The media is buzzing with the latest end of the world prophecy, while radio stations everywhere are playing R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It".
Evangelical preacher Harold Camping has once again predicted the end of the world. He first predicted the end of the world back in 1994. This time he's sure the end will begin on May 21, at around 6 p.m. Camping says he'll be watching TV to look for earthquakes somewhere in the world.
According to the 89-year-old Camping, the end of the world will begin today, and the actual end will come on Oct. 21, with the total destruction of the world. Camping says an earthquake somewhere in the world will open the graves of dead “true believers” so they can get their new bodies and be united with Jesus Christ. Five months of horrors will follow, he says, and all come to an abrupt end on October 21 when the earth is completely destroyed and will cease to exist.
Camping came to his conclusion based on a personal interpretation of the bible and biblical event dates, starting with the Great Flood. While most theologians disagree, Camping insists the Flood occurred in 4990 B.C. He adds the year of the Flood with our current year, then subtracts one year (because there is no year zero between the Old Testament and the New Testament) to arrive at 7,000. (4990+2011-1=7000) He has personally determined that the number 7,000 in his equations means Doomsday.
What preacher Camping seems to have missed in all his bible reading and calculations were the very words of Jesus Christ, who told the world about “End Times” in his famous speech from the Mount of Olives (found in Matthew: 24).
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again."
And here in Matthew 24:36 Jesus makes it very clear that no one knows the date or time – not even evangelical preacher Harold Camping.
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Camping isn’t the first to make this sort of “Doomsday” prediction. Doomsday predictions in Christian denominations go back ages. Benjamin Keach (Baptist) predicted the world would end in 1689. The Shakers predicted the world would end in 1792. Joseph White (Latter Day Saints) said the end would come in 1832. And Ellen White (Seventh Day Adventist) made a few Doomsday predictions over the years. But no one denomination can out-do the Jehovah Witnesses in Doomsday predictions. They’ve had nearly a dozen Doomsday dates over the last few decades and they’re still going strong with more.
Christians aren’t the only ones making Doomsday predictions. Cult leader David Koresh predicted Doomsday in 1995. The author of “The Bible Code," Michael Drosnin predicted the kick off to Armageddon would happen in the year 2000, with the start of World War III. And New Agers for a while now have been claiming the end of the world will be December 21, 2012 based on the Mayan calendar ending on that date.
So, Camping isn’t alone in the world of Doomsday predictions, nor will he likely be alone on the list of “Failed Doomsday Predictors."