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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charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 05/20/11 - 03:23 pm
0
0
Won't be losing any sleep

Won't be losing any sleep over it.

walrus4ever
354
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walrus4ever 05/20/11 - 03:25 pm
0
0
Im getting a cooler and chair

Im getting a cooler and chair and going over to Westover, it ought to be quite a show. Better than Boshears and free parking.

follower
59
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follower 05/20/11 - 03:34 pm
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0
It's sad anyone that purports

It's sad anyone that purports to be a Child of God would ignore scripture. [Matt. 24:36]

Christians already have a difficult challenge sharing their faith. Folks like Camp are increasing the degree of difficulty. But he and his ilk are fulfilling prophecy; The Bible warns of false teachers in the end times.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 05/20/11 - 03:44 pm
0
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I plan to be in church Sunday

I plan to be in church Sunday morning, as usual.

Brad Owens
4749
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Brad Owens 05/20/11 - 04:22 pm
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Well, I see his math is

Well, I see his math is pretty solid. I hope I can find my way around the huge orgy of naughtyness that will follow a Rapture.

follower
59
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follower 05/20/11 - 04:32 pm
0
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Hey Brad, why not join the

Hey Brad, why not join the party on the ticket outta here? lol Course, since Camp's wrong, why not join howcanweknow and me in church?

Dixieman
16025
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Dixieman 05/20/11 - 04:41 pm
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In case of rapture, can I

In case of rapture, can I have your car?
Par-tay at my house Sunday morning!

PrayN4U
358
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PrayN4U 05/20/11 - 05:11 pm
0
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“‘But of that day and hour no

“‘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)”
Key words "DAY" "HOUR" and if JESUS doesn't know what make man think he an inside view.

DanK
784
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DanK 05/20/11 - 05:24 pm
0
0
There is nothing quite as

There is nothing quite as colorful and aromatic as a crop of moronicus religiosum in full bloom. But, on the positive side, if the rapture takes them away, it will certainly improve the gene pool.

follower
59
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follower 05/20/11 - 05:29 pm
0
0
DanK, my friend and sparring

DanK, my friend and sparring partner, where have you been?

I've missed the back and forth. Hope you've been well.

belle
309
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belle 05/20/11 - 05:30 pm
0
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I love the fact that this
Unpublished

I love the fact that this writer is not questioning at all that if there were a rapture that the Chronicle would have plenty of staff available afterward to put out the paper. :)

follower
59
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follower 05/20/11 - 05:42 pm
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0
Belle, I don't know about the

Belle, I don't know about the Chronicle, but more distressing is that many churches are going to keep right on meeting with a very small drop in membership.

belle
309
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belle 05/20/11 - 06:18 pm
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follower.....I get your point
Unpublished

follower.....I get your point but remember the churches were built for the sinners. Saint's don't need them.

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 05/20/11 - 06:54 pm
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I'm sorry I missed opening my

I'm sorry I missed opening my computer this morning. I would have told all of you that this guy is a false teacher, and does not know what he is talking about. First of all, this world has got to go into a one world system(the 10 headed beast in Revelation), then the antichrist(playing JESUS, and deceiving many)must come, and then, then JESUS comes here to earth, and guess what? HE stays!!!!!!

scoopdedoop64
2430
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scoopdedoop64 05/20/11 - 07:08 pm
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Jane18, where does the

Jane18, where does the rapture and 7 year tribulation fit into your theology? Would not all things you mentioned happen after the rapture? Then the 7 years of tribulation and one world government and then Christ comes to set up His 1000 year reign. This is my understanding of the process but I realize that there are other interpretations. Either way I am with Jesus all the way, however He chooses to do it. Glad we will be there together.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 05/20/11 - 07:22 pm
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belle, follower isn't saying

belle, follower isn't saying he isn't a sinner. He is saying that a very large percentage of the church will be left behind at the Rapture. This is scriptural. Church on the whole is man centered not God centered. It is about religion, rules, power, control, and performance and God isn't in it. Listen to the minister and count how many times he mentions Jesus Christ or God. Does he point you to Christ or is it about getting busy and being program oriented? Does he say go out into the world (and glorify God) or come back here and be entertained?

It has been said that the Greeks took Christianity and made it into a philosophy; the Romans took Christianity and made it into a religion and American's have taken Christianity and made it into a business. Going to church doesn't save us. Only the gospel and Christ saves. We should have fellowship with other believers and have a place to learn and grow in Christ with the focus on worshipping and glorifying God in all that we are (not do).

scoopdedoop64
2430
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scoopdedoop64 05/20/11 - 07:30 pm
0
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Good word WillowBaily, Amen!

Good word WillowBaily, Amen!

Bonk
8
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Bonk 05/20/11 - 07:32 pm
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I am amazed at some of these

I am amazed at some of these comments. People who believe that a biblical rapture will occur someday are just as crazy as those who believe that it will happen tomorrow.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 05/20/11 - 07:42 pm
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Bonk, I know it must sound

Bonk, I know it must sound crazy to you and others. In fact, God said it would be insanity to many. But, thank you, count me as crazy. Crazy, for Christ.

Not believing, in no way changes reality. God Was, Is, and Is to come. One day you will see Christ, yourself. We are eternal beings and we will all live forever. The only question is, where shall we dwell? My prayer for you is an awareness from a power and source greater than any man/woman. You are loved by Christ whether you love or not. But, He is a just God and if we deny Him, He will deny us.

Love to you scoopdedoop!! Where is ICL?

Brad Owens
4749
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Brad Owens 05/20/11 - 07:47 pm
0
0
No where in the Bible dose it

No where in the Bible dose it talk about a rapture...

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 05/20/11 - 07:59 pm
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Brad, Yes, there are

Brad, Yes, there are different understandings on this subject. Please clarify your statement. Are you saying you don't believe God's Word says that his people shall join Him in eternity or are you making an argument for the time table of events during the tribulation?

scoopdedoop64
2430
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scoopdedoop64 05/20/11 - 08:39 pm
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Willow, I don't know where

Willow, I don't know where ICL is? I would think that ICL would love a conversation like this. Brad, there are certainly dissagreements as to the time of the rapture but no dissagreement as to one happening because the Scripture state it in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Do you have a Bible to read or would you like me to cut and paste it? No offense meant. You see Brad I have a problem when people who are not Christians state a "so called fact" that indeed is not one at all. Whether they do it by intention or not it has the same effect. It leads people astray.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 05/21/11 - 10:58 am
0
0
The Word indicates only half

The Word indicates only half of the "wedding party" had "oil in their lamps", (they were not able to shine their light) they were left behind, even though they were born again. 2 are walking up a hill one is taken one is left. 2 are sleeping in a bed, one is taken the other left. This indicates only about half of the saved will be “Taken up to be with him in the clouds”. The Christians left behind realize their folly go straight and lose their heads when they refuse the bar-coding system called The Mark of the Beast. The lost will gladly “get chipped” so they can buy & sell. The Tribulation starts the second after The Wedding Party Departs. Christ will have to return again years later to save anything not already burned. Earth is rejuvenated and lives in harmony for 1000 yrs while God the father rest which is why we were designed for 6 days and a rest. If you’re not already saved I would get a Bible and read the book of Romans. It will lead you and yours to salvation so you can be assured of where your soul will spend eternity. Unfortunatley this guy has almost guaranteed the rapture will not happen on the 21st because the Word says NO MAN KNOWS the day of the lord, not even Christ himself..

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 05/20/11 - 11:00 pm
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gglitrell, It is both

gglitrell, It is both interesting and sad to see God's Word being fulfilled. Did you know He said He will laugh last? If you don't believe God will have a day of judgment for both the saved and unsaved, read His Word. He is both loving, righteous and just. (justice) You believe a lie. As far as your daughter is concerned, your job is not to sentence her, it is to prepare her for eternity. You say you love her, but I ask what kind of love do you have worth giving? Human love is found lacking; bankrupt. Love her enough to lead her to Christ; it is your ultimate responsibility as a parent.

scoopdedoop64
2430
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scoopdedoop64 05/20/11 - 11:18 pm
0
0
gglitrell, sorry you had such

gglitrell, sorry you had such a bad experience but it doesn't change the truth of God's word. So if it's your desire to write off God then no worries go on and live your life and may you have a good time while you still have time.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 05/20/11 - 11:43 pm
0
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About the only thing we know

About the only thing we know for certain is that Jesus is coming back again. Whether it's a secret Rapture of a few or a full-blown Judgment Day for all is debated among scholars. And, of course, we DO NOT know the timing of that event. It could happen Saturday. It could happen 1000 years from now. The Bible does not tell us when it will happen, and I doubt there are "secret codes" that reveal covert information.

But, all I can say is that I hope the group is indeed right and Saturday is it!

Scahrlett
0
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Scahrlett 05/21/11 - 02:17 am
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Get the salt.

Get the salt.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 05/21/11 - 05:49 am
0
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See the "Great

See the "Great Disappointment".

Brad Owens
4749
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Brad Owens 05/21/11 - 05:56 am
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Willow, Scoop, All, I am

Willow, Scoop, All,

I am "Christian", well Catholic; does that count with you "rapture" folks?

I also have read the Bible, I have read it a lot, and I can't find the "rapture" in there. There is no mystical event where all ‘true believing’ Christians disappear completely at one time, body and soul, anywhere to be found in the scriptures.

It is man-made fantasy created out of one, ONE passage... 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

"... and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

It wasn't until the very early 1800's that Puritans started to use the term "Rapture" and associated it with "getting caught up." From the Latin verb rapiō that means to, "seize, grab, snatch up , or be taken away" (that is where the term Raptor came from to describe birds of prey like Hawks, Ospreys, and Eagles, Condors etc. that swoop down and use talons to grab their prey and fly away with them...)

So see? I know a little something about this man-made event that is just complete fantasy that so many of you 'true' Christians believes in. How in the world humans can read into one scripture so much is a miracle in itself, I mean it just DOESN'T say what you all say it does.

Now, if we are to take this one line out of thousands of lines of text, and read so much into it, what makes ANY version of events wrong?

So, SOME parts of the Bible are 100% literal and some are open to interpretations? How do you all square THAT with reality?

Add to that the fact that many books of the original Bible translation were taken out by men, and you have some real holes in idea that the current “King James” version is the correct Word of God.

Add to that all the fantasy interpretations that a lot of you obviously believe in, like the "Rapture", and it just adds up to a lot of time and energy wasted on baloney.

The fact is, I bet a large group of you will not admit it on here (and some even mock this) but secretly will be praying before this false prophets fantasy deadline 'just in case'...you all know it is true.

So, I do not believe there will be a "Rapture" no more than I believe that homosexuality will prevent you from seeing the eternity with God or that not knowing Jesus will cause you to go to hell (Hell, another man-made thing not in the Bible).

Folks love it when their own hatred, bigotry, and prejudices are not only justified by their "God" but encouraged and rewarded by Him.

Now when you all don't get Raptured tonight, please get on here with all the self-righteous comments about how you also hate false prophets too, but NOW is the time to say it, not tonight.

All this "rapture" non-sense died out in the 70's and was 'born again' (pun intended) in the 90's. I wished it had stayed dead, but like most money making ventures inside the "Church" it came back with a group of hit movies and novels. Seems that it is a big seller huh?

I wonder how much money this has made Camping's "Church" this time.

Sheeple never change and neither do the Wolves,

Brad

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 05/21/11 - 06:12 am
0
0
Brad; You left out John

Brad; You left out John Nelson Darby. The nonsense of a pre-tribulation rapture didn't take hold until the 19th century when he came along. So everyone in Christendom was wrong for over 1800 years and this guy figured it out? I doubt it.

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