By Eric Barger
Take A Stand! Ministries
On May 20th I wrote to our email subscribers concerning the followers of Harold Camping and what they might have been thinking and doing that day. As you probably know, Camping, the president of the "Family Radio" network of some 150 stations, had predicted that the Rapture of the Church (I Thess. 4:17) was absolutely going to occur on May 21st. Camping had also predicted that the entire universe would end in five months, on October 21st. Amazingly, he is still clinging to that prognostication.
Doomsday prophets always leave a trail of destruction behind them and what Camping's followers are experiencing is no exception. Camping, 89, had convinced many folks to invest their life savings, kids' college funds, and retirement accounts for the purpose of spreading the word that the end was not just near, but positively going to happen May 21. Amazingly, this took place even though he had previously predicted the Lord's coming for His Church back in 1994. This time Camping purchased over 5,000 billboards announcing his predictions worldwide - all with funds from duped donors - many of whom are now reeling from the personal and financial losses they have incurred because a crazed false prophet had led them astray. Many will be completely unable to recover from the losses they've experienced due to the date-setting of this unbiblical buffoon. Adding to their trauma, all who followed Camping and made their belief in his lunacy known have lost credibility with their families and friends. They must feel completely betrayed and most will never trust a Christian pastor or teacher again. It is the people caught in Camping's web for whom I am particularly concerned.
Besides all of the fear, hurt, and devastation Camping has wrought, the implications of what he has done is unquestionably also a setback for true Evangelicals, particularly those of us who actually DO hold to the clear biblical teaching of a future "catching away" of the Church. Comedians are mocking the idea with reckless abandon and the news media is making Christians who would hold to end-time teachings look silly. Regrettably, countless pastors are joining in to throw proverbial rocks at those of us who believe that Jesus is indeed going to call His Church home someday soon. I can't help but wonder how many men and women of God may be driven to silence on eschatology for fear of what others may think.
Pastors and lay people - I encourage you to hold steady. We cannot allow the likes of David Letterman, Jon Stewart, or CNN to shut our mouths concerning prophecy and, in particular, the Rapture. God has the final say - not the atheists. Jesus IS coming for those who believe and Satan would love nothing more than to continue to reap extended benefits from his seduction of Camping and those who backed him. Don't let the Evil One silence your voice - and the sure Word that God has given us to proclaim!
Doctrine of the Rapture - CBS (Andy Woods)
Judgment Day forecaster points to new doomsday date - International Business Times
The May 21 Rapture Mistake - GraceThruFaith.com (Jack Kelley)
Apocalypse Now - or Never - CNS News
Could Harold Camping Be Sued? - Christian Post