Harold Camping’s doomsday prediction for Saturday, May 21 generated much more media coverage for its boldness and confident certainty, especially with the persons out proclaiming “The Word” who had sold their belongings, quit their jobs, and waited for the big moment when they would be raptured into heaven with Jesus.
Saturday, May 21 at 6:00 pm (Pacific Daylight Time—although no one is sure to this day if the rapture was to occur every hour on the hour starting on the East coast at 6:00 pm) came and went…no evidence of a rapture…just a bunch of rapture parties and conversation about looting after believers disappeared. As far as we can tell, none of the believers disappeared—except for Harold Camping. He went missing and was apparently in hiding. His followers were sullen and disappointed, for sure. Where was he, and why are we left standing here? A bigger question was what happened to all of the money sent to Camping and Family Radio for all of the doomsday publicity? There were a few of his followers that were out of cash thinking that they were out of time. They were just out of cash.
A “flabbergasted” Camping resurfaced a couple of days later, and he admitted on his radio program that he thought that May 21 was the right date. He stated that he never asked anyone for their money to support this effort (Wow!) and that he was sorry that he was wrong about the date (never mind that he was wrong before in 1994). In the same breath, however, he declared that the real final date for all of mankind would be October 21, 2011. 10.21.2011. This was a huge moment for those who are into numerology, or just playing the numbers. Make sure that you ask to box it when you play while there’s still time.
While there have been numerous conversations, even with Harold, I’m sure, that no one knows the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32), that hasn’t stopped his predictions. Maybe he believes that he has a special insight that even Jesus Christ Himself does not have, or maybe he believes that the third time is the charm. There’s no need to ask him, because he is convinced that October 21 is THE BIG ONE for all of us. Yes, Elizabeth, we’re coming home to join you…because Harold said so.
All of this discussion (and the accompanying fallout) garnered more than its share of media attention (frenzy) over the last few months as we got closer and closer to The Big Day. Admittedly, Harold is doing all of us, the true believers in Jesus Christ, a huge favor. It actually allows for each us an opportunity to get the real truth out to those who want to talk about it. You have to admit that he has gotten a lot of people to actually crack open their bibles and look up some Scripture, and we are actually talking openly about Jesus Christ and the rapture…of all places…in public!
Now that Harold has given us an additional five months of free discussion time with his newest declaration, we need to be open and ready to speak to non-believers about Christ and what the Scriptures really say about this event. While you’re at it, ask them if they are indeed ready WHEN (and not IF) Jesus Christ does return. That is the message that each of us needs to be ready to convey. It can be done as part of casual conversation or as a serious Q & A session. Whip out your bibles and bone up on some Scripture verses. There’s no better time than now. We only have five months to live anyway.
In all seriousness, we don’t need to sell our possessions or quit our jobs…we just need to be ready and available to talk about the thing that really matters…salvation for those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Use this as one of your best opportunities to be an effective minister for Christ. Camping lobbed up a huge softball pitch for each of us to swat out of the park. Don’t miss the moment.
Copyright © Melvin Gaines. All rights reserved.