The worst thing about Harold Camping’s (now two) missed rapture predictions is that it didn’t happen anyway, albeit he is a bona fide false prophet. The second worst thing about it is that it gives the public mockers of Christianity more ammunition, and thereby hurts evangelism efforts in general. The third worst thing about his missed rapture prediction on May 21, 2011, is that he doesn’t seem to understand Biblical end time events or what the rapture even is.
We knew it wasn’t going to happen on May 21. God is not going to give a false prophet credit and honor like that. The Bible tells us that no man knows the day or the hour. That means you cannot figure it out with scripture and a calculator. So if Camping’s prediction came true, it would mean that some man did know the day and the hour (this wacky guy even predicted the hour). That would mean something in the Bible, a statement of Jesus himself, would be proven wrong – which of course has never happened and never will.
It is amazing to me that somebody like Harold Camping cannot see the problem in that. Contradict something that the Lord assured us of, and be proven right? Ain’t gonna happen.
Jesus did seem to want us to be aware of the seasons however, as Matthew 24 and 25 would indicate. He wanted us to be aware of end time events and understand that when we start seeing certain conditions in the world, and witness certain events unfolding, that our redemption draws near.
However Jesus also wanted his coming to be imminent. He told us to stay on the alert because we would not know the hour of His coming, that He would come when we don’t expect it, and that blessed are the servants whom the master finds doing his will when he returns. These instructions were for Christians of all ages, and it is easy to understand why. Expecting that the Lord could return any moment helps us lead a more Godly life, or at least helps keep us out of trouble. In this respect, I suppose, predictions of the rapture from false prophets can have a positive attribute.
But it drives me a bit batty when somebody like Harold Camping, who has a large radio ministry and thousands of followers, doesn’t even understand Biblical end-time events. Not that this is a horrible thing in and of itself, as many good churches simply don’t focus on that (for example the Lutheran church that I grew up in). But man, if you are not going to get yourself a good level of understanding about them, stay away from the topic! There are few things less attractive than a teacher who doesn’t know the material.
Camping stated that millions of people would die on May 21 and then millions more would die every day afterward, until the end of the world. Not exactly something you could correlate with any scriptural passage. In fact it is way, way off. Whenever somebody lays something like this on you which sounds questionable, just say show me the scripture.
When the rapture occurs millions of people will die or go missing, that is correct. However to state that millions of people will keep on dying every day thereafter would only correspond with a mid-tribulation rapture viewpoint, being as the wrath of God does not start until the last 3.5 years. This would mean that we are already halfway through the 70th week of Daniel (the last seven years). The anti-Christ would already have to be revealed, and there would need to be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem currently in operation. Obviously there isn’t.
Camping’s prediction therefore just doesn’t fit with any of the different Christian eschatological viewpoints. There is no rebuilt temple and there is no Anti-Christ that has been revealed. Consequently there must be a period of peace between now and the wrath of God during the tribulation, were the rapture to happen today. Anybody who has studied end-time prophecies could spot the problems with Harold Camping’s prediction a mile away.
Besides, he blew it once already in 1994. So why is anybody paying any further attention to this guy?
We had a Christian do-whop singer in our Church on Sunday. I like a little line he threw in during his performance; We don’t try to rush Him, He is coming when He wants. All the same, come quickly Lord Jesus.