Harold Camping is Right, Judgment Day Approaches For Thousands!

Harold Camping’s date for judgment day is only three days away. While it can be really exciting to think that the Lord is about to return to set things right, date setting has a dishonorable pedigree and a 100% failure rate. Given its history, it is rather astonishing that folks still engage in it. In the interest of being charitable, I can sympathize with why someone might be tempted into doing it once. But Harold Camping should know better as he has failed on multiple occasions. This not only discredits serious Christianity, it has become deadly serious.  First, a brief survey, Harold Camping proclaimed the Lord’s return would be in 1994.

“We have also discovered that that the last day will take place between September 15 and September 27.”[1]

In the same book he also wrote:

When the pastor and the teachers in a congregation teach the ideas of men – even though they may use biblical language and quote verses – if what they teach is not firmly based in the Word of God, then it is lies…[2]

Does Camping learn his lesson? No he writes yet another book and proclaims the Lord’s return will be on May 21, 2011. He also gives interviews, stating it as a certainty.

God has given sooo much information in the Bible about this, and so many proofs, and so many signs, that we know it is absolutely going to happen without any question at all. There’s nothing in the Bible that God has ever prophesied — there’s many things that he prophesied would happen and they always have happened — but there’s nothing in the Bible that holds a candle to the amount of information to this tremendous truth of the end of the world. I would be absolutely in rebellion against God if I thought anything other than it is absolutely going to happen without any question.[3]

With that in mind the Bible teaches that God holds teachers to higher standard:

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (Jas 3:1)

The Hmong are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. In Vietnam, there has been an explosive missionary success in th last ten years and Hmong Christians now number upwards of 175,000.[4] Starved for biblical teaching, many were able to receive the radio signal of Harold Camping’s radio network. Being uneducated and credulous, they wholeheartedly believed Camping’s May 21, 2011 date.  The atheistic communist authorities had other ideas.

Hundreds of Hmong Christians are said to have been gunned down by security forces in Vietnam after the group had gathered near a mountain to await the rapture and return of Jesus Christ. The group of believers apparently learned of the rapture’s timing from Family Radio broadcaster Harold Camping.[5]

Was Camping’s heat pierced? Did he repent? No… when this failed, he defended it:

“We had all of our dates correct,” Camping insisted, clarifying that he now understands that Christ’s May 21 arrival was “a spiritual coming” ushering in the last five months before the final judgment and destruction.”[6]

When questioned about all the misery and chaos he has caused, he demurs, “I don’t have any responsibility,” Camping insisted.  “I don’t have responsibility for anybody’s life. I only teach what the Bible says.”[7] He also equivocates that the world will end in fiery destruction on October 21, 2011.

On June 13, 2011, Harold Camping has a stroke and is hospitalized. Is judgment really close? Of course it is (Jas 4:14)! Statistics demonstrate that some 154,889 people die every single day.[8]  In truth, every day is judgment day for thousands. God is a righteous judge and he cannot give sin a pass. The only way to be pardoned is through Jesus Christ (2 Co 5:21; Ro 10:9). I am not making any predictions but I prayerfully suggest that Harold Camping repent before October 21.

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Pe 4:17)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.(2 Co 5:10)


Please take a look at these other fine essays by my brothers in the Christian Apologetics Alliance:








[1] Harold Camping, 1994? (NY: Vantage Pr, 1992), 525.  See it here.

[2] Ibid, 163.

[3] “A Conversation With Harold Camping, Prophesier of Judgment Day” New York, http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/05/a_conversation_with_harold_cam.html (accessed 18/2011).

[5] Nicloa Menzie, “Harold Camping Linked to Huge ‘Massacre’ of 100’s of Hmong Christians”http://www.christianpost.com/news/harold-camping-linked-to-hmong-christians-massacre-in-vietnam-52351/ (accessed 10/18/2011).  Also see http://www.unpo.org/article/12921

[6] Elizabeth Tenety, “Harold Camping reaffirms October date for the end of the world, says May 21 date was ‘invisible judgment day’,” Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/harold-camping-reaffirms-october-date-for-the-end-of-the-world-says-may-21-date-was-invisible-judgment-day/2011/05/24/AFVsMhAH_story.html (accessed 10/18/2011).

[7] Elizabeth Tenety, “‘Rapture’ evangelist Harold Camping suffers stroke” Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/rapture-evangelist-harold-camping-suffers-stroke/2011/06/13/AGlzYJTH_blog.html (accessed 10/18/2011).

[8]The CIA World Fact Book.  https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html

A Sobering Message to Comet Elenin 9/29 Date Setters – Repent

First, I want to assure you that I long for the Lord’s appearance and I believe it is near. I also think there are good arguments to support the idea. Unfortunately, there are also some really bad ones. I think it is neat that the constellations are lining up as Revelation 12 describes on 9/29 because I think it is the real birthday of Jesus but I would never use that as predictor for Christ’s return. I confess that I used to get excited by many of the various date setting schemes. However, I was convicted by the Spirit of God when I saw that they always fail and lead to great error and confusion. I repented and I refuse to set dates or make predictions. To say the time is near is enough. John the Baptist came as a prophet declaring the Day of the Lord. His message was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”(Mt 3:2). Will you listen?

Harold Camping recently set a date and when it passed, he simply moved it forward. This is not new behavior as he did the same thing back in 1994.

Harold Camping, in his book Are You Ready?, predicted the Lord would return in September 1994. The book was full of numerology that added up to 1994 as the date of Christ’s return.  (rapture ready.com)

The only reason someone does not repent when they have advocated a date and it passes is pride. Pride is the root of sinfulness. CS Lewis famously wrote:

Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind. (Lewis, Mere Christianity, 122)

If you are right and Jesus returns then Hallelujah but I hope you are prepared to humble yourself when nothing happens. So what are you going to do if nothing happens on 9/29?  Will you be like Harold Camping make excuses and change the date or will you admit you are wrong and repent of date setting? Repent means you completely turn from it. What I would like to suggest is that you simply learn your lesson and never engage in it again. I pray you will swallow your pride, turn to Jesus and repent. Also, do as I am doing and teach others not to do it. It is your duty as a disciple. This sort of thing has caused so many problems for Christians, it is not harmless, it ruins lives!

For the past month, reports have been pouring out of Vietnam that an unknown number of Hmong Christians have been killed, attacked, or arrested by military forces.  The Vietnamese government has closed off outside access to the Muong Nhe District in Dien Bien, where an estimated 10,000 Hmong Christians from the Central Highlands and Dien Bien have been congregating since late April.  Insiders who are able to leak information past government forces and media controls have reported that as many as 70 Hmong have been killed so far, though exact numbers cannot be confirmed.  These Hmong have also been brutally attacked and arrested by the Vietnamese government, while most are fleeing into hiding to spare their lives.  Meanwhile the outside world is unable to send in help.

But why did this even take place?  What led 10,000 Hmong Christians to come together in peace yet face such a brutal and violent end?  Answer: Harold Camping.  Worldwide media have reported on the gathering of Hmong in this region, and ICC sources have confirmed the underlying premise of these gatherings to be primarily due to Mr. Camping’s influence.


Knowing that date setting leads to this sort of thing should pierce your heart and lead to repentance.

See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

(Mt 24:25-27)

Please see the Date Setter’s Diary at Rapture Ready.com


2nd Thessalonians and the Camping Debacle of May 21, 2011

If you knew that the end of the world was tomorrow, would you go to work? Probably not… What about if it was in six months or a year? How sure would you have to be to sell everything to don a placard warning the world, “The end is nigh”?  What if you were wrong?  Well that’s precisely what happened with many of Harold Camping’s followers.

I live in NC and I distinctly remember a news story from last year about a local couple who sold everything and bought an RV painted with “May 21, 2011 Judgment Day!” to drive cross country warning each successive town.[1] People even sold their homes and cashed in their kids’ college funds!  It’s pretty tragic. I can only imagine how they feel now. I wonder if their faith in the Gospel has been shaken. Still yet, if they had studied scripture, they should have known better.

In studying 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, I am struck at the remarkable relevance of the first century situation to the recent Harold Camping debacle. Located in the northwest corner of the Aegean Sea, Thessalonica is eponymously entitled after Alexander the Great’s half-sister.[2] Acts 17 reports that on Paul’s initial visit, his preaching in the synagogue led to many converts albeit causing the unbelieving Jews to riot in protest.  The unbelieving Jews brought charges of subversion against Paul, Silas and Timothy. Interestingly, the trumped up charges could have stemmed from eschatology. Predicative prophesying had actually been made a capital crime in the Roman Empire due the tendency for it to cause political unrest. [3] Dio Cassius’ Roman History records the edict by Augustus in AD 11:

5 Besides these events at that time, the seers were forbidden to prophesy to any person alone or to prophesy regarding death even if others should be present. Yet so far was Augustus from caring about such matters in his own case that he set forth to all in an edict the aspect of the stars at the time of his own birth.  Lvi 25.5

In fact, Tiberius upped the ante and made it punishable by death in A.D. 16:

8 But as for all the other astrologers and magicians and such as practiced divination in any other way whatsoever, he put to death those who were foreigners and banished all the citizens that were accused of still employing the art at this time after the previous decree by which it had been forbidden to engage in any such business in the city; but to those that obeyed immunity was granted.  Lvii 15.8

Good thing for Camping we aren’t under Roman law! Because Paul had instructed the Thessalonians on the predicted return of Christ, his eschatological preaching could have easily been twisted by his enemies into such a charge. Fortunately, Paul slipped out of town to Berea, then on to Athens and Corinth where he received a report from Timothy about the Thessalonians which prompted the first letter (1 Thess. 3:6). Paul wrote in response to encourage them during the ensuing persecution and trials. He also wrote to clear up some misconceptions about his motives and doctrinal matters, primarily eschatology.

In the first letter, it seems some new converts had begun to worry about their loved ones who had already passed away prior to the return of Christ. Would they miss out? He assured them that they would rise first and that those still alive would join them in the air (1 Thess  4:17). This is the famous rapture passage from the Latin rapturo rendering of the Greek harpazo for “caught up.” Additionally, he admonished to abstain from sexual immorality and the proper use of spiritual gifts.  However, it appears that a first century date setter caused a ruckus shortly after Paul’s letter was received.

Accordingly, the  second letter to the Thessalonians seems to be a response correcting the misinformation from a forged letter bearing Paul’s name which led them to conclude that the day of the Lord had already occurred (2 Thess 2:2).[4] Perhaps it was an invisible judgment, Camping style? Paul assures them that it had not and that they would know when it was truly near because of a preceding apostasy and appearance of Antichrist (2 Thess 2:3). Apparently, eschatological fervor had led some to quit their jobs as well ( 2 Thess 3:11). Accordingly, Paul admonished them about a proper work ethic (2 Thess 3:12). This is exactly what occurred with many Camping followers who quit their jobs, drove cross country in RVs and foolishly financed billboards. This puts Harold Camping in the same category as the forger who usurped Paul with his bogus letter.  The Lord made it clear, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mk 13:32).

This sign appeared off I-40 in NC on May 22, 2011.


[1] “End of Days in May? Believers enter final stretch” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40885541/ns/us_news-life/t/end-days-may-believers-enter-final-stretch/ (accessed 6/9/2011).

[2] Thomas D. Lea and David Alan Black, The New Testament : Its Background and Message, 2nd ed. (Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 377.

[3] F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977), 226.

[4] Lea and Black, The New, 380.