Radio evangelist expects return of Christ today

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If Harold Camping's calculations are right, today's newspaper is the last some Christians will ever read.

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Family Radio's Caravan One traveled through Augusta in January to spread the message of its founder, evangelist Harold Camping, who says the end of the world will begin today.   John Curry/Staff
John Curry/Staff
Family Radio's Caravan One traveled through Augusta in January to spread the message of its founder, evangelist Harold Camping, who says the end of the world will begin today.

The Oakland, Calif., radio preacher has predicted the end of the world -- beginning today.

At 6 p.m. in every time zone across the globe, Camping anticipates the rapture of righteous Christians, while the rest of Earth's people remain in a five-month tribulation. They're to endure fire and plagues until the world finally ends Oct. 21.

"The only thing left to say now is that time is short," said Fred Store, the team leader of Caravan One, one of four RVs traveling the country to spread the message of Family Radio, which Camping founded in the 1950s.

"The reception is good most everywhere we go," he said. "Lately, though, there's been more resistance. People don't want to hear the world is ending."

Store passed through Augusta in January after leaving home in Florida in December. He's now in Boston, where he plans to spend his final days handing out tracts.

"You have to remember the thief on the cross," Store said. "He was saved in the last few minutes of his life. That's why we do this."

With more than 60 radio stations across the country, Camping has built a following of Christians who share his judgment day predictions. Some, like Store, have sold their homes and possessions for the cause.

The end times

There are many skeptics, but a significant number of Americans say they believe current events point to the end times.

The Public Religion Research Institute conducted a poll in March, after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. They found 44 percent of Americans believe that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence of the end. The number rises to 67 percent among white evangelicals.

Christians must pay attention to the signs around them, but be careful not to be swayed by false teachers, said Kenneth Gentry, a South Carolina author of several books and commentaries on the Book of Revelation and the end times.

"I am an evangelical Christian. However, I am frequently embarrassed by the naivete and gullibility of my fellow evangelicals," said Gentry, the pastor of Living Hope Fellowship in Greer, S.C. "Camping made a similar prediction and caused quite a stir in the early '90s when he released his book titled 1994?. He missed it then, and he will miss it again."

Camping did predict the end in September 1994, but said afterward that he has had more time for Biblical study since and his new calculations are accurate.

He would not be the first, or likely the last, to falsely prophesy the end of the world, said Kevin Lewis, a religious studies professor at the University of South Carolina.

Lewis teaches a popular course, Visions of Apocalypse, which covers the Book of Revelation and doomsday cults, such as Heaven's Gate and Branch Davidians. Students, he said, tend to be less interested in evangelically rooted messages like Camping's than esoteric beliefs that the world will end along with the Mayan calendar in 2012.

"For every doomsday scenario that turns out to be wrong, there is another lining up behind it to take its place," Lewis said.

Every semester, he teaches students about William Miller, who predicted the end of the world in 1844. The non-event came to be known as "The Great Disappointment" when Jesus did not appear.

"There are a lot of disappointments in religion and elsewhere," Lewis said. "There's a whole history of disappointment when it comes to forecasting the end of the world. They just have to regroup and think differently. The world goes on. People move on. They have to."

Quoting Christ

The idea that Christians will ascend into heaven and Jesus Christ will return to Earth is a basic tenet of Christian belief, though many different interpretations are offered for how it happens. Revelation, the last book of the Bible in the New Testament, describes the end of the world in detail.

Few churches, however, are willing to predict the end, often citing the words of Jesus to his disciples that no man knows the hour or day of Christ's return.

Gentry suggests Christians respond to apocalyptic predictions with those words.

"They should quote Christ," he said. "'But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36)"

In Augusta, John Hill directs the Center for Care and Counseling, a nonprofit supported by churches to provide discounted mental health care and counseling.

There's a great deal of anxiety produced over end-of-the-world scenarios, he said.

"Some clients want to talk about these things -- others would be scared to death to do so," he said. "Personally, I believe the theme of the Book of Revelation is, 'The cavalry is coming.' It is a hopeful time, though turbulent and dangerous, for Christians in the end."

Harold Camping's Math

Harold Camping, a radio preacher who has predicted the end of the world, contends that 2 Peter provides keys to understanding end times.

Part of 2 Peter 3:8 says, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

With this understanding, Camping says that when God told Noah in the book of Genesis that he had seven days to escape destruction before a worldwide flood, God was also telling the world that there would be exactly 7,000 years until Judgment Day.

Seven thousand years after the flood, which Camping dates to the year 4990 BC, is the year 2011. (Year 4990 BC + 2011 AD - 1 year for the year zero = 7,000 years)

May 21 was chosen because it is the 17th day of the second month in the Hebrew calendar, which mirrors the Biblical account in Genesis 7:10-11, which says a flood came in the “six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month.”
Camping has said that the dates of the crucifixion and the statehood of Israel confirm his calculations.

Comments (84) Add comment
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Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 06:56 am
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Techfan, Yes, there is much

Techfan,

Yes, there is much more to add given the sheer numbers of hucksters out there hustling the appleseeds out of their hard earned cash selling dreams.

But I figured the best way to get my point across was to just point out the basic contradictions and I did not want to confuse some of these folks with too many facts at one time.

Some people's world would fall apart if they found out the truth about all tis pure non-sense of being miracled up to paradise. Sounds kinda like the 70 virgins waiting for martyrs paradise fantsy of Islam to me. Made up by men to get other men to do what they want.

Brad

Techfan
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Techfan 05/21/11 - 07:28 am
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Add this one to the

Add this one to the Millerites, Ellen White, ......

InChristLove
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InChristLove 05/21/11 - 08:02 am
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Willow and Snoop, haven't

Willow and Snoop, haven't gone anywhere just had other things going on and don't post much any more. Seems like the same doubters are still posting and no matter how much you present the Word there will be those who refuse to believe.

As for the rapture, I'm not an expert. All I know is my Lord said He was coming back for me (when and where does not concern me) My final destiny is secure. If it's today or after I'm gone from this earth, I'm still looking foward to seeing my Savior's face.

"John 14:1-4 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.""

Fundamental_Arminian
1933
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Fundamental_Arminian 05/21/11 - 08:07 am
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"At 6 p.m. in every time zone

"At 6 p.m. in every time zone across the globe, Camping anticipates the rapture of righteous Christians, while the rest of Earth's people remain in a five-month tribulation" (article).

Well before the day's end, we'll know of this prediction's failure since believers living just this side of the International Date Line will still be here after 6 p.m. their time. Hourly updates will show Mr. Camping has been a false prophet.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 08:13 am
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I don't see many replies,

I don't see many replies, they must have been "raptured" up...I guess since it hasn't made the news yet that the number of true believers was much less than expected.

ICL, you didn't really back away from these nutjobs did you? I guess you are covering your best too huh?

The entire "rapture" myth (not sure this is at the level of a myth really) is just another in a long line of end of the world stories.

The fact it is based on a few obscure verses in the Bible gives it no more weight than any of the other ones made up and sold by hucksters throughout time.

Brad

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 08:18 am
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Brad, I'm not a

Brad, I'm not a "rapture-pusher" either. I believe Christ is coming back, but how and when is not something we can be sure of. Nonetheless, just because a word is not mentioned in the Bible does not mean it is not true. For example, if you are a Catholic, you believe in the Trinity -- a word which is not in the Bible. It's a term coined to describe a biblical principle that the evidence supports. Some feel the same way about the rapture.

However, I'm a bit confused that you say "hell" is not in the Bible. It is there quite a bit. So, that is a real biblical concept right there in print and referred to by Jesus.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 05/21/11 - 08:35 am
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Brad, what nutjobs are you

Brad, what nutjobs are you referring to? I don't back away from anything but am smart enough that If I don't have all the facts, I don't state my opinion as fact.....maybe you should follow suit.

It does speak in the Bible of Christ return (if some want to call it Rapture, doesn't bother me), it does speak in the Bible about Christ taking his children home to be with Him, and it does speak in the Bible about hell. For someone who spouts that he has read the bible and seems to be speaking as with authority on what it says, I find some discrepancies......maybe you should pick up the Good Book again and refresh your memory.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 08:58 am
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howcanweknow, Who says I

howcanweknow,

Who says I believe all the mystical Catholic non-sense either?

As far as Hell goes, please feel free to give me the line and verse I can find the modern man created idea of "Hell,” it just isn’t there. And neither is anything about homosexuals not being able to get into paradise. There are a few verses talking about things that are sinful, and it is in there, along with a lot of other don't I might add.

And I haven't found any part in there about abortion either come to think of it. There is a couple about anti-masturbation, but it says "it is better to deposit your seed in the belly of a whore than cast it on the stone.." So I guess it can be said that it is not a sin to have unprotected sex with a whore, or at least in God's eyes it is less of a sin that self-satisfaction?

So, do we take the literal meanings of things or do we take our own 'take' of things?

Can't have it both ways.

Either the Bible IS truth or it is not. There cannot be two truths (no matter what your psych professor told you) and either you take everything literal or it is all subjective and open to ANY and ALL interpretations. I tend to think the Lord reveals himself to each person as He sees fit. I don't need a priest to tell me how to hear Him, it is all right there for you to see yourselves.

Funny thing is, that was told to me by a Muslim (GASP!! A MUSLIM!!!!) when I was given an English copy form him. He was a visiting military officer and I was tasked with escorting them to and from the sites they were here to inspect. I picked them up at the hotel and when I commented on the English copy of the Koran (small pocket sized one) and how I would like to gander at it to do some reading, he gave it to me.

I asked him if I needed help from the Iman to understand it, and he said, "You need no help form anyone to understand His words. Allah will reveal himself to you as he intended you to see Him when you read it yourself."

That was a wonderful truth he gave to me.

So, if you all think that stories about Jesus written a couple of hundred years after he died are 100% fact and truth, then that is what you need to find your way to Him. I just see it my way, and how can His word lead me wrong? Right?

Brad

Techfan
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Techfan 05/21/11 - 08:48 am
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It doesn't speak, however,

It doesn't speak, however, about people getting snapped up beforehand. I think Darby just made it because it made people feel special and think they get to avoid any tribulation.

Fundamental_Arminian
1933
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Fundamental_Arminian 05/21/11 - 08:50 am
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"I don't see many replies,

"I don't see many replies, they must have been 'raptured' up...I guess since it hasn't made the news yet that the number of true believers was much less than expected.

"ICL, you didn't really back away from these nutjobs did you? I guess you are covering your best too huh?

"The entire 'rapture' myth (not sure this is at the level of a myth really) is just another in a long line of end of the world stories.

"The fact it is based on a few obscure verses in the Bible gives it no more weight than any of the other ones made up and sold by hucksters throughout time" (Brad).

The Rapture wasn't mentioned as an event separate from the Second Coming until the late 1700s or early 1800s. For centuries, Christians believed that Christ would return to judge the living and the dead, and the catching up of the believers was considered part of the general resurrection on the last day. Major creeds (Apostles', Nicene, Athanasian) state these things.

The apostle Paul himself, who gave us 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, also believed in one general resurrection. "... This I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down bythe Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust" (Acts 24:14-15).

Rapturing (or catching up) the just will separate them from the unjust, and this separation is taught in parables such as the Wheat and Tares and the Fishing Net.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 08:53 am
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ICL, You know good and well

ICL,

You know good and well that the 'return' of Jesus is not what the "rapture" is.

These nutjobs I am talking about are the ones saying you are going to fly up to paradise today at 6pm, that's who.

The so-called "rapture" is where all true believers are going to just disappear into thin air at the same time. That is was the "rapture" is and you know well that this is NOT talked about in the Bible. Such an important event would have been mentioned throughout the Bible don't you think?

Why is it only ONE verse in the entire Bible talks about anything that can even be possibly even remotely connected in any way to the "rapture" fantasy, myth, fiction?

The 'rapture" is scary bedtime stories told to folks to scare them into contributions to the church.

Brad

Techfan
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Techfan 05/21/11 - 08:53 am
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Part of the resurrection, not

Part of the resurrection, not a separate event that occurs beforehand.

Riverman1
109661
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Riverman1 05/21/11 - 08:56 am
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I'm going to be careful with

I'm going to be careful with this thing. At 6PM, I'm going to be around a lot of people. If I see one start to levitate just a little bit, I'm grabbing um and holding on to tag along.

Brad Owens
5200
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Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 09:02 am
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FA, Techfan is right, and the

FA,

Techfan is right, and the term "Rapture" is form the latin root word meaning to be "snatched" like a raptor does his prey.

It is complete made up non-sense. What I can't understand is how so many people relly buy into it.

Brad

P.S. RM1, they don't think it happens like that. They think you jsut disappear like a Star Trek transporter.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 09:03 am
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Well, Brad, my concordance

Well, Brad, my concordance reports 53 specific verses in the Bible that speak directly of hell. Far too many to list individually here. You have studied the Bible, so I'm sure you have a concordance. Look it up for yourself. Evidence is overwhelming, and is not 'man-made' at all.

In terms of the words of Jesus being quoted hundreds of years after his death, you don't know much about documentary evidence. We have actual manuscripts of Gospel passages dating from the first century -- within 1 generation of Jesus death. That means there were still eyewitnesses who heard Jesus speak who could have disputed the written quotes. Guess what -- no records of such disclaimers.

In terms of homosexuality, 1 Corinth. 6:9-10 says very clearly that "homosexuals" (literally, those who are effeminate and practice sodomy) will not enter the kingdom of God. Romans 1, of course, says that it is an abomination to God for any man to have relations with another man. Jude speaks of the sin of homosexuality. Now, all that does is establish that homosexuality is a sin, and sins can be forgiven. But, the Bible is clear that any unrepentant sinner cannot enter heaven, be they homosexual or heterosexual.

I don't need God or anyone else to give me some personal revelation about truth when I can read the plain truth for myself. I don't think you do either.

Brad Owens
5200
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Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 09:11 am
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howcanwekow, What does it say

howcanwekow,

What does it say about other non-gay sins? Pretty much the same thing. And I challenge you to produce one historical document from the time that talks about Jesus.

There is one that folks claim is about Jesus, but don't you think a fella wandering around doing all these amazing things would have been noted somewhere?

The part about rising from the dead would be a big one I would think.

Brad

Techfan
6464
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Techfan 05/21/11 - 09:12 am
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So lesbians are ok.

So lesbians are ok.

howcanweknow
2307
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howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 09:20 am
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Brad, again, you are running

Brad, again, you are running on assumptions and lack of study on your part. Contemporary ROMAN historian Tacitus wrote of Jesus (in not too complementary terms). The GREEK historian Pliny wrote of Jesus. So did the JEWISH historian Josephus. This is not to even mention the accuracy of the Gospel accounts that have been verified for a couple thousand years now. By the way, your "Koran" says Jesus was not crucified -- despite what Roman and Greek historians say. What are you going to believe -- the Koran or the Bible.

Challenge met.

Like ICL suggests, you need to do your homework before you start making blanket statements that have little substance behind them.

howcanweknow
2307
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howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 09:19 am
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Tech, Romans 1 also mentions

Tech, Romans 1 also mentions woman having unnatural relations with other women. So no, Lesbianism is not overlooked at all.

InChristLove
22486
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InChristLove 05/21/11 - 09:23 am
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Excellent post HCWK (9:03am).

Excellent post HCWK (9:03am). People want to argue the statement "homosexuals are going to hell" but they don't listen to the rest....but if you repent, accept Jesus as your Lord and Master, He is just to forgive and cleanse you. Sin is sin and we all do it, all need forgiveness daily. It's the denying of Christ and not accepting Him that prevents you from an eternal destiny with Him.

Brad, You mentioned several times "you know"...no I don't know what you were talking about. If I did, I wouldn't have asked for you to be specific. I don't assume to know what other people are thinking (what the rapture is).....I do know that my Lord will come back for me. Like I said, I've read about His return but am no expert on scripture but you can bet I'll do some more research on this subject so I can give you fact and not opinion. (by the way, you are wrong about the Bible not speaking of Hell) I'll get back with you on scripture concerning this....too wonderful of a day to spend on here arguing scripture with you.

As for those who believe the "rapture" will come this evening......they are just misguided souls....devil has a way of deceiving us humans.

PCnomo
1
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PCnomo 05/21/11 - 09:24 am
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Consider this : Maybe

Consider this : Maybe Camping's prediction for 1994 was accurate and the rapture really did occur. Unfortunately, there were none found worthy of being raptured and the event had to be rescheduled. Must have thrown a wrench into God's plans, to be sure.
"2000 years and they still don't get it." He complains. But God loves us and reschedules the rapture for May 21st, 2011.
I'm betting He is going to be disappointed again tonight.

cobweb
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cobweb 05/21/11 - 09:25 am
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It is already well past 6 pm

It is already well past 6 pm in Austrailia. I think this has already been proven false (unless he will now claim that Aussies don't go).

Techfan
6464
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Techfan 05/21/11 - 09:26 am
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They mentioned Christians.

They mentioned Christians.

howcanweknow
2307
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howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 09:28 am
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Tacitus also mentions

Tacitus also mentions "Christus" (latin for "Christ") specfically.

howcanweknow
2307
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howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 09:31 am
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Be happy to continue this

Be happy to continue this exchange tomorrow after the non-rapture tonight at 6:00.

Riverman1
109661
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Riverman1 05/21/11 - 09:36 am
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Brad said, "P.S. RM1, they

Brad said, "P.S. RM1, they don't think it happens like that. They think you jsut disappear like a Star Trek transporter."

Okay, if someone starts to fade out, I'm grabbing um. Hopefully, it's a pretty woman.

Riverman1
109661
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Riverman1 05/21/11 - 09:38 am
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"It is already well past 6 pm

"It is already well past 6 pm in Austrailia. I think this has already been proven false (unless he will now claim that Aussies don't go)."

I bet the party has already started in Australia. Gives everyone a reason to get drunk.

PCnomo
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PCnomo 05/21/11 - 09:41 am
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On the bright side however,

On the bright side however, all these folks who sold their houses and possesions in anticipation of being raptured now have a pocketful of money. Money they can send to Rev. Camping so he can go online and order Wyle E. Coyote's new and improved, whizbang turbo charged rapture predictor. :))

howcanweknow
2307
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howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 09:50 am
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I guess I didn't meet your

I guess I didn't meet your challenge, Brad.

You asked for one single document from Jesus' time that spoke of him. I gave you 3 secular writers who wrote directly about him. Those are just 3 that survived. Statistically, if we have 3 documents that have survived for almost 2000 years, there must have been many more that didn't make it. That's how archeology and bibliographical evidence works.

Also, you can go to the British museum in London and read the Rylands papyrus: fragments of the Gospel of John dating from the first century.

You can also go to Israel and read the actual Dead Sea Scroll book of Isaiah that is virtually (about 95-99%) identical to our present day book of Isaiah. So much for the idea that the Bible MUST be corrupted by all the copying throughout the centuries. It is Isaiah, you'll remember, that tells us that God will one day come to earth in the form of a man (chapter 9) and will then be killed (Isaiah 53) by man.

Any more questions?

seenitB4
114949
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seenitB4 05/21/11 - 09:43 am
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river....please don't get

river....please don't get raptured tonight......I'll miss you on here......& a few others too!........To those who won't be going anywhere at 6pm today.....seeya on Sunday.

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