A group of 13 people, with at least eight of them being children between the ages of three and 17, has vanished from their Palmdale, California homes. Their remaining families told authorities that they left behind money, deeds to real estate and notes saying they are going to be with Jesus and relatives who have died. The leader of the religious group is Reyna Marisol Chicas, 32, a Salvadoran immigrant.
Many believe this may be similar to the Heaven’s Gate Christian group. In 1997 39 members of that group committed suicide as they expected to be with Jesus during the Comet Hale-Bopp’s closest approach to Earth. However, many Christians believe Christians will not die during the “rapture”, but will instead be “caught up in the air” to be with Jesus.
Police are looking for three vehicles the group is believed to be traveling in: a white 2004 Nissan Quest, a 1995 white Mercury Villager and a newer-model, silver Toyota Tundra. The Christian group was last seen in their vehicles on Saturday around 1:00 a.m.
Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said, “We do not think this is a hoax. We don’t know that this is a potential suicide, but we know that it’s real and we’re going to find them.”
Some major Christian sects have started by their founders mistakenly believing and convincing others that they knew when Jesus was going to return. For example, the Seventh Day Adventist Chruch was started this way. William Miller was a Christian clergyman who was involved in the Second Great Awakening revival in the 19th century. Miller became convinced by reading the Bible book of Daniel among other Christian Bible scriptures that Jesus would return on October 22, 1844.
There are probably countless Christian sects since the birth of Christianity which believed they knew when Jesus was going to return to planet Earth. A key reason for this is due to the Bible itself. For example, Matthew 10:23 says that Jesus told his disciples, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” That, along with other statements the Bible claims Jesus made, would make the people hearing this believe Jesus would return in their lifetimes. The group in Palmdale, California is not alone in the false belief that Jesus is coming back to Earth.
God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion
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