For months now we have been bombarded by Harold Camping's claim that judgment day was coming on May 21, 2011. He reminded us of this through his radio program, billboards across the country as well as in other nations, and full page ads in Reader's Digest and the Washington Post. Today shows that his calculations were wrong and that Jesus is still coming soon.
Harold Camping the False Prophet
Today is further proof that Camping is a false prophet. We are told in Deuteronomy how to recognize a false prophet: And if you say in your heart, "How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?"-when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him (18:21-22). Camping's prediction of Christ's return today around 6:00 PM and the absence of Christ's coming for His bride shows that his word did not come to pass or come true. In fact, this isn't the first time that Camping's claims have proven false. He also predicted Christ's return in 1994. However, when that was shown to be mistaken, he simply stated that he had miscalculated. He has made such absolute statements concerning his accuracy this time around that it will be interesting to see what his response will be in the hours or days ahead.
The Dangers of Date Setting
The entire fiasco with Camping is a reminder to us of the dangers of attempting to set the date as to Christ's return. Granted, Camping is not the only one to do this and more likely will not be the last. In essence, to claim to know the date of Christ's return is to pronounce oneself to be God since Jesus stated that only God the Father knows the date of His return. But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36). By claiming to know that certain day and hour, one declares himself God the Father because He is the only One who has that knowledge. The best that any of us can say is that Jesus is coming soon and we should be ready for His return at any time. That time is in God's hands and He will come when God has seen fit. Meanwhile, we have work to do in making disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19) through spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now that all the hype concerning the "judgment day" that we were supposed to have experienced yesterday has passed, we need to be praying. We should pray for Mr. Camping; that God may use this to open his eyes to how presumptuous he has been and perhaps move him to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That he would see the Bible as not merely a set of numbers to predict the end of the world but instead as the revelation of God Himself and His plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. We also need to pray for his followers who are very disillusioned right now; wondering if they have been "left behind" or why Jesus has delayed. Some of them left their jobs and gave up their stuff, believing in Camping's lie. This may harden them towards the truth because they confused a false teaching for what was real. We should as well continue to say with the Apostle John, Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20). Al Mohler put it well in a recent tweet: "We will not be surprised that Christ has not returned according to any human's timetable. But we should not be relieved. Lord come quickly."
Soli Deo Gloria!!!