End of Days?
Doing anything this Saturday? I’ve actually got a faculty meeting with a number of Religion professors at University of Phoenix. Should be an interesting one, too. Most of us in the greater Sacramento area have seen the Family Radio billboards advertising Harold Camping’s Judgment Day prophecy: Jesus will return on May 21, 2011 and the world will come to an end on October 21, 2011.
And it’s not just a local thing. You can see Camping’s message around Chicago, New York, Washington D.C and even on the streets of Manila in the Philippines—right where I used to work as a missionary professor.
Save the Date?
Jesus said no one knows when he’s coming back (Matt. 24:36-39). So if anyone tells me to “save the date” for this, I’m pretty skeptical. On top of that, Camping predicted the end of the world in 1994, too. If you’ve set a date for the end of the world before, I’m not gonna be taking you seriously (Deut. 18:21-22). But most people aren’t buying the warnings.
Still, here’s what Christians are worried about: How many of his followers are going to be devastated this weekend? People have sold houses, cars, cashed in their retirement and spent their life savings to get this doomsday prediction out. How many will conclude the Bible is false or even reject Jesus because of what Camping’s been telling them? BTW, Camping also says Jesus is actually Michael the Archangel.
Protecting the Flock
This is just one example of why we need more accessible apologetics training in our churches—to protect the church from false teachers:
- Jesus warned about false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15-23; 24:23-24).
- Paul warned about “savage wolves” and those who preach “another gospel” (Acts 20:28-31; 2 Cor. 11:3-5, 13-15; See also Gal. 1:6-9, 2:4, 1 Tim. 1:3-7).
- Peter warned about false teachers and those who twist Scripture (2 Pet. 2:1-3, 3:16-17).
Could this weekend mark the end of days for Camping’s teachings? I’ll be checking the buzz online… after my Saturday meeting.
Interested in critical reviews of Camping’s claims? Check out these links:
- The End of the World According to Harold Camping by W. Robert Godfrey (President, Westminster Seminary California)
- The End is Near? The False Teaching of Harold Camping by Albert Mohler (President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)
- May 21, 2011? Judgment Day? Compares Camping’s views with Scripture
How would you define a cult? Ever wonder why people join cults? Discover helpful definitions and learn more about these new religious movements and the cults of Christianity. Check out the updated version of Walter Martin’s classic work, “The Kingdom of the Cults.” This was one of the first books I ever read on cults. Highly recommended.