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THE DAY AFTER! HOW TO PRAY FOR HAROLD CAMPING

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?

 
 

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NO DAYS LEFT! Why Harold Camping Should Return Everybody’s Money and Retire!

According to Harold Camping, octogenarian Family Radio station owner and self-taught Bible scholar, the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus should have happened by now. If you’re reading this, you’re either not one of the elect, or somehow Jesus overlooked you in the rapture, OR Harold Camping was wrong again!

I believe he was wrong again. And he should do at least three things before the day is out:

1.  He should apologize to the Christian family for embarrassing the name of Christ with his arrogant, gnostic, ridiculous calculation that, even though Jesus said we couldn’t know the exact date of His Second Coming, he was sure he knew.  Perhaps he needs to read up on failed predictions by our Seventh-Day Adventist friends, Edgar Whisenant in his Eighty-Eight Reasons Why Jesus Will Return in 1988, and one particularly troubling example from South Korea.  In 1992, Lee Jang Rim, the head of one of some 200 Protestant churches in that country, announced that the rapture would take place on October 28, 1992.  Based on a vision of a sixteen-year-old boy, twenty thousand Korean fundamentalists in South Korea, Los Angeles, and New York City took the prediction seriously.  Hundreds quit their jobs, many left their families, some women unfortunately even had abortions (presumably to make their own raptures easier).  Rim’s church bought costly ads in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.  They urged readers to get ready for the rapture and to refuse to have 666 imprinted in bar code on their foreheads or right hands.

On October 28, one researcher says, “Riot police, plainclothes officers, and reporters crowded outside Korean churches, flanked by fire engines, ambulances, and searchlights. Believers took the failure of the prophecy calmly, and there were no reported riots.  Only sadness. In December 1992 Rim was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for having bilked $4.4 million from his flock. He had invested the money in bonds that didn’t mature until the following year!”

RECENT INTERVIEW ON CAMPING

2.  Camping needs to immediately retire from the ministry and put himself under the spiritual leadership of a local church and their leadership team.  This will be extremely difficult for him to do, especially in light of his cultic understanding that God has abandoned all local churches and that all Christians should disassociate themselves from local congregations.  But he should repent of his bizarre, unbiblical perspective on the local and universal Body of Christ (which He is presently building).  He should step down from radio ministry, turn the microphone and the good work that Family Radio stations do over to others, and humble himself before the family of God worldwide.

3.  He needs to do everything in his power to return every cent which believers have contributed to his ministry based on his wayward predictions of Christ’s Second Coming.  Here is his response to a caller who suggested he do exactly that on May 22nd, 2011:  RETURN MONEY?

He should spend some of his money to place billboards across the USA to undo some of the damage he has caused.  That billboard might look something like this:

Dr. James White HERE  accuses Camping of sliding further and further away from orthodoxy (apparently Camping advocates annihilationism as well as a kind of modalism, denying the deity of Jesus).

Discussion Questions:  How should we pray for Mr. Camping?  Is there any way that the wider Body of Christ can speak the truth in love to him and seek to bring him spiritual health before he leaves this vale of tears by way of death (or Christ’s Second Coming!)?

 

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TWO DAYS TO GO! HAROLD CAMPING’S PREDICTION OF THE 2ND COMING OF JESUS ON MAY 21, 2011

Harold Camping, eighty-year-old California radio preacher and owner of 55 Family Radio stations across the USA, has predicted that THIS COMING SATURDAY, MAY 21, will be the SECOND COMING OF JESUS.  He believes that he has figured out that date — which upsets a lot of the Mayan predictors of 2012! — from calculating the flood of Noah and then arguing that a thousand years is but a day in God’s sight, so when you add 7000 years to Noah’s flood, you come out with Saturday, May 21st, at 6 pm.  [By the way, I loved the special effects of the movie “2012,” but . . . can we talk?  The acting was so bad in that movie — have you ever wanted everybody in the movie TO DIE?!  I confess, that was how I felt.]

One of my friends here was sharing the gospel at Five Points, an area in downtown Columbia, South Carolina, a few weeks ago.  Camping followers were handing out their judgment-is-coming tracts.  They refused to get into conversations with my friend about how one can be saved.  They simply said, “Read the pamphlet!”

Should we warn people about God’s judgment?  Of course!  Should we do anything we can to explain the gospel to those who do not yet know Christ?  Absolutely.  Should we pull out our slide rulers or calculators or crystal balls and dogmatically predict exactly when God’s judgment is coming?  No.

The Lord Jesus Himself said in 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.”  During His incarnation period on earth, Jesus said EVEN HE did not know the day or hour of His Second Coming.  Having ascended to the Father’s right hand, Jesus, of course, knows now when He will return.

Another blogger put it this way:

Harold Camping’s guarantee that Jesus will come back on May 21, 2011 only shows his ignorance of the scripture. He wrongly assumes that Christ’s coming will be 7,000 years after Noah’s flood, something the Bible doesn’t say at at all. So he has no basis for his prediction even if his dating of the flood and its seven thousand year mark are correct. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Mr. Camping’s setting a definite day and hour shows how he rejects Jesus’ clear words and replaces them with his own ideas. Don’t be deceived into believing Jesus won’t come back just because it doesn’t happen on Mr. Camping’s timetable. Whether we go to Jesus after death or he comes for us, he is the judge of everyone whom none can escape (Acts 10:42). He is the Holy one and the Just (Acts 3:14) and those who will not seek him for mercy and bow to his righteous reign now will be in terror when he comes back “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). “This world thinks it’s finished with Jesus Christ when they haven’t even started with him yet.” -Leonard Ravenhill

Discussion Questions:  When May 22nd comes, will you boldly identify yourself as a follower of Jesus Christ — and speak of God’s judgment and mercy?  Let’s not lose this opportunity to share the truth of the gospel with our friends, relatives, and neighbors.

 

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FOUR DAYS TO GO: CAMPING’S PREDICTION ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD

Harold Camping, octogenarian owner of 55 Family Radio stations, has mathematically calculated that the 2nd Coming will occur on May 21st, 2011.  So ……  you and I have four days left on planet earth — if we know Jesus.

Predictions of the timing of the 2nd Coming are almost as old as the New Testament.  But Jesus Himself said, “Of that day and hour no one knows!”  Christians have been routinely disappointed and embarrassed when the predicted rapture hasn’t occurred.

But one day He IS coming — and we should be ready.  Being ready involves being about His business which is to share the Good News of salvation with the world (the Great Commission, Matthew 28) and to show His love to all (the Great Commandment, Matthew 22).

If you knew you only had four days to go — how would your life change?  When asked that kind of question about the 2nd Coming, Martin Luther said, “I would still plant my apple tree and pay my bills.”  I like his answer.

Discussion questions:  What is wrong with looking forward to Jesus’ 2nd Coming?  How can we obey the Great Commandment and the Great Commission — and still long for His coming?

 

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MAY 21, 2011 COUNTDOWN ALA HAROLD CAMPING

Perhaps you’ve seen a billboard like this around your town.  Harold Camping, Bible teacher and owner of 55 Family Radio stations, believes that he has mathematically figured out when the end of the world is going to take place.

Camping had made an earlier effort at predicting the Second Coming in his book 1994?  Pastor Stephen C. Meyers reviewed 1994? and says:

In his book 1994? Harold Camping states the end of the world may occur this year, somewhere between September 15-17 (p. 531). He does not know the exact day because Scripture says “no man knows the day nor the hour” (Matt. 24:36). But according to Camping we can certainly know the month and the year that Christ will return.

 The main glue that holds Camping’s book together is numerology: that part of ancient mysticism that endeavors to find hidden truths locked in literal termi­nology through numbers. Mystical num bers are the keys that allegedly unlock the hidden truths concealed in literal language. The basic theory this system operates on is that God created a perfect world and a perfect word (the Bible) which exhibit precise numerical and symmetrical design.

 Camping’s interpretation of John 21:1-14 displays his use of numerology. Jesus tells the disciples who were about 200 cubits out in the Sea of Galilee to throw their net on the right side of the boat. The result was a catch of 153 fish. According to Camping the Scriptures are teaching that the 200 cubits repre sent about 2,000 years between the first and second comings of Christ (p. 503). Since Camping states that the most likely date for the birth of Christ is October 4, 7 B.C. when the Jubilee Trumpet allegedly sounded (p. 418), one needs only to add 2,000 years minus one year for the year 0 and out pops 1994. Concerning the 153 fish, Camping points out that the number 153 equals 3 times 3 times 17: “The number three signifies the purpose of God whereas the number seventeen sig­nifies heaven. Thus we can learn that [the] purpose of God is to bring all believers that are caught’ by the Gospel into heaven” (p. 504). Would it not be hermeneutically better to go to Matthew 24 where Jesus clearly teaches about the end of the age instead of trying to mystically find hidden secrets behind clear narrative prose?

Camping was wrong in 1994 and is most likely wrong about May 21, 2011.  I sure hope so.  My daughter celebrates her one-year wedding anniversary on May 22nd, and we’re looking forward to our second grandchild to be born in August.  We’ll blog more on this topic in the coming days — including 88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return in 1988!

Discussion Questions:  Why is date-setting such a seriously misguided venture?  How should the worldwide Body of Christ respond to people like Camping? 

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in endtimes, Theological Essay

 

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