May 21, 2011 has come and gone, and Harold Camping has once again misled his faithful followers on Family Radio-- only this time he has also demonstrated beyond all doubt that he is a false prophet. His failed 1994 prophecy of the end of the world came with a question mark, but not this time. Repeatedly, Camping has predicted that the rapture of the true believers, and that judgment upon the wicked, would occur on May 21st, based on what he claims the Bible has revealed. Since the Bible is God’s inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16), we must assume that Camping was speaking in God’s name when he insisted, time after time, that May 21st is Judgment Day. Additionally, according to Family Radio’s Bible answer man, God had opened the eyes of His elect to see this great truth about the time of the end, the way of salvation, as well as many other doctrines which are peculiar to Camping’s cult. But what does the Scripture really say? It states very clearly that false prophets are easy to identify: “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:21,22 NKJV).
Mr. Camping has now taken his place in a long list of men and women claiming to speak in God’s name who have come and gone, along with their failed prophecies. On Thursday, May 19th, I heard Mr. Camping give his farewell address at the conclusion of Open Forum. I can only hope that the program is now a closed forum and that all those who have been deceived by his arrogant assertions and wild speculations will humble themselves and seek out good, Bible-believing, Christ-honoring churches in which they can learn God’s Word in the place that God has established as “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Whatever excuse Harold Camping presents as to what went wrong is not acceptable. He has vilified and condemned churches and pastors worldwide with his teaching that Satan has been ruling in the church since 1988. This was a diabolical teaching which brought great division in families and led multitudes astray, causing them to abandon the very place God established for their spiritual growth so they could discern truth from error (Ephesians 4:11-16). This is not to say that every church claiming to be Christian is doctrinally sound, but that there are many which do remain faithful to the essential truths of the faith. It is also a recognition that God did not give the Bible to any man or select group of men, but to His church, over which Jesus rules, not Satan: “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18 NKJV).
Tragically, Harold Camping’s teaching that true believers must flee the church leaves them feeling disillusioned, empty, wounded and betrayed. They are the ones who have been “left behind”. What they must remember is that they have not been betrayed or misled by God but by a man who fits the very description of the kind of spiritual predators against whom Paul warned the church of Ephesus: “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29, 30 NKJV) .
May the Lord be gracious to all those who were drawn away from God to follow this man. May they also know that they are welcome back into the household of faith (Galatians 6:10), where God’s people gather to worship Him Who alone is worthy of all glory and honor, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Keep trusting in Jesus,