by Gordon Franz
Harold Camping, the founder and president of Family Radio in Oakland, CA, is batting 0 for 2 in his predictions for the return of Christ and judgment day. In 1992 he published a book entitled 1994 (Vantage Press), in which he predicted that the Lord Jesus would return in October of 1994. That, of course, with 20-20 hindsight, did not happen. However, in the book he had an escape clause that predicted, if Jesus did not return in 1994, He would come back in 2011 (pages 494-495).
Harold Camping set the date of May 21, 2011 at 6 PM in whatever time zone you were in (I guess it would have been a “rolling rapture”!) as the day and the hour of Christ’s return. Again, with 20-20 hindsight, that day and hour came and went and nothing happened.
On Monday night, May 23rd, Camping discussed the non-event on his radio program. He commented: “On May 21, this last weekend, this is where the spiritual aspect of it really comes through. God again brought judgment on the world. We didn’t see any difference but God brought Judgment Day to bear upon the whole world. The whole world is under Judgment Day and it will continue right up until October 21, 2011 and by that time the whole world will be destroyed.” In his evasive non-answer he reaffirmed his prediction of the final Day of Judgment as October 21, 2011.
Mr. Camping can be very thankful he lives in America during the Biblical Age of Grace and not in a theocratic ancient Israel under the Mosaic Law. If he was living in ancient Israel today, he would be under a pile of rocks! He would have been stoned to death; not only for being a false prophet (Deut. 13:1-11; 18:20-22), but also for blasphemy (Lev. 24:10-16, 23). The Lord Jesus said: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36, emphasis mine). In his arrogance, Mr. Camping predicted the day and hour of Christ’s return, something only the Father knows. Thus, Camping equates himself with the Father! Why would the Father reveal the date and time to Mr. Camping when He did not even tell His Son while He was in the flesh (Mark 13:32)?!
Fortunately for Mr. Camping, he still lives in the Age of Grace and still has time, at least until he dies, to admit the errors of his ways. He should confess his sins of arrogance and blasphemy before the Lord (1 John 1:9). Then he should apologize to his followers for leading them astray and also make restitution to those who gave money to his organization because of his false calculations. Finally, he should apologize to the Body of Christ for all the harm his false prophecies have caused because the unsaved world mocks the precious doctrine of the Blessed Hope of the return of the Lord Jesus (Tit. 2:13-14). But that should not surprise believers in the Lord Jesus because the Apostle Peter said that scoffers would mock this doctrine in the last days (2 Pet. 3:1-9).
Yet the Apostle Peter also holds out hope for all unsaved, including the scoffers, when he wrote: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (3:9). In this Age of Grace, an unsaved sinner can still put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in human flesh, as the One who died on the cross to pay for all sin and who bodily rose from the dead to prove that sin had been paid for, Satan defeated, and death conquered.
When people place their trust in the Lord Jesus, and Him alone and not their good works or their own righteousness; God forgives all their sins, declares them righteous before Holy God, clothes them with His righteousness, and gives them a home in Heaven. The offer of salvation is freely given to any and all who would put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior (John 3:16; 6:47; Rom. 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 3:9; Tit. 3:4-7; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 1 John 5:13).
The Lord Jesus, at the Last Supper, reassured His disciples that He would return to earth one day. He stated: “’Let not your heart be troubled; you believe God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s houses are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to Him, ‘I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14:1-6).
Even so, come Lord Jesus!