Is Christ returning on May 21, 2011?

Well, Jesus did not return on the day Mr.Camping claimed. Now what? What are you going to believe now? I encourage you to not listen to Camping's "explanations." He proved himself once again to be a false prophet/teacher. He lied again while claiming it to be "absolute proof" from the Bible.

Here's a website that gives some helpful information http://www.aftermay21.com/ about "Why we are still here."

Also consider this statement (written April 20, 2008):   "Harold Camping is a false prophet who said the world will end in 1994, and was wrong, and he is a false prophet again by saying their will be a rapture of the Campingites on May 21, 2011, and for 5 months all of the unsaved “church” people will be tormented. On the contrary, all of the Campingites will be confused for those 5 months. On May 22, 2011, Harold Camping (if he is still alive) will say that he was wrong about the rapture, but the world will still end on Oct 21, 2011. So for 5 months, all of the Campingites will be the ones confused and tormented and hope that their CULT LEADER HAROLD CAMPING was correct about all of his heresies about the churches and the world ending on Oct 21, 2011. When Oct 22, 2011 comes, all of the brainwashed Campingites will be totally distraught, and will probably leave God altogether. This is the work of SATAN. I already saw this happen with the CULT group I was in that followed Harold Camping in the 1980s and early 1990s and they thought the world will end in 1994. Most of the cult members were so totally confused and hurt, that they left God altogether, and do no talk about God anymore. This is the work of the DEVIL
Harold Camping is a minister of Satan. He now aligns doctrinally very close to the Jehovah’s Witnesses who set a lot of dates for the end of the world, and also believe all Christian churches are of the Devil. Let me repeat myself with Love and Compassion for any follower of Harold Egbert Camping of Family Radio. Harold Camping is doing the work of Satan, and if you follow him, you are being deceived by the Devil and will be very confused and severely hurt when you leave your church and when the world does NOT end in 2011.
God Bless You and open all of our eyes.
Jim B."

I sincerely hope that all of you will stop listening to Harold Camping. He is a false teacher whom we must separate from. Get in a good Bible-preaching church and ask your pastor to help you get back to a right relationship with God. If you don't know of any good Bible-preaching churches email me at the address at the bottom of this page and I'll try to direct you to one. Do you want some good uplifting Christian music to listen to? You can listen online from this site: http://abidingradio.com/main_page.html

I pray that all of you learn to seek God and His Word like never before and separate yourselves from the poison of false teachers.





        Mr. Harold Camping of Family Radio for some time has suggested, and boldly stated that we can know when Jesus Christ will return to earth the second time. Let us examine his method of Bible interpretation and the claims he has made to determine if this is a valid biblical teaching.

 

Mr. Camping states over and over again that what he teaches “comes right from the Bible.” It is the sacred responsibility of a preacher or Bible teacher to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (2 Tim 2:15), but it also is a responsibility of the hearers of that preacher/teacher to be like the Berean believers who “searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Jesus Himself instructed the people to “search the Scriptures” (John 5:39). We will, then, “search the Scriptures” to see if what Mr. Camping says is really so. Indeed, the Bible is sufficient for every question in life.

 

Throughout church history there have been godly men who studied and preached the Bible. Like any man’s teachings, theirs must be compared to Scripture. Their statements are helpful explanations gained from their faithful study of the Bible. The theologians quoted here are respected for their faithfulness to the Word of God. Please do not discount their statements, but consider what these wise men had to say.

 

Most, if not all of these theologians had, at least, an excellent understanding of the original Hebrew and Greek of the Bible. The primary reasons for reading their writings are to avoid doctrinal error and to glean from their biblical wisdom.

 

You may have heard Camping explain his method of Bible interpretation by quoting Mark 4:34, “without a parable spake [Jesus] not unto them.” With this passage Camping asserts that Jesus only spoke by parable (that is, an allegorical “representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction.” Webster). In interpreting this verse he ignores the context (vv 1-41, Jesus explained the parable to His disciples plainly without a parable as is stated in the second half of verse 34.). This passage is clearly showing that Jesus taught the people using parables while to His disciples, He spoke plainly.

 

Another failure on Camping’s part is ignoring other related Bible passages. Matthew’s account of this same event is in chapter 13. As was typical in teaching the people (they were not the twelve disciples) He used parables (not with hidden meanings) which had spiritual truth the people could easily relate to in every-day life. Matthew tells the reader that “without a parable spoke [Jesus] not unto them.” The disciples even asked the Lord, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” (Mt 13:10) They did not ask “Why do you speak to us in parables.” Clearly (vv 11-17), Jesus did not speak to His disciples in parables (unless He told them so [e.g. Mt 13:18, 21:33] and explained the singular meaning [e.g. Mt 13:36, 15:15]), but only to the people (that is, the simple people and unsaved). John Chrysostom clarified that Jesus “surely did say many things without a parable; but then [to the people] nothing” (Homily 47). If anyone could have known whether or not Jesus was speaking parabolically, surely it would have been His disciples who confidently told Him (without being rebuked): “now speakest thou plainly, and thou speakest no parable” (John 16:29). As is obvious from a serious inspection of Scripture, Jesus did not speak only in parables and thus, such an assumption for all of Scripture is naïve at best.

 

In propagating his own faulty method of Bible interpretation Camping denigrates the consistent, reliable science of Bible interpretation which is commonly called the historical-grammatical method (which studies the Holy Spirit-given context, grammar, word meaning, syntax, and historical and cultural backgrounds). He claims this reliable method to be man-made, yet by following his parabolic interpretation it is impossible for anyone but him to “properly interpret” Scripture. It makes biblical interpretation subjective to his assumed enlightenment. He opposes the reliable method of studying passage contexts, basic laws of language, word meanings, sentence structure, and background knowledge because that does not allow the Scriptures to fit his preconceived interpretation. Augustine, in speaking of parables, reminded that “the Lord declared [the meaning]...the Lord does not allow you to interpret as you will” (Sermon 38). Knowing Camping’s interpretation method is faulty from the start, let us examine (without twisting the Scriptures to fit our preconceptions) the passages dealing with the timing of Christ’s second coming.

 

Many people throughout church history have boldly predicted a certain day for the return of Jesus Christ. His coming was predicted in the tenth century. Some proclaimed the end around 1660. The Seventh-Day Adventists predicted 1843, 1844, 1847, 1850, 1852, 1854, 1855, 1863, etc. “Learning nothing from the past, each time they are quite as confident as before” (Canright, 68, 75). Paul wrote to the Corinthians (2 Cor 14:44) that “God is not the author of confusion.” Yet many true believers were confused and deceived by these false prophecies. Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, Charles Taze Russell, William Miller, Mary Baker Eddy, and others claimed themselves to be the final authority of what the Bible means. All of their predictions, however, have been proven false while the Bible, the Word of God, has remained unchanged (1 Pet 1:23).

 

The Bible contains several passages that clearly teach us about when the Lord Jesus will return. Jesus said that “as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Mt 24:27). By this comparison we know that it will be unexpected and sudden. Jesus instructed His disciples to “watch; for you know not what hour your Lord doth come... be ready: for in such an hour as you think not - the Son of man cometh” (Mt 24:42, 44). His coming will be at an instance when no one expects. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers that “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thes 5:2). This comparison reminds us of Jesus’ similar teaching. “If the goodman of the house [the man of the house, (Webster)] had known in what watch [period of night, (ibid.)] the thief would come, he would have watched.... Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as you think not - the Son of man cometh” (Mt 24:43-44). Anyone who logically considers this will have to admit that the time a burglar goes to a home or business is not known ahead of time. So, the time (hour, day, week, month, or year) of Christ’s coming will not be known ahead of time by anyone on earth. It could not be stated any clearer than this passage.

 

A discussion of these passages must include Matthew 24:36 (“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”) and Mark 13:32-33 (“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”). Of course, Camping twists these to fit his unbiblical opinions, but let us read and understand them for what they clearly say: No one knows when Jesus will return. He may come today. He may come in a thousand years. No matter when He comes, we are instructed to “be ready.”

 

Shortly before Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples questioned Him about the timing of future events. This was a part of His final words to them: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power” (Acts 1:7). We should be content to know that God is in control. He knows when future events will take place. It is not for us to know because if we did (if one human being did know, if God put a secret in the Bible for a man to know the time of Jesus’ coming) the glory would go to us (or that one man) and not to God. Charles Spurgeon, one of the 19th century’s great preachers, acknowledged that “the Scripture has left the whole matter [of the time of Jesus’ second coming] ... with an intentional indistinctness, that we may be always expecting Christ to come, and that we may be watching for His coming at any hour and every hour” (Bible Institute Colportage Association; p104).

 

 

“It is simply an evasion of the force of those passages to say that we cannot know the day or the hour, but that we can know the month or the year. The fact remains that Jesus is coming ‘at an hour you do not expect’ (Mt. 24:44), and ‘at an unexpected hour’ (Lk. 12:40). [...’hour’ = the time when something will take place…] The point of these passages is that Jesus is telling us that we cannot know when He is coming back. Since He will come back at an unexpected time, we should be ready at all times.

 

“The practical result of this is that anyone who claims to know specifically when Jesus is coming back is automatically to be considered wrong.... [Some] in the history of the church have made such predictions... sometimes claiming new insight into biblical prophecies.... It is unfortunate that many people have been deceived by these claims.... They may initially have an increased zeal for evangelism and prayer, but the unreasonable nature of their behavior [selling houses, quitting jobs, taking their children out of school, etc.] will offset any evangelistic impact they may have. Moreover, they are simply disobeying the teaching of Scripture that the date of Christ’s return cannot be known, which means that even their prayer and fellowship with God will be hindered… Anyone who claims to know the date on which Christ will return--from whatever source--should be rejected as incorrect” (Grudem, 1093-94).

 

 

 Camping puts his prediction/ interpretation on equal authority with the Bible. Reader, when his 5/21/2011 prediction fails, don’t go back to hear Camping’s explanation. Don’t lose faith in the Bible; rather lose faith in Mr. Camping’s teachings. The Bible will not fail. The truth of the Bible stands on its own authority — on the authority of Jesus Christ, the Living Word. No matter how impressive Camping’s mathematical calculations seem, don’t be deceived by him. He arrogantly presumes to “know” what this or that number means (when the Bible does not tell us), and then attributes that atrocious assumption to the “mercy of God.” How dare he claim it to be the God of the Bible. Rather, it is a false god whom Camping has created. Even though he claims to only study the Bible, his misuse of the Bible, by simply taking the words of the Bible, it ceases to be the Bible he studies. Instead it is his own words. He could study a dictionary to come up with the same prophetic predictions. The logic and trustworthiness would be the same. According to Tertullian (Prescription), Camping has no right to teach from the Scriptures since he twists it (2 Peter 3:16) to seem to justify his own interpretation. All the conclusions Camping claims according to his faulty Bible interpretation method can only be false because the same Camping who falsely predicted the Lord’s coming in 1994 (a 500+ page book shows confidence) is the same Camping who unbiblically predicts another day.

 

You will find the truth in the Bible. Read it allowing the Holy Spirit to instruct you. Do not blindly depend on a man to tell you what to believe. Be like the Bereans who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

 

The Bible tells us about those who predict events: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deut 18:22). Someone who claims Scripture to predict something that does not occur is, according to Scripture, a false prophet — not to be believed. Mr. Camping needs to know that there were false prophets in Bible times who were severely judged for their sin. Clearly, the failure of Mr. Camping’s prophecy in 1994 proves him to be a false prophet.

 

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

 

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; ‘Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you... For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them,’ saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:8-9).

 

And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you’” (Matthew 24:4).

 

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).

 

You may have been hurt by a church or someone in a church. This may be why you are attracted to Harold Camping’s teachings. Let me encourage you to not be offended at what someone has done, but instead accept God’s grace for every difficulty (2 Cor 12:9).   I don’t condemn you for wondering if Jesus really may come on May 21. From the Bible we do know that He will return (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess 4:16; 2 Peter 3:10).  We just do not (and cannot) know when that will be.

 

I exhort you who have been believing or contemplating Mr. Camping’s predictions to “search the Scriptures”. Turn off your radio and spend time instead seeking the Lord in prayer and Bible reading. Find a strong Bible preaching church and go there with humble readiness to learn the truth.

 

One instruction we must all obey is, as Jesus said: “what I say to you, I say to all, Watch” (Mark 13:37).

—Ron Sondergaard

 

 
 
Notes

Augustine. Sermons.

Bible Institute Colportage Association. The Second Coming of Christ. Revell; 1896.

Canright, D. M. Seventh-Day Adventism Renounced. Revell; 1889.

Chrysostom, John. Homilies.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Zondervan; 1994.

Tertullian. Prescription Against Heretics.

Webster, Noah. Dictionary.

 

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