May 21 has come and gone. You won’t hear an “I told you so” from this Christian. No jokes. No funny looks. No condescending pity. Only concern.
When someone predicts a date for the rapture, it is not a miscalculation, but an actual sin. It is a sin that has dreadful consequences for those who believe a lie. Harold Camping’s teaching is one such lie.
Nor can we say, well, he was wrong about the details of the rapture, but it was good because at least it got people thinking about God. Nonsense! People are using the failed prophecy right now as an excuse not to think about Christ or his coming. May 21 at 6pm, and you know what was happening at the Family Radio headquarters? People were dancing to rock music and making jokes about the Lord. Family Radio has set back the course of the gospel.
What will Camping do next? If history is any guide, he will take one of these options:
- Backpedal: for example, change the date, say that the earthquake was “symbolic” not literal
- Denial: Jesus really did come for the faithful, you just can’t see it! Some of his followers are already admitting, “I guess I don’t have enough understanding.”
- Blame: believe it or not, he may try to blame you, his followers. He might say that you weren’t good enough or faithful enough, so the Lord decided not to come
- “God had mercy.” He will point to Jonah, where God decided not to destroy Ninevah, and claim that as a result of his prayers and the work of Family Radio, God spared the earth for a while longer. My guess is that #4 is what he will say.
Follower of Family Radio, what you do next will have eternal consequences. This is not some test so that God can prove your faith; according to Harold Camping, May 21 was the date, and if he is right, then God is a liar.
But no, as the Word says: “let God be true and every may a liar.” God is true; Camping is the deceiver. People say he is nice and sincere; it does not matter. If he is “sincere” that only means that he is sincere and false.
When the devil walks around seeking to devour people, one of the tools he uses is to confuse them about the end time:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet 5:8)
Today you will face the most difficult day of your life, the day after May 21, 2011. You may be tempted to be angry; to be resentful against Christians who didn’t follow Harold Camping; to chuck the Bible entirely. Please, I call on you to follow another route, infinitely more difficult, but it’s God’s way:
God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. (1 Pet 5:5-6)
Humility is a fruit of the Spirit and to be truly humble you must have supernatural help; ask God for it. Humble yourself before God, and confess your sins and errors. Take a humble tone with other people, confessing before then that you erred.
While we’re on the topic of a new day and changing your mind about things: Harold Camping was wrong, period, about the rapture. This throws into doubt all the other “special” teachings that he has invented over the years. May I ask that you throw these away as well:
- “If you don’t believe in May 21, you don’t believe in the Bible.” FALSE. I believe in the Bible, and have dedicated decades to its study, in particular, study of the Second Coming. I didn’t believe in May 21, nor did millions of Christians.
- “Faith is a work.” FALSE. Faith is not a work. Faith is when a person responds to God in trust, a reaction prompted and enabled by the Holy Spirit’s work in us; it is not a work.
- “All churches are under the control of Satan, you have to leave them.” FALSE. There are plenty of churches you shouldn’t be involved in. You should be involved in a Bible-teaching church.
- And most of all: “Since 1988, God has given special new revelation to Harold Camping and others.” FALSE. Ecclesiastes 8 is not a prediction about Family Radio! If Camping is wrong about May 21, he is a false teacher, period. This is how his story ends, with him being fully and finally disproved. He will try to backpedal, and some of his followers will probably try to recover from this disaster, but it’s over.
Today is a new day. God is a God of grace. His true people are a people of forgiveness. Don’t compound your error by walking away from God. Don’t look for another “apocalyptic” group to join. And don’t just slink back into the church. Come boldly before God, saying, I have sinned, please forgive me. Renounce Camping and his teaching. Come back to your brothers and sisters in the church, saying, I have gone astray, but take me back; I’m here to learn sound teaching once again.
If any Camping follower would like to talk with me, please leave me a note saying so at the bottom and I’ll know how to get back in touch with you.
 See http://justinofnablus.com/2011/05/09/a-word-for-followers-of-harold-camping-and-family-radio-in-light-of-may-21-2011/; http://justinofnablus.com/2010/09/27/put-a-warning-label-on-false-prophets/
For Camping’s Followers: it’s May 22, let’s have a serious talk, by Gary Shogren, Seminario ESEPA, San Jose, Costa Rica