Isn’t it amazing how much press Harold Camping and his followers have generated? My friend Ben Gerth has put up a very good and sound rebuttal of Camping’s prediction and teaching in general on The Gerth Family blog.
I only have a little to add to the conversation.
Camping is predicting that the rapture will happen today at 6pm EST. Rather than focus all our attention at ridiculing his position why waste this opportunity to ask people the serious question, are they ready? One thing that is clear about Christ’s return in the new testament is that we should be prepared. I think it is worth spending some time reflecting on the thought, “If I knew Christ was coming back in one year, would I be doing anything differently?”
1 John 2:28
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. (ESV)
As a side note I also find it very intriguing that many of Harold Camping’s views on God are remarkably close to those of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This interests me as the rise of the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a significant cult was also tied to rapture predictions and such predictions have marked their history. William Miller predicted the rapture in 1874-75. His teachings influenced Charles Russell who founded the JWs. Their end of the world predictions included 1914, 1918, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1984 and 1994 the same year as Camping’s last prediction.
So even though no date setting prediction of the rapture has any credibility, and I don’t think that there is much harm in having a little fun with it, there is a reason people are drawn to it. It might be easier if we knew.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV) Emphasis added