Friday, January 21, 2011

A Date We Cannot Predict

Throughout history there have been people who attempted to pick a date for the day of the Rapture. That has always mystified me because the scriptures are clear and unambiguous. Jesus plainly stated that no one would know the day or the hour of His coming.

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)

In closing:

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.



Anonymous said...

Every time when the saints/prophets/ pastors got its prediction wrong, the same excuse will be used to mitigate damages but not before a tidy profit has been made.

Like you said, if you want to retain and win the most idiots into your fold, say you can't put a date to His return.

Truth is,ahem, there will be no return of Christ, in a physical sense.

The entire has been misinterpreted by CHRISTIANITY.

hartdawg said...

1)if the entire,and by entire(ty?) is the fact that jesus will physically return to earth, has been misinterpreted by christianity then the bible also misinterprets itself as well. acts 1:11 makes it CLEAR that its a literal physical return. 2)as for you,scott, may i recommend that you (and all prophecy sites) write a post that best instructs good prophecy students on how to prepare and handle the backlash that will come on may 22.

hartdawg said...

the reason why i think it`ll be a good idea is because when the prediction fails nonchristians will be like "see, you christians are all alike saying the world will end..." and christians will look at prophecy and ALL prophecy teachers with even more contempt. fact of the matter is that most churches (a good 95% of them) ignore or disregard prophecy already then when a few wingnuts set dates,name names and espouse nutty theories and tie EVERY event to fit some prophecy then people like me and you also look bad. thats why i think a post instructing prophecy teachers/students on how to handle the backlash would be a good idea. just a thought.

Expected Imminently said...


For brevity's sake, a simple disclaimer, date stamped as evidence would be enough to be able flap in the face of mockery.

Date of denial. 22nd January 2011.

Sue ;)

hartdawg said...

it`s one thing for non-believers to mock prophecy, but it really irks me that the VAST MAJORITY of christians and pastors do so as well. (tho some dont openly mock it but they disregard it and tho wont admit it they have a scorn about it). anytime a sign is fulfilled or someone says its really close i hear "thats the way its always been" or "noone knows the day or the hour" or once when explaining the timing or the rapture (pre vs post) i was told "you`re talking about something noone knows for sure"

hartdawg said...

let`s face it, the majority of pastors/teachers, as well as alot of christians think prophecy is vague, we cant know when its near, its too hard to understand and people who teach and study prophecy are ALL sensationalist with their heads in the clouds and dont live in the real world, and when this failed date comes and goes there will likely be another backlish even from christians. tho its obvious no serious student gives credence to this nut i fear there will be a backlash nontheless.

Peaceseeker said...

Rapture date setters have always been an enigma to me. A serious student of the Bible should have no doubt that no one can know the day or time because our Lord said so. I'm so glad you and others expose the error in this irresponsible behavior.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who denies that the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and by extension, the 7-year ENPI, is central to the EU's dealings with Israel, is a fool [see Paragraph #4 (12 total), of following letter, recently sent by former EU leaders, to current EU leaders; note signatories].

P.S. Thanks to Adamantine for the link.

Anonymous said...

"acts 1:11 makes it CLEAR that its a literal physical return"

the bible CANNOT be understood through literal translation.

Only THE WISE shall understand. you need to be at least GROUNDED(To unravel its hidden mystery) in the affairs of life to appreciate its, the bible, ingenuity.

hence, the entire world has been misled by Christianity.

JJones said...

While individual false prophets like Harold Camping have come and gone, the Jehovah's Witnesses are the only existing worldwide religious organization formed (in the 1880s) for the sole purpose of preaching that Jesus Christ had already returned in 1874 -- invisibly and secretly to everyone except followers of the WatchTower Society.

Here is the internet's BEST and most brief historical summary of the Jehovah's Witnesses -- who are an offshoot of the Adventists:

The following webpage explains how the Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide preaching work fulfills Jesus Christ's warning to his followers -- as recorded in Matthew 24 -- that while some false prophets would predict the time of His Second Advent, that a certain False Prophet also would proclaim that He had already returned, and only that False Prophet knew when and where:

Anonymous said...

I am so scared ive been suicidal lately

The Good Tale said...

Perfect love casts out fear.
Satan has deceived the whole world Rev 12:9 until the woman of Rev 12 delivers the true word John 1:1 to the world Rev 12:5,13. There is no hell fire for any child of God no matter what their sins and God's true word of love is now delivered and proven at

Anonymous said...

God is the only one to open ones eyes to truth. The big issue of no one can know the day or hour is false. The translaters used the word day from the Greek word ENNYCHOS. It can be translated as A GREAT WHILE BEFORE, and the Greek word HORA for hour can be translated as season. But of that great while before and season no one can know. Why because that great while before only the Father known what was to be the end. Daniel 12:9 seal up the book(the Bible) until the time of the end the wise (God`s saved)shall understand, but the wicked (unsaved) shall not understand Yes it is going to happen on May 21. Get out of and religion and repent and cry out for God`s mercy Bill.

SieMyst said...

With our world looking more like Sodom n Gomorrah you that think it's not close just want more time well guess what I think your time is almost up!