Harold Camping, 88-year-old radio preacher and owner of 55 Family Radio stations, was wrong about the Second Coming yesterday. Unbelievers in the gospel are already laughing at Christianity. Christians vacillate from deriding Mr. Camping for thinking he knew something Jesus said “no one knows” (Mt. 24) to anger to . . . praying for him?
Yes. We should pray for him and for Family Radio’s ministries around the world that are biblical and faithful.
But before we get too serious, please take a look at this VIDEO which shows Harold Camping’s reaction to his failed prophecy.
How might we best pray for Harold Camping?
1. We should pray that he would publicly repent and refuse to make excuses, claim he had crunched the numbers wrong, or miscalculated. With every news outlet he should quote Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” He should spend his final days and years sharing the gospel with others and permanently resign from the prophecy business.
2. We should pray for all who work for Family Radio and their families. These will be difficult days for them to identify themselves as “employees” of Camping. Rather than defend their boss, they should quickly acknowledge that he was wrong and re-focus their energies on recovering Family Radio’s ministries from this eschatological scandal.
3. We should pray for all our unsaved friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers who will use this occasion to mock at or at least ignore the genuine claims of Jesus Christ on their lives. How we believers behave can cause the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme His name. Might I suggest that for the next few days we can engage our friends in a conversation that begins something like this: ”Aren’t you glad that Harold Camping was wrong about the end of the world? What are your thoughts about the end of the world when it does take place?”
4. Lastly, may I suggest that we pray for ourselves? Most of us find this life way too comfortable to even consider the next life. We cover over our needs with the trinkets of this world, forgetting that He has “put eternity in our hearts” (Ecc. 3:11). C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself a desire which nothing in this world satisfies, the most logical explanation is I was made for another world.” This world is important, but it is fallen and will one day be destroyed. We should live our lives with those values in mind.
Discussion questions: If you found yourself sitting next to Mr. Camping on a three-hour flight, what would you say to him? Would you offer to pray for him? How will you use his failed prophecy as an opening to share the gospel with someone today?