A religious group lead by Harold Campingbased in Raleigh, NC has shocked the world when they announced that the “Rapture” is going to take place on May 21, 2011. In a recent statement, Camping strongly asserts, “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment.”
Camping is an 89-year-old retired engineer and self-proclaimed prophet. He and his group strongly believe that Jesus Christ will return on May 21, 2011 to judge the world, and the world as we know it will come to an end. According to Camping, his group’s claim is supported by “his” Biblical calendar calculation. This calendar was founded on the scriptures, which is also recognized by Israel in 1948.
The Rapture is the term used when Christians will be gathered together in the air to meet Christ. On the other hand, the Rapture is no where to be found in the Bible. The actual Biblical passage used to support the idea of the Rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17:
“.. and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
This passage teaches that the believers will be taken up to the heaven. Everyone who remains on earth will experience a period of torment (the great tribulation) and concludes with the end of time.
Camping’s group has been rampantly promoting this idea at all means. According to his group, the Rapture will take place on May 11, 2011 and the end of the world will be on October 21, 2011. They’ve utilized all forms of advertisement including billboards, bus stop benches, caravans of RV’s and pamphlets. The group has received a generous amount of media exposure and was able to tickle the interest of the masses.
The end-of-the-world craze
Camping’s prediction is just one of the hundreds and thousands of prophecies about the end of the world and judgment day. Ever since, history reveals countless prophets preaching about judgment day and Christ’s return. One of these popular predictions is by William Miller. Miller is a Baptist leader who predicted the end for October 22, 1844. Obviously, the world did not end that time and thus it became known as the Great Disappointment among his followers. Some of Miller’s followers have moved on and founded the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The most recently hyped prophecy is the 2012 prediction. According to believers, December 21, 2012 marks the end of the Mayan Calendar and a new count begins. History reveals that the Mayan race was able to predict accurately the dates of significant astronomical events like solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, and others. The Mayan’s incredible knowledge of astronomy and of the celestial body has had several experts believe in the authenticity of the 2012 claim.
Nevertheless, the Bible claims that nobody knows when the Rapture and the end of the world will occur or will it ever occur. Christianity teaches that even Jesus do not know when He will return.
The Earth has undergone through changes over the past billion years. Every species that ruled or dominated our fair lands has come to its extinction such as that of the dinosaurs. Whether the prophecy of Camping will come true or not, humans have to face the fact that we will all perish eventually. Either you die in your sleep or be murdered by an addict, we all have to face death in due time.