are just demonic. God only gives revelation of what would happen on earth, and not when the world will come to an end.' Reverend Samuel Wasinda of the Great Hope International Ministries, Lagos simply made a joke out of it as he reacted thus when he was contacted.
'Which world is that? Because I want to know which world they are talking about. What will they say about those who have already entered into another day, that is they are 12 hours ahead of us. Well I will call you tomorrow morning to ask you if you are in heaven or not. The world is going to end but it is not the world that I know. And how come it is when the month is about to end and that you are going to be paid your salary that the world is going to end.'