Radio evangelist expects return of Christ today

  • Follow Your Faith

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

Back | Next
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
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
86953
Points
Riverman1 05/21/11 - 09:48 am
0
0
SeenitB4, rapture sounds like

SeenitB4, rapture sounds like an assault crime or something. Carry you to the emergency room and do tests to see if you have been actually raptured. Call in counselors.

Brad Owens
4727
Points
Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 09:52 am
0
0
howcanweknow, A particluar

howcanweknow, A particluar PERSON is not mentioned in any texts and by the way, I said show me the mention of the wonderful things that were said to have been done. News of mystical miracles would travel, yet the closest thing in accepted history is that a king of the Jews was excecuted. They left out all the stuff before and all the much more interesting suff after he rose on the 3rd day.

Again, there is no non-Bible history that supports any of the mystical deeds claimed in the Bible. And if all that had happened, at least ONE source would note it I am sure. But no.

Ball in your court.

Brad

seenitB4
90852
Points
seenitB4 05/21/11 - 09:54 am
0
0
Maybe the word is "ravish"

Maybe the word is "ravish" taken by force.......

Riverman1
86953
Points
Riverman1 05/21/11 - 10:01 am
0
0
Okay, okay, rapture, ravish,

Okay, okay, rapture, ravish, what the heck. But did you ever see the movie "Airplane?" Remember those guys lined up. So my message to everyone is if there's anyone you've "thought" a lot about. Maybe it's time you let them know before the ravish, I mean rapture. May as well get something out of all this.

seenitB4
90852
Points
seenitB4 05/21/11 - 10:07 am
0
0
I hope I'm watching a horse

I hope I'm watching a horse race at 6pm today......

follower
59
Points
follower 05/21/11 - 10:08 am
0
0
Folks, there is ample

Folks, there is ample evidence to posit a "rapture". Althought the word "rapture" is not used, these verses and all of Matthew 24 foretell the events leading up to the end, as man comprehends time. The entire chapter is too long to copy, but pay special attention to verse 40 and 41 of Matthew 24. Then add these;

Mark 13:26-27: "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven."

1 Corinthians 15:51-53: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

Additionally, the word "hell" is used 14 times in the New Testament, 12 of those times by Jesus personally. In fact, hell is mentioned more times than heaven throughout scripture.

Howcan, ICL, thanks for your faithfullness in defending the faith.

Riverman1
86953
Points
Riverman1 05/21/11 - 10:12 am
0
0
"I hope I'm watching a horse

"I hope I'm watching a horse race at 6pm today......"

Your horse is in the lead coming down the stretch and the rapture takes him, two other horses, three jockeys and half the people in the stands. Do they still payoff for your horse winning?

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 10:12 am
0
0
Brad, read the posts.

Brad, read the posts. "Christus" is mentioned SPECIFICALLY by Tacitus in his writings. So, once again, you are misinformed.

Tell me, you are a Christian who doubts the resurrection? I thought you were a Catholic? You do know that your own church teaches the literal resurrection, don't you? Are you a Catholic or a CINO?

You are correct that there were no video cameras in Jesus' day, so I can't give you direct objective proof. But, if you read the secular historical accounts (please do this, by the way) you'll find they mention miracles attributed to Jesus/Christus.

Here's some "forensic" analysis, though, concerning the resurrection....

Where did the resurrection supposedly occur? In Jerusalem. Where was the church born? In Jerusalem. Where was the first sermon on the resurrection preached? In Jerusalem. See a pattern here?

Follow the logic: The church exists today. Therefore, it had a beginning (in Jerusalem). The first thing the church taught was that Jesus rose from the dead. Now, if some crazy preacher is telling me a dead guy came back to life, I'm going to tell him he's nuts. If he insists, I'm going to prove him wrong (and tell others about it). How do I do that? Go out to the cemetery and point to the tomb. Too easy to dispute nonsense like that.

What we have is absolutely no record whatsoever of anyone disputing the resurrection of Christ. Yes, Roman historians "made fun of it", but no hard evidence against it. That's interesting. You can't prove it didn't happen.

My point is this: if the resurrection of Christ was a hoax fabricated by the apostles, the only place the church could NOT have been born was in Jerusalem. Far too easy to prove them nuts. Well, the church WAS born in Jerusalem. Thousands of people -- living in direct proximity to the tomb and the evidence -- converted to Christianity on the spot. That's history. Can't dispute that. Why would they join a new religion that was based on a ridiculous idea they could so easily prove wrong?

Lastly, why would the apostles promote such a lie? What did they have to gain? What did they receive in telling the world that Christ rose from the dead? Wealth, power, position, prestige? Nope. What the received was hardship, persecution, torture and death. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to lie my way into torture. I would not die for a lie; but, I might die for what I knew to the true. That's what the apostles did. That makes logical sense.

One "Miracle" you cannot argue against is the miracle of lives changed by Jesus Christ today. I've seen countless lives transformed by Christ. If you are looking for modern miracles, I think there are many walking around.

seenitB4
90852
Points
seenitB4 05/21/11 - 10:17 am
0
0
OMG.......river...I never

OMG.......river...I never thought about my horse leaving.......but 1/2 the people in the stands......nah....ain't gonna hapen.....isn't it 6 pm somewhere right now?

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 10:19 am
0
0
Remember, Brad, we're

Remember, Brad, we're discussing events of nearly 2000 years ago. The likelihood that ANY documents from that time have survived is scant. We're very fortunate to have what we do. We have the Bible that describes miracles. We have secular historians that mention miracles were attributed to Jesus. We have Jewish historians that also mention these claims.

It's not the lack of evidence that is amazing. The truly amazing thing is that we DO have writings that speak of these miracles. Ancient documents -- some pro-Christian, some anti-Christian -- that state miracles were attributed to Christ. That's pretty amazing.

But, in the end, the Bible says that no amount of evidence will ever convince those who refuse to believe. We can quote scripture, historians, and documents out the wazoo. We can try to reason it out. But if someone is determined NOT to accept the words and acts of Jesus, then that's that.

follower
59
Points
follower 05/21/11 - 10:23 am
0
0
Brad, there is plenty of

Brad, there is plenty of evidence through secular writings that confirm Jesus Christ and His deeds, as well as His affect on people.

Tacitus 55-117 AD, Pliny the Younger 112 AD, Lucian 120 AD, Mara Barsarapion 73 AD, Thallus 52 AD, Phlegon 1st Century, Suetonius 69-140 AD.

In addition, the Bible is the most documented piece of literature in the history of mankind. No work has undergone such scrutiny as to accuracy, and no literature even 1000 years old has the pieces of antiquity to substantiate that accuracy. You can deny it's relevence, but to deny it's accuracy is to deny reality.

www.nelsonprice.com

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 10:25 am
0
0
Thanks, Follower, for the

Thanks, Follower, for the more complete list of secular verification. Brad just asked for one. I think he was surprised to find there's a wealth of confirmatory historical evidence available if one looks for truth, and does not make assumptions.

seenitB4
90852
Points
seenitB4 05/21/11 - 10:32 am
0
0
You can believe in a higher

You can believe in a higher power-you can believe in a better life--but to believe every tom, dick & harry is a stretch for me...
Remember Jonestown-remember Koresh--& the religious leader in Eatonton Ga.....& the guy in California who convinced his followers to kill themselves & ride to the heavens on a comet.....well the list goes on & on. No one knows !!!

Riverman1
86953
Points
Riverman1 05/21/11 - 10:34 am
0
0
Seenit, all kinds of

Seenit, all kinds of possibliities, horse goes up, but jockey doesn't. Jockey, but no horse. What about those driving down I-20? I hope no one driving an 18 wheeler goes up in traffic.

Riverman1
86953
Points
Riverman1 05/21/11 - 10:52 am
0
0
The Pope just called the

The Pope just called the astronauts on the space shuttle. That's the first time the Pope has ever used a phone to call outerspace. Could this be related to the rapture today?

follower
59
Points
follower 05/21/11 - 10:57 am
0
0
seenit, don't know if you

seenit, don't know if you believe the Bible, but if so, Matt. 24:11 talks about "many false prophets will arise and lead many astray". Believing every tom, dick, and harry is a bad idea, even from a secular position, and speaks of "no conviction on anything", but a guilability of everything.

Sorta leads to a Hindu mindset where there are 330 million or so gods. Closing your arms to embrace everything will result in suffocation.

seenitB4
90852
Points
seenitB4 05/21/11 - 11:14 am
0
0
I usually don't get in the

I usually don't get in the religion debates on here......I feel people can believe in many ways.........the way you live your life day to day tells me more than anything else......who am I to tell another.....
btw it is 5-22-11 in Australia
http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/australia-time-zones.html

Brad Owens
4727
Points
Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 11:17 am
0
0
Howcanweknow? So since I

Howcanweknow?

So since I can't prove it didn't happen it means it DID happen?

Wow.

And no, I didn't say I did not believe in the resurrection, I said I didn't believe in the mystical non-sense of my chruch either. I didn't say which mystical non-sense now did I?

Fact is, the rapture is a man made-up story based on some stretch of the imagination and very liberal interpretations of a few obscure Bible verses.

Doesn't mean I am not a Christian for not buying into that non-sense (or any other of any churches non-sense)

Brad

seenitB4
90852
Points
seenitB4 05/21/11 - 11:24 am
0
0
BTW....It is 5-22-11 in

BTW....It is 5-22-11 in Australia right now...
AC is holding up my post..It seems the rapture didn't happen in parts of the world.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/21/11 - 12:47 pm
0
0
Brad, are you trying to run

Brad, are you trying to run around the issues (and the logic)? All I said was that you can't prove the resurrection did not happen. But, neither can you prove that it did (there were no video cameras there on the first Easter Sunday). That's the only wow. Don't misapply my reasons to try and discount what I say. That's not fair.

What I tried to show you was that you can logically infer from the evidence (such as it is) that the resurrection is a probable outcome. Based on the facts and the events after the resurrection, I believe it is the MOST LIKELY possibility.

I totally agree with you that the "rapture" is most likely NOT happening today at 6:00.

I too don't agree with "mystical nonsense" of some church rituals. That's a main reason why I'm a Protestant. Sounds like you and I have a lot more in common than in distinction!

PR
0
Points
PR 05/21/11 - 01:41 pm
0
0
If you believe this I've got
Unpublished

If you believe this I've got some beach front property in Louisiana that I'll sell you cheap. Anyone who believes this crap is a moron or an idiot.

Riverman1
86953
Points
Riverman1 05/21/11 - 02:13 pm
0
0
"If you believe this I've got

"If you believe this I've got some beach front property in Louisiana that I'll sell you cheap. Anyone who believes this crap is a moron or an idiot."

Louisiana is on the coast.

seenitB4
90852
Points
seenitB4 05/21/11 - 02:06 pm
0
0
river ....Let's go in

river ....Let's go in together & buy that beachfront that pr is talking about ........cheap beachfront is hard to find......lol

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 05/21/11 - 04:13 pm
0
0
Doomsday cults are nothing

Doomsday cults are nothing new.

Brad all of the things you mentioned are how we wound up with so many denominations. Dunk vs sprinkle? Meet Saturday or Sunday? Pants or dresses on women? Music in Church or not? And every one of them believe that if you do not do it Their way, you will bust hell wide open, and they dig up a verse to prove to me. Yet the Bible says if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead then you will be saved. None of the other legalistic things matter.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 05/21/11 - 10:29 pm
0
0
Brad, I am neither sheeple

Brad, I am neither sheeple nor wolf; I do however, profess to be a Christian. I agree that there are a lot of religious nuts and this gentleman is no exception. I don't know one Christian poster who was promoting this event to be true, actually quite the opposite. Scripture is crystal clear on this matter...Christ shall come like a thief in the night and not one will know the hour. Other than that I only want to say, that while we may disagree with doctrine and interpretation, I am glad we can agree that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior; beyond that nothing else matters.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 05/21/11 - 10:30 pm
0
0
ICL, your posts are like a

ICL, your posts are like a breath of fresh air on a hot, stuffy, day! Don't stay away for long.

scoopdedoop64
2425
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/21/11 - 10:58 pm
0
0
Hey just got back to check

Hey just got back to check the posts. My My Brad you really are off on this one buddy. No need for me to repost all the good responses to your posts but here is wishing that regardless of your sexuality, church or way of life you would know Jesus' love and salvation and that you would never have to know that hell you deny exists.

Good to know you are alive and well ICL. Blessings to all my christian brother and sisters here on AC posts. Too bad the guy wasn't right about the timing of the rapture but we all pretty much knew he would be. So we will continue to be ready when Jesus does come back like a thief in the night.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Morning wreck slows traffic

Expect delays at Peach Orchard Road near Bobby Jones Expressway after a wreck involving an 18-wheeler.
Search Augusta jobs