Is The End Of The World – May 21st 2011?

Is The End Of The World – May 21st 2011?

If you have plans for this Sunday, May 22nd, you may want to cancel them!  Saturday, May 21st is the end of the world!  That is what Harold Camping, the 89 year old founder of Family Radio, is telling his listeners.  Apparently, they are listening!  Billboards in local communities and messages all over the internet have erupted a firestorm of support and opposition.  Either way you view Harold Camping, in just a few short days, the truth will be known.  Either he is right and the end of the world is coming, or he will be found to be a false prophet and a liar – once again.  That’s right, this isn’t the first time Harold Camping has predicted the end of the world.  In 1994 he made a similar “D-day” claim, but according to Camping, his calculations were flawed.

A few weeks ago, I was part of a team from our church that traveled to Ecuador to begin a church plant in the rural Zhud community.  On our way home, we were about to board our flight from Miami to Atlanta after a lengthy layover when one of our team members directed my attention toward two individuals who had joined us in our section of seats wearing bright colored shirts.  The shirts combined with matching ball caps were warning us to prepare for the end of the world that is coming on Saturday May 21st.  I took this opportunity to talk with them about the coming end, doom, and judgment of God.  Needless to say, I was extremely saddened by the response I received from these two individuals. Why did I board my plane with frightening emotions flooding my soul?  You will see the specifics below, but at that moment it became a reality to me that real people are sucked up into this whole billboard judgment frenzy!

1.  The Wrong Authority

When I addressed the two individuals, the woman was not prepared to have a serious conversation about the issues at hand.  She directed me to her traveling companion.  This gentleman was prepared to talk about the issues, and seemed to welcome the conversation.  However, when I continued to raise my concerns about the message of judgment based on specific biblical texts, he carefully directed me back each time to Camping’s teachings and Family Radio.  It was after several diversions from Scripture to Family Radio and Harold Camping that I raised my obvious concern about this gentleman’s authority.  I informed this gentleman that we are to base our theological positions on the Word of God alone – not the private interpretation of a man or some organization.  He continued to insist that Camping was right and that we were in error.  He also insisted that the Scripture I quoted is confined to that era of time when Jesus and His disciples were on earth.  Now, according to this gentleman, we have the right to know the date of Jesus’ return based on some time period code that Camping has figured out.  Michael S. Rosenwald of The Washington Post explains, Camping “says he came up with the very precise date of May 21 through a mathematical calculation that would probably crash Google’s computers.”  Camping suggests that his math returns a result of May 21st 2011.As I walked down the pathway to the airplane, my heart was broken for a man who was standing in the middle of Miami’s international airport warning people of the coming end of the world based on one man’s skewed interpretation – rather than the Word of the living God.  All throughout history, we have seen heresy groups and false religions born out of a skewed interpretation of Scripture that takes the Word of God out of context.  That is exactly what Camping and his followers have done.  They have abused the intent of the biblical author and used the Bible for their own “D-day” campaign.  The sad reality is that real people have bought into this theory – and have completely lost touch with reality as they prepare for the end of the world this Saturday!  They have based their beliefs on the wrong authority – Camping rather than Christ!

Matthew 24:36-39 - But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

The Scripture – in Jesus’ words – claim that the followers of Christ are not to know the date of Christ’s return.  That day is set aside on God’s calendar and is to remain a secret (Acts 1:7).  As Jesus clearly teaches, the selected date by God will be a mystery – much like it was during the day of Noah when the flood came unexpectedly.  Both the day and the hour of the return of Christ has been concealed by God.  Camping has claimed to know both the day and the hour when Christ will return (May 21st at 6pm).

2.  Zero Assurance

As I talked with the gentleman in the Miami airport about the end of the world, I asked him a very important question.  I asked, “What happens if you wake up on Sunday May 22nd and you are still here?”  He responded, “I will be under the wrath of God just like everyone else.”  I then asked him the following question, “Why is it that you are standing here in the middle of this airport terminal warning people of the end of the world when you don’t seem to have any true assurance yourself?”  He responded, “I can only hope that I am going to be saved.”  I was overwhelmed.  I told this man that the Bible, our source of divine truth, teaches us that genuine followers of Jesus Christ can have assurance of their eternal destiny (1 John 4:13, 5:13; John 10:28-29).  I informed him that my heart was broken for the fact that he was literally preaching a judgment message to everyone around him based on his t-shirt message, but he didn’t have concrete assurance himself.

1 John 5:13 – I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

3.  Zero Compassion

The boarding of my plane had started and I had to go, but I wasn’t finished with our conversation!  I asked the man for his phone number so that I could call him on the morning of Sunday May 22nd.  He refused to give me his number because he said the phone services wouldn’t be in order due to the manifestation of God’s wrath on planet earth.  I tried to give him my phone number to call me or e-mail me after May 21st – but he simply refused.  He insisted that there would be no hope for any of us (even himself) if he woke up on Sunday May 22nd.Although I had compassion for this man who is obviously confused by Camping’s teachings, he seemed to have little compassion for me and our mission team.  If he is right, wouldn’t he have had compassion on me and our team as we were obviously the only people in the airport who were interested in his judgment message?  Wouldn’t he desire to preach the truth to us? Instead, he turned to walk away and said, “You just don’t understand.”

4.  True Hope

As we turned to walk away for our plane, Chad, one of our team members, made a very important statement to this man.  He said, “If you wake up on May 22nd and realize that Harold Camping was wrong, remember there is hope in Jesus Christ.”  That is the reality for these two travelers in the Miami airport and for Harold Camping himself.  In a few days, it will be known that Camping was wrong and that the entire May 21st campaign was a heretical error.  Rather than trying to explain it away based on poor math skills, the right response will be complete surrender to King Jesus.  On May 22nd 2011 when all of Camping’s followers awake to the reality that they have believed a lie – they should all turn to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The mercy of Christ is the only answer to the error of Harold Camping.  No amount of sophisticated mathematical explanations will be sufficient.  The Apostle Paul said, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).  Leave the dates and plans up to God, but make sure you are in Christ when that day arrives!

Acts 4:12 – And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling;- Augustus Toplady

Pastor Josh Buice

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Dr. Albert Mohler’s Article – The End is Near? The False Teaching of Harold Camping

Justin Taylor’s Article – Judgment Day: May 21st, 2011?

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this. My prayers are that God will let the scales of deception fall from those following Harold Camping, so that they may see the Truth. May God open their ears to hear the Truth, when He sends His servants to talk with them. Also, I pray that He soften their hearts to accept that Jesus Christ is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. May they repent for their sins and accept Jesus. May He guard their hearts and minds for those wolves in sheep’s clothing. May His name be glorified, not Harold’s or any other name.

    Reply
  2. I think it is difficult to look past Revelation 3:3 ‘…But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.’I severely doubt that May 21st is any more likely, then any other day. Of course, I’ll miss my birthday 2 days later so perhaps I’m biased…

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  3. PUT DOWN THE PIPE PREACHER AND STOP SCARING EVERYONE! IF IT TRUE THERE IS NOT A DAMN THING ANY ONE OF US CAN DO ABOUT IT!!! AND WHO IS TO SAY IT WILL EVEN HAPPEN…AS LONG AS I HAVE BEEN ALIVE IT IS ALWAYS THE “END OF THE WORLD” THIS MONTH THAT MONTH THE OTHER MONTH WHATEVER! I CHOSE TO TURN THE OTHER WAY AND IGNORE THIS crazy old fart! WE ARE NOT ALL GOING TO DIE AND IF WE DO WELL I GUESS WE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT HAPPEND I THINK THERE WOULD BE MORE SIGN OF DISASTER THEN SUNNY SKIES AND CLEAR WATER! OUR WORLD IS GOING THROUGH A MAJOR CHANGE BUT IT DOESNT NOT BY ANY MEANS MEAN IT IS GOING TO END! AND IN ALL REALITY I HAVE A HARD TIME BELIEVING IN A GOD WHO ALLOWES BABIES, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE BE TORTURED KILLED RAPED OR WORSE…..SO THERE IS MY 2 SENCE|! LIVE ON PEOPLE AND STOP LISTENING TO THIS CRAZY OLD MAN WE ARE ALL GOING TO WAKE UP ON MAY 22 SO BE GONE WITH THE BULL CRAP STOP SCARING PEOPLE AND KEEP YOUR CRAZY PREDICTIONS TO YOUR SELF!
    AMEN

    Reply
  4. Pastor Josh, I fear the worst will come to those, that believe this to be true, by their own hand. If they truelly believe this false prophesy, they may find themselves caught up in beleiving also that they have been left behind (not to give credit to the book series). The coming days may see many people stricken with grief and distrust beyond our ability to wrap our minds around. I pray that with the hours that follow 6pm on the 21, that people will seek first the truth and find comfort in knowing the Bible is the only truth.

    Reply
  5. I have done wrong but have asked for forgiveness . Whatever day is the real judgement day I hope I am saved.

    Reply
  6. Josh,
    I was thinking about changing Sunday’s sermon. . . “Still Here.” But, alas, I didn’t stop preaching through Matthew for Easter or Mothers Day, so whys hould Camping break the momentum?

    It’s kinda exciting to have a real false prophet be so bold as to actually give us a date. I wish they wouldn’t do that, though, because I’m pretty sure that even if that WAS the date, God would change it to spite false prophets.

    Reply

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