Joel Rosenberg (again) gets it right:
Radio Show Host Predicts May 21,2011 As Date of the Rapture: The Bible says "no one knows" but the Father alone
A radio host named Harold Camping is making headlines in the Washington Post, Associated Press, National Public Radio, and elsewhere this month by publicly predicting that the Rapture — the sudden disappearance of born-again followers of Jesus Christ from the earth, followed by the Biblical judgments described in the Book of Revelation as the “Great Tribulation” — will occur on May 21, 2011. Sadly, he is just the latest person to foolishly ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ and mislead people regarding Bible prophecy.
Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011….Employees at the Oakland office run printing presses that publish Camping’s pamphlets and books, and some wear T-shirts that read, ‘May 21, 2011.’
Camping’s declaration is deeply misguided. In Matthew chapter 24, the Lord Jesus Christ gave His disciples a list of signs to watch for that would indicate when His return for His true followers was approaching. Such signs included the rise of false messiahs, wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, other natural disasters, persecution of believers, the spread of the gospel to all people in every nation, the rebirth of the nation of Israel, and so forth. But in Matthew 24:36, Christ warned His followers not to try to speculate on exact dates of His return. ”But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone,” Christ said.
If “no one” on earth knows the date of Christ’s return, how then does Harold Camping know? He doesn’t.
The article linked is actually interesting and reveals how this erroneous conclusion was reached.
More from Mr Rosenberg:
Such date-setting is not only unbiblical, wrong and misleading, it also invites ridicule, scorn and discredit upon followers of Jesus Christ who study the Bible seriously and teach the Word of God — including prophecy — carefully and soberly.
And the article closes with two beautiful and uplifting scriptures:
Jesus Christ was very clear that He is coming back. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go and prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
The Apostle Paul was very clear in describing the Rapture that “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain [as born again believers in Christ] will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Teachers of Bible prophecy need to be very careful. Our responsibility is not to predict when Christ will return, but to help people be ready for the Lord’s return, whenever that occurs, and especially if it is soon. We can do this by sharing the gospel, making disciples, spreading the Word, strengthening the Church, living lives of holiness and purity, and becoming men and women of prayer and worship.
We also need to do this by helping people to discern the difference between solid Bible teaching and false teaching. Let’s ask the Lord to help us to serve Him wisely and humbly. Let’s also pray for Harold Camping and others that their eyes may be opened to the truth and they make make a rapid course correction.