The Truth About May 21, 2011 Chris Hopf

Will the Jesus Christ really return on May 21, 2011? Will the world end shortly after that? According to a small Christian movement, yes, He will. The movement, led by Harold Camping who runs the evangelical station Family Radio, is predicting that mid-May of this year will bring about Christ‘s return—after that will be the time when, according to some, the earth will be destroyed due to mankind's sins and all Christian believers will ascend to heaven. Apparently Camping believes this will occur on May 21st because of a mathematical system he created to interpret prophecies hidden in the Bible.

Harold Camping was wrong when he predicted the end of the world between 15 September and 27 September 1994. In his book ―1994?‖ which outlines his predictions for that false prophecy, he spends over 500 pages telling us when the end times would come. But it only takes about five seconds to read (and re-read if necessary) Matthew 24:36 ―No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.‖ (That includes Harold Camping) Every single argument in his book is answered from one verse in the Bible.

Camping and his followers have taken their message to billboards, t-shirts, and short pamphlets. In the pamphlet Camping makes several claims about the evidence that he claims as proof positive that the rapture will occur May 21, 2011. According to Harold Camping‘s writings, here are a few things that we are assured to happen on May 21, 2011: 1.) ―The true believers receive their eternally-alive, resurrected bodies. This is what will happen on the day of the Rapture, May 21, 2011.‖ 2.) ―On May 21, 2011, the date of the Rapture, each and every saved person will go to Heaven because his salvation will be altogether completed.‖ 3.) The doubling of the numbers 5x10x17 like the doubling of the phrase ―one day is as a thousand years‖ assures us that the truth of these proofs is established by God and God will shortly bring it to

pass. Isn‘t it amazing that God uses this doubling principle to further guarantee that the date of May 21, 2011 is absolutely certain, even as God has used the doubling principle to absolutely assure us that the Judgment Day is exactly 7000 years after the flood of Noah‘s day. The author closes the tract saying, ―How can anyone dare to dispute with the Bible concerning the absolute truth that the beginning of the Day of Judgment together with the Rapture will occur on May 21, 2011.‖ Well, I dare to dispute Camping‘s claims, because they are not Biblical; they are not logical. They are false. Camping begins with a false assumption, based on 2 Peter 3:8: ―One day with the Lord is as a thousand days...‖ Camping, as many other false prophets, says that ―One day with the Lord IS a thousand days.‖ Camping turns a metaphor into a prophetic statement. Camping is right that Biblical numbers can convey significant meaning. However, he makes some almost unprecedented claims concerning his numerical calculations. He even makes the wild claim that the 153 fish caught by the disciples (John 21) ―represent all those who become saved during the final harvest of true believers that is taking place during the last 6,100 days of the Great Tribulation.‖ Such claims are ridiculous and without any contextual merit. What Biblical writer ever even alludes to those fish again? Camping is rather bold when he says that the church age came to an end May 21, 1988– which of course is the date of one of his failed prophecies! The problem for Camping, and those like him, is that the Bible says that the church has no end. It cannot be moved! (Cf. Ephesians 3:20-21; Hebrews 12:28). Note that Camping says that Christ will shortly bring to pass the prophecies of the end. The inherent contradiction with the Bible should be apparent to all thinking Bible students. Why should we today believe that the end is near now, when the Bible writers all wrote, 2000 years ago, that the end was near in their lifetime! Note now Luke 21:8, ―He replied: ―Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‗I am he,‘ and, ‗The time is near.‘ Do not follow them.‖ Jesus warned his disciples: ―Many will come in my name saying ‗I am he, and the end has drawn near. Do not go after them!‖ What does this mean? Jesus was warning his living, breathing disciples,

2000 years ago, not to believe– and thus, certainly not to make– premature declarations of the nearness of the end! However, Jesus gave signs of the end, and told his disciples, ―When you see all of these things come to pass, know that it (the end) is near, even at the doors.‖ (Matthew 24:32). What is so important is that those very same disciples, specifically Peter and John, later wrote, in the same generation, that the end was near! Christ‘s coming was at hand and coming soon! Peter, who heard his Lord warn against premature declarations that the end had drawn near, later wrote: ―The end of all things has drawn near!‖ (1 Peter 4:7). John likewise said of Jesus‘ coming in the judgment that it was at hand and coming quickly (Revelation 22:6, 10-12). Bible believers have choices to make: either Jesus‘ first century disciples were right when they predicted the nearness of the end or modern so called prophets like Harold Camping are the true prophets. However, if Camping is right, then the Bible writers were wrong, the Bible is wrong, inspiration falls, and Christian faith is nullified– which means ultimately of course, that Camping is absolutely wrong! If the Bible writers are/were wrong, there is no parousia (second coming) of Christ for anytime, thus, Camping is falsified. But of course, if the Biblical writers were right– and they were– then Camping and all modern so called prophets are false prophets and should be exposed for what they are. Luke 21:8 gives us no room on this.

Perhaps it is an overused scripture reference, but in needs repeating. As it concerns the issues of the end times, scripture is very clear: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father‖ (Matt 24:36). No matter what kind of twisted logic and scripture manipulation you use, the plain meaning is very clear. Some will argue that scripture tells us elsewhere that we can discern this date. If that is so, then scripture ceases to be authoritative, clear, and becomes contradictory. No one knows, not even Harold Camping, or those who wish to push and support his lies and deceptions. Jesus as a Human Agent on this earth did not know, the fact that as Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity does know, is not an argument against Matthew 24:36. Nor does it back Camping or anyone else who likes to play scriptural gymnastics to hold on to a point that scripture is clear about.

As to his latest hype and false predictions, no amount of writing by Camping, dedication on the part of his followers to spread the false prediction, links on the internet or Facebook anecdotes or referring to May 21, 2011 as ―Fact‖ can detract from the truth of Jesus‘ words in Matthew 24:36:

―No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.‖

Is there something about Harold Camping that the Church in two thousand years has not recognized or learned? Is Camping that special? A prophet? The son of a prophet? If so he would have been stoned to death according to the teachings on false prophets from the book of Deuteronomy ―If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him‖ (Deut. 18:22).

Camping was wrong before, and he would have been wrong again, with another future prediction that he was ready to make. It is a well known fact, within his inner circle at the time, that Camping was about to make and publish another false prediction. Those within his inner circle warned him that they would leave his organization if Camping attempted to write another book predicting the end of the world, which Camping was thinking of doing in the late 1990's early 2000s. Camping relented and many of them stayed, but with great suspicions in their minds.

Perhaps those of the inner circle are now gone, and that is why he has once again, contrary to the clear teaching of scripture, made a prediction about an event that ―No one knows about that day.‖ Camping shakes his fist at a Holy and Righteous God, with his arrogance in deceiving hundreds of thousands and making a mockery of the Church.

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