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HAROLD CAMPING’S LATEST PREDICTIONS –
INCLUDING THE END OF THE WORLD IN OCTOBER!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, May 29, 2011

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).


Harold Camping is the 89-year-old founder of Family Radio. His message is heard by millions of people on 66 stations in the United States, and many others in foreign lands – and world-wide at www.familyradio.com. For the last several months Mr. Camping has been predicting that the Rapture of true Christians would happen on May 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM, followed immediately by a series of “super terrible” earthquakes, beginning in New Zealand and rolling on, time zone by time zone. After the saved are taken up to God, he says the rest of the world will end in a “super horror story” five months from now, on October 21, 2011. My answer? Don’t believe him! Why do I say that? Because the Lord Jesus Christ said,

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the Rapture. It is plainly spoken of by the Apostle Paul in I Thessalonians,

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words”
     (I Thessalonians 4:16-18).

That may happen soon.  I also believe in the end of the world. But that will not happen until about one thousand years after the Rapture.  The Apostle Peter spoke of the end of the world in II Peter,

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (II Peter 3:10-12).

There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that those prophesied events will happen. But the Apostle Peter said that, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” (II Peter 3:10). It will come suddenly and unexpectedly – as a thief breaking into your house when least expected. No one will know beforehand when it will come! And concerning these end-time events, Christ said,

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36; cf. Matthew 24:42, 44, 50; 25:13).

Christ never told us the time of His second coming. But He said that we should be prepared, and watchful and ready at all times. The Lord Jesus Christ said,

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).

We live in frightening times. That is why so many people believed Harold Camping’s strange prophecy. Camping’s prophecy hit the top of Twitter’s “trending topics” list on the Internet. People sent Camping 100 million dollars to spread his doomsday message. I have on my desk a full page ad he printed in USA Today (May 18, 2011, p. 4A). The blazing red headline read, “JUDGMENT DAY begins with a worldwide earthquake on MAY 21, 2011.” The story of Camping’s prophecy was headlined on CNN, Fox News and nearly every other news program in America! The Los Angeles Times did a cover story titled, “Followers Get Ready, Atheists Plan Parties” (Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2011, pp. A1, A15).

What happened at 6:00 PM on May 21? Not much. A group called American Atheists hosted parties in Wichita, Kansas, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale. They also held a conference at the Oakland Masonic Center. “We’re going to poke fun at these people,” said David Silverman, president of American Atheists (Los Angeles Times, ibid., p. A15).

And that is the most depressing thing about this whole event. Those atheists, and others, don’t realize that no credible Bible scholar or pastor agreed with Campingnot one! Camping and his followers were all alone, proclaiming the day (May 21) and the hour (6:00 PM)in spite of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ said,

“Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

The saddest thing about this is that “the name of God is blasphemed” through Harold Camping (see Romans 2:24), causing Biblically ignorant people to “poke fun” at these very serious prophecies of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles.

Camping’s false prophecy is not new. William Miller predicted the end of the world in 1843 and again in 1844. His followers put on white robes and went up to the top of a mountain to wait for the Rapture. When the date came and went, they were soaked to the skin by a heavy rain. They came down from the mountain and became the Seventh-Day Adventists. The Adventists still believe several strange doctrines. 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted the end of the world five times – in 1914, 1918, 1925, 1941 and 1975. They published a book in 1920 titled, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” – but nearly all of those who read that book are now dead! The last time the Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted the end of the world (in 1975) one million people left them, never to return! Will they do it again? Probably.

You see, these people get the idea that they alone know the truth. It’s pretty hard to change someone’s mind who thinks like that.

Mr. Camping has not changed his mind. Not at all! Even though the Rapture and earthquake he predicted did not happen on May 21, Camping is now saying that “Judgment Day Did Actually Happen Saturday,” May 21 (http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/05/24/harold-camping-judgment-day-did-actually-happen-saturday/). According to Time Magazine, Camping said, “Judgment Day did happen. It was just invisible...Camping figured out a way to spin his (second!) failed prediction [first one in 1994]: it actually did happen, you just didn’t see it...On Monday night, during a Family Radio broadcast (he said) that rather than a physical Rapture taking place, the judgment was spiritual...Camping said, ‘On May 21, this last weekend...God again brought judgment on the world. We didn’t see any difference, but God brought Judgment Day to bear on the whole world. The whole world is under Judgment Day and it will continue right up until October 21, 2011 and by that time the whole world will be destroyed.’” The article ended by saying, “So, in other words, even though Harold Camping was wrong, he [still thinks he] was actually right. You just don’t know it, because you aren’t Harold Camping.”

It is sad that Mr. Camping did not repent. Men like him are described by the Apostle Paul, in II Timothy 3:13 as “seducers” [impostors, Strong] who “shall wax [grow] worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:13). Mr. Camping deceives others because he himself has been deceived by Satan. The Apostle Peter predicted that “there shall be false teachers among you...And many shall follow their pernicious [destructive, Strong] ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (II Peter 2:1-2). The Lord Jesus Christ gave this sort of false prophecy as one of the signs of the end of this age when He said, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Harold Camping certainly fits Christ’s description of a “false prophet” who “deceives many.”

Dr. John F. Walvoord (1910-2002) served as president and professor of systematic theology at Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 to 1986. He was one of the most respected interpreters of Bible prophecy from a premillennial and dispensational perspective. Concerning false prophets, Dr. Walvoord said,

The twentieth century in particular has featured the rise of more false prophets and counterfeit religions than probably any century in the Christian era. This [has produced] widespread confusion (John F. Walvoord, Ph.D., Major Bible Prophecies, Zondervan Publishing House, 1991, p. 256).

Remember that Jesus said,

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

That verse should keep you from listening to those who set dates.

Yes, the Rapture is coming. Yes, the end of the world is coming. But no one knows the day or the hour of these events. They are coming, but God has not told us when they will come. We can see the signs of the times. It seems that the time is short. But don’t set dates!

The most important thing to remember is that you will die. There is no way to escape death. Even Mr. Camping, now 89 years old, faces death. So do you. Are you prepared to face God when you die? The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). An old song asks the all-important question, “Where Will You Spend Eternity?”

Where will you spend eternity?
   This question comes to you and me.
What will the final answer be?
   Where will you spend eternity?
Eternity, eternity, Where will you spend eternity?
   (“Where Will You Spend Eternity?” by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1839-1929).

Jesus Christ came into this world to die in your place on the Cross – to pay the penalty for your sins. He rose physically from death on the third day, and then ascended back to the right hand of God the Father. Come to Jesus. He loves you. Come to Him. Trust Him. When you experience a real conversion, His precious Blood will cleanse you from all sin, and you will be pardoned and safe for all time, and for all eternity. That is the Gospel of the Lord. Amen.

In times like these you need a Saviour,
   In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
   Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One;
   This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
   Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One;
   This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
   Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
(“In Times Like These” by Ruth Caye Jones, 1902-1972).

(END OF SERMON)
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or you may write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 24:32-44.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“In Times Like These” (by Ruth Caye Jones, 1902-1972).