Rapture Countdown

I’ve been debating with myself all week. Should I prepare a sermon for Sunday or not? I mean after all, if the rapture occurs on Saturday, May 21, what’s the use?

A May 21st rapture is the prediction of Family Radio’s “Bible Guru,” Harold Camping. Camping predicted the rapture in 1994 but left himself an out by entitling his book 1994? You can do a lot with a question mark, especially if you’re out to deceive people. And I believe that is what Camping is out to do. I’ve never written about Mr. C or Family Radio, but today is the day. After all, I may not be able to write about it after tomorrow.

Camping has been fixated with Bible prophecy for many years but sadly doesn’t have a clue about how to read Scripture. He has a twisted mental sieve through which he sifts every verse. His teaching about the second coming of Christ is weird to say the least (based on his calendrical calculations and the misinterpretation of figures of speech—he must have slept through his high school English class that dealt with simile and metaphor), and the tragic fact is that many will be destroyed emotionally, spiritually, and financially when they wake up on Sunday morning. My greatest fear is that people will take their lives over this. After all, if Jesus is coming on May 21 and “the Bible guarantees it” as Camping says, what’s left to trust in when May 22 and 23 and 24 roll around? Family Radio and tomorrow’s rapture prediction is all evidence of people getting their eyes off Christ and following a man.

That’s easy to do for the Family Radio crowd because Camping doesn’t preach Christ. He preaches a false gospel, and that troubles me more than his arrogant date-setting. Camping denies justification by faith. For him, salvation is by regeneration alone. If you read his materials or listen to his open forum (neither of which I advise), he never tells anyone to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He tells them to cry out for mercy and hope for the best. He turns people in upon themselves to look for evidence of salvation, for example the ability to understand parables. If understanding the Bible is evidence of salvation, then Mr. C is in serious trouble.

I write all of this advisedly because Camping now teaches that the unsaved will be annihilated. There is no eternal hell. And Jesus didn’t really bear our sins on the cross. His death was only a symbolic act. According to Camping, Jesus already died for our sins and rose again before the foundation of the world. Yes, you read that correctly. Jesus died and rose again twice. When he did it in the flesh, it didn’t do anything. This is the false gospel of Family Radio. This is not the saving message of the Bible. Mr. Camping is on dangerous ground. He won’t be raptured on May 21, but he is an old man soon to stand before his maker. What will he say? “I understand the parables.”

That Camping gets a hearing and a following is no surprise. “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” (2 Peter 2:1-3).

3 Responses to “Rapture Countdown”

  1. Jim Cross says:

    Rhett,

    Good morning brother! I am overjoyed to read your blog. You have had the best answer that I heave heard yet to this false gospel. May the Lord continue to richly bless you and your minstry for His glory.

    YBIC,
    Jim Cross

  2. Tim J says:

    If I was convinced that the world was going to end on a specific date I would turn around and start evangelizing like crazy (which I should be doing more than I am). The single thing that I found most troubling about Harold Camping and his followers was that they were not passionate about evangelism. Sure they wanted everyone to know that the world would end, but they were not passionate about telling people how to be saved aside from “pray for mercy.” The preaching of the gospel is my litmus test for God’s presence in a movement.

  3. last days says:

    This is a topic of great interest to me, so I’m glad to have found your post. You have a way with words. Thanks.