It’s embarrassing when you say the world is going to end and then it doesn’t. How are you going to shake off that one? Jonah was so nonplussed that he hiked outside Nineveh to sit and sulk. (Jonah 4:1-5)
Robert Luccioni addressed such problems when he advised “strengthening your spiritual core.” Disturbed at a prior organizational “dogmatic statement?” What if you had heard Jesus himself make one? “Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves,” he said. (John 6:53) He lost a lot of disciples that day. “This speech is shocking—who can listen to it?” they said, and stomped off. They might have done better had they strengthened their spiritual core—hang around to see how it played out.
The trick is not to try to sanitize the present. It is to desanitize the past. This is what Luccioni does as he considers a few biblical blooper scenarios, like when Jesus’s disciples flubbed up expelling a demon that was causing great havoc to a child—and the scribes were making hay out of that failure. “They failed? Isn’t that their job?” he envisioned spectators being stumbled over it. (Mark 9:14-18) In the same way should modern-day “disciples” fail in some aspect of their job—well—some are stumbled.
How about the brouhaha over 1975? Might that not cause ones minus an enduring spiritual core some problems? Vic Vomodog trots out this faux pas repeatedly. Answer his question once and he repackages it and runs it through again. What a humiliation it was. Could it happen again?
There are two ways to answer this question:
“No.” As Mark Twain said: “A cat that sits on a hot stove will never sit on a hot stove again. Nor will it sit on a cold one, for they all look hot.”
“Yes.” Are you kidding me? It was 6000 years countdown from Adam per Bible chronology. AND, coupled with the 1000 year reign of Christ to commence after Armageddon. It doesn’t call to mind the 6:1 sabbath arrangement of God? Especially given that one day to God is as 1000 years to mankind? Yes, yes—days to years is apples to oranges—still, its close enough. It is the 1000 to 1 that sticks.
Come now. You think they’re going to snooze through that one? They’re the watchman, after all. It’s an irresistible type/anti-type situation. Given the monumental alignment of the planets, it’s a wonder they didn’t make the call far more forcefully than they did, instead of merely stating it was a possibility, which some zealots presently escalated into a probability. They have to make a call on something like that. It is a sorry watchman, peering through the gloom, high up in his perch, that sounds the alarm only when the prow of the approaching ship smashes through the gunwale and pinches his toes.
“No.” The above is actually reassuring. Because such monumental circumstances will not repeat for a long, long, time—and it took such monumental circumstances to put the call on the back burner that some moved to the front. Three or four years after 75, I recall some rep saying, “We’ve sailed past all the markers.” What can that mean except, “We’re done?” No more calls like that—until the next time—but there shouldn’t be a next time, for that kind of a setup doesn’t happen everyday. Now we get things like “deep in the last days,” the “end is just around the corner,” and “the last of the last days.” No sense in holding out till “the last of the last of the last of the last days” Last of the last is enough.
Everyone gets one failed end-date call within a lifetime. It’s in the rules. It’s a sign of staying alert. Jump the gun in the race and do they shoot you with it? No. It’s not a big deal. They just start the race over.