For those of you who have been following the End of the World – as predicted by Harold Camping – there’s a new date announced. October 21st of this year. It seems that Mr. Camping realized the 21st of May – my late mother’s birthday, by the way – was not the actual ‘Judgement Day’, but rather a ‘spiritual judgement day’ upon which Almighty God finalized His list of who is redeemed from the eternal penalty of sin and who isn’t.
Just for the tally books, I’ve studied “The Revelation of Jesus Christ to Saint John”, the Old Testament book of Daniel, and the various snippets in the Gospels and the letters of the New Testament. I recall no ‘Spiritual Judgement Day’ mentioned, preceding the actual end of time. If one of you nice folks knows of some such, please comment and give me the scriptural citation, won’t you?
Nope. Mr. Camping’s predictions are just that, predictions. They are not Divinely revealed bits of ultimate truth. When Almighty God reveals something, it is not as a result of ‘calculation’; it is the result of ‘revelation’ and needs no further clarification. Had God revealed the truth to Mr. Camping, the world would have ended last Saturday. Since it didn’t, we – Christian believers at any rate – can safely ignore anything more Mr. Camping has to say on the matter.
For that matter, I wasn’t all that worked up in the first place. Jesus will indeed return to Earth and end time, but at the time of His choosing.
Matthew 24:32 “Learn this parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 24:33 So also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near, right at the door. 24:34 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
24:36 “But as for that day and hour no one knows it – not even the angels in heaven – except the Father alone. 24:37 For just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 24:38 For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 24:39 And they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man. 24:40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one left. 24:41 There will be two women grinding grain with a mill; one will be taken and one left.
24:42 “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 24:43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Lots of people get all worked up over the lines in verse 33, and verses 37 to 41, no big deal; they are simply cautionary and illustrative. But pay attention to what is said in verses 36, 42 and 44. No one knows, and from what I read here, no one is going to guess. This will be God’s Grand Surprise Party.
However, none of this is to say the world will not end. All credible authorities say the world will end at a finite and foreseeable point. Astronomers who study stars have reason to believe the Sun will burn itself out in another four to six billion years. When that happens – and it is a complicated and involved event – the Earth itself will cease to exist in any habitable form. Cosmologists – people who study the structure and function of the Universe – seem to think with some reason the Universe will cease to be habitable in any form in a number of years. That number is huge by human standards, but it is still a finite period of time. Nor do either of these predictions have a specific date in the nature of “21st May, Two Gazillion eleven”; but it is an event that will happen at a specific point in time.
The Bible says the world will end. I’m not going to beat it all to death here, but the Bible promises Jesus Christ will return to take charge of Earth and end time as is currently understood. I will beat this dead horse: There is NO date given.
Mr. Camping and all those who have heretofore announced ‘the end’ do Christianity a grave disservice. Their ineptitude and foolishness dishonor the truth of God. This sort of idiocy gives rise to claims of ‘foolish religionism’ and a lack trustworthiness on the part of Christians. Worst of all, this sort of thing may deflect someone from looking into the Bible as a basis for communication with God.
I do not know Mr. Camping’s underlying reasons for doing what he does. He may well be a man who’s faith is anchored in God through Jesus Christ. He may well be present in Heaven throughout eternity in loving communion with God and the rest of God’s people. But I know he’s wrong in this particular. On the other hand, I’m wrong in a number of particulars myself. I’m not Harold Camping’s judge in terms of his soul. I am however, qualified to pass on his end time doctrine and it is lacking.