Saturday, 22 October 2011
Harold Camping Errs on Prediction of the End of the World – Once Again
Harold Camping predicted that the world would end on October 21st. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Harold Camping made headlines with his prediction that Jesus would return on May 21st and that the world would end five months after that or on October 21st.
Mr. Camping used his date for Noah’s Flood to calculate the rapture. He said that one day in the Bible corresponds to a thousand years in human history. He dated the Flood at 4990 B.C. or over 2,500 years earlier than archbishop James Ussher’s traditional computation. According to Camping, May 21st marked the 7,000th year (or the seventh day) after the beginning of the Flood.
Camping appealed to the apostle Peter’s statement: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8, NIV).
However, the apostle did not mean that a day is a thousand years. Instead, he emphasised that God would fulfil His promise and return – in due time:
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. “
Nothing in Peter’s teaching suggests that we can calculate Jesus’ return from the year of the Flood.
Jesus said of His return, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:32-33).
While cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses have predicted erroneous dates for Jesus’ return, Christians have not been called to speculate on dates that they cannot know.