You have probably heard on the national news that there are billboards proclaiming the end of the world. They read “Judgment Day May 21” and then reads, “The Bible Guarantees It.” There are 1,200 such billboards in the US and 2,000 in other countries. I also understand this group has 20 recreational vehicles traveling around the country with the same message printed on the sides. Some estimate that the group has spent $3 million in advertising. With the price of gas I am wondering how they are keeping those vehicles filled with gasoline.
Harold Camping is president of Family World Radio and the author behind these messages. Mr. Camping has no formal religious training and is not an ordained minister. He states, “I made a very deliberate decision to make the Bible my university,” and uses only the King James Version.
This is actually his second prediction as his first was Sept. 6, 1994, as Judgment Day. He says that he now has more complete information which guarantees May 21 as the day when the Rapture will occur. How did he choose May 21, 2011?
- Here’s his complicated formula according to Jim Denison of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
After studying carbon dating, tree rings and other data, he determined that Noah loaded animals into his ark in 4990 B.C.
- 2 Peter 3:8 states that “a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
- The seven years Noah spent loading the ark (Genesis 7:4) therefore represent 7,000 years. Adding 7,000 to 4990 B.C. we arrive at 2010. But since there is no “year one” in the Bible, the correct year is 2011.
- Noah’s flood began on the 17th day of the second month in the Jewish calendar (Gen. 7:11), corresponding to May 21 on ours.
Here’s another calculation: Camping claims that the biblical number 5 signifies “atonement”; 10 symbolizes “completeness”; and 17 stands for “heaven.”
- He believes that Jesus died on April 1, A.D. 33.
- When we calculate (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) we arrive at 722,500. Put into words, this is “atonement x completeness x heaven,” squared.
- According to Camping, 722,500 days from April 1, A.D. 33 is May 21, 2011.
- His website concludes: “In the face of all of this incredible information, how can anyone dare to dispute with the Bible concerning the absolute truth that the beginning of the Day of Judgment together with the Rapture will occur on May 21, 2011.”
So are you ready?
I have always found it fascinating that we seem to get really excited about prophecy and the end of the world but we don’t get excited about going across the street to share with a neighbor who needs Christ or serving our church faithfully.
Matthew 24:36 says, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” So Mr. Camping knows more than Jesus?
I do believe that God will end history as we know it but I don’t think anyone knows “the when!”
The notoriety of Camping’s campaign shows that we are fascinated by things we cannot know, such as the age of the earth and the timing of Jesus’ return. Meanwhile, the Bible is clear about what we can know: “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2), for today is the only day there is.
Every day is a gift from the Lord so live for His glory.