As all other false prophecies reach their inevitable and shameful demise, so to has Harold Camping’s May 21, 2011 Judgment Day prediction failed to deliver on its promise. So the question is, “what happens next?” Will Mr. Camping and his fellow “Campingites” admit they were in error? Will they try to set a new date? What will happen to all of his disappointed and disillusioned followers who gave up everything they had for the belief that today was in fact the “end of the world”? Can we still trust the Bible? Is Jesus really coming back?
I don’t know what will become of Harold Camping and his followers, but I do pray that God would grant repentance to Mr. Camping, and that all those who were deceived into following his teaching would see the truth of the Scriptures as it is revealed in the Scriptures and not by Mr. Camping. In spite of the ridiculousness of the whole matter, I exhort all fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for all those who were associated with this organization, and to use this as an opportunity to share the Gospel with others.
Can we still trust the Bible? Absolutely! God’s word has stood the test of time; endured intense scrutiny; and remains the most influential and attested book of all antiquity. Actually, Harold Camping’s failed prophetic claims should increase our confidence in the Bible rather than diminish it. And why is that? Because the Bible itself affirms that these type of things will actually happen: “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction,as they do the other Scriptures (2 Peter 3:15-16).”
So if you have lost confidence in the infallibility and inerrancy of God’s word because of Harold Camping, I highly admonish you to see this as an affirmation of the truthfulness of God’s word as it accurately describes individuals who would take the Bible and distort it to their own destruction.
Jesus will return, and he will return in judgment and glory! He can return at 7:oopm tonight or maybe years from now, but the point is that we should not concern ourselves with trying to speculate when He will return. If the incarnate God did not know when the day or the hour would come neither will Harold Camping nor any one of us know. But the scriptures clearly teach He will in fact return, which gives us more of an incentive to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel before His glorious return.
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” -Revelation 22:20