Harold Camping is the president and general manager of Family Station, Inc., better known as Family Radio. In 1961, Camping began his Open Forum program, which is now broadcasted on more than 140 radio stations worldwide and in 30 different languages (Family Stations Inc., 2010, para. 3,5). Camping rose to fame in 1992, when he published the book titled, “1994?”, and in this book Camping made the claim that the world would end sometime around September 15-17, 1994 (Meyers, S.C., n.d.). Although, Camping’s prophecy in 1994 did not come true, he is now claiming to be a numerology genius by interpreting Bible scripture and has the dates for the rapture and the end of the world. Mr. Camping now claims that the day of rapture will be on May 21, 2011 and on this day only around 200 million people will be rescued, out of a world population of 6,891,262,370 (Family Stations Inc., 2010; U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). If Harold Camping has proclaimed one failed prophecy, why should we believe him now?
In Deuteronomy 18:22, the Bible clearly states that, “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed” (cited on “Bible Gateway”, 2010). Clearly, Harold Camping’s end of the world prophecy was not true in 1994 and he is what many people would consider a false prophet. The Bible warns us about false prophets and Camping is not the only one. Many people have claimed to know when the end of world would happen and many have failed to predict it. In fact, the Bible warns us to beware of false prophets in Matthew 7:15, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (cited on “Biblos.com”, 2011).
From a biblical point of view, Camping appears to be that wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Bible clearly states in Mark 13:32, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (cited on “Biblos.com”, 2011). Should we believe what the Bible states or Camping, who has one failed prophecy under his belt so far? I can’t tell you what you should believe, but I will say that you should always be skeptical of people claiming to make predictions or prophecies about the end of times. As a Christian, what do you have to fear if it were to be true? A Christian should be letting the love of God shine through them every day and telling people who want to hear about God’s word. Christians should rejoice when they hear that the Lord is coming back for his people; it’s nothing to fear.
I’m going to end this article with a passage from 1 John 4:1, that warns us about false prophets and to not believe everything we hear, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (cited on “Biblos.com”, 2011).
Biblos.com (2011). Matthew 7:15. Retrieved from http://bible.cc/matthew/7-15.htm
Biblos.com (2011). Mark 13:32. Retrieved from http://bible.cc/mark/13-32.htm
Biblos.com (2011). 1 John 4:1. Retrieved from http://bible.cc/1_john/4-1.htm
Familyradio.com (n.d.). A Brief Biography of Harold Camping. Retrieved from http://www.familyradio.com/english/connect/bio/haroldcamping_bio.html
White, J.R. (2002). Dangerous Airwaves: Harold Camping’s Call to Flee the Church. Retrieved from http://www.equip.org/articles/harold-camping
Meyers, S.C. (n.d.). Harold Camping: 1994? Retrieved from http://www.equip.org/articles/harold-camping-1994-
U.S. Census Bureau (2010). U.S. & World Population Clocks. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html
Biblegateway.com (2010). Deuteronomy 18:22. Retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+18%3A22&version=NIV