At first I was quite angry with Harold Camping for his false prophecies, for misrepresenting true Christianity, and for all the potential harm his ministry may be causing. But now, seeing the stir of people and the interest it has created, I think that maybe even this false prophet will do some good—praise God! He knows how to bring good out of something false.
I call myself an evangelical, conservative Christian, but I don’t believe what Harold Camping is teaching. He is a false Prophet. There are some things he says that are true; but, when he makes these false predictions about the day the rapture will take place, and uses the Word to back it up, he is twisting scripture to fit his own purposes—whatever they are.
I won’t spend time here showing you all the things that he has said that are false. There are others who have already exposed him. If you want to see those things click on http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/harold_camping.htm.
There are many Christians out there who will give you a right view of prophecy, with a correct interpretation of prophetical scriptures. A few of them I like are: John Walvoord, J. Dwight Pentecost, Mark Hitchcock, David Larson, and John MacArthur. These men will tell you in their teaching that there is a rapture, but we don’t know when it will be. No one knows the day or the hour of this event except God.
Harold has told you that that day is May 21st. Hey, that’s today! You know Jesus could come today, but it won’t be because Harold predicted it. Only God know when it will be, and He has not revealed it to us in His Word.
Here Is The Truth From The Bible About The Rapture
1. The rapture is an event when all believers will be supernaturally taken up to heaven (I explain this in detail in point 3). In my understanding, we will be taken up just before a time of judgment on the earth lasting 7 years (described in Rev. 6-19; I will not take the time here to explain my view on this, except to point out that during this time of tribulation, described in Revelation 6-19, there is absolutely no mention of the church). We will be taken in order to escape the judgment meant for those left on the earth that refuse to believe in God and in His Son. For God did not appoint us (believers) to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9). Therefore, all those who are not raptured will face 7 years of intense tribulation (which is then followed by 1000 years when Christ rules on the earth with His saints, Rev. 20:1-6).
2. Only God knows when the rapture will occur. Matthew 24:36 tells us, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (NASU). Harold Camping is telling us he knows the day and the hour. But here in the Bible it says no one knows; only God the Father knows.
But we do have some clues as to when (to show us that the time is near) He will come. The Bible gives us many signs for His coming. One big sign is that false prophets will rise and will try to deceive us (Matt. 24:11, 24)—people like Harold Camping (so at least we can thank Harold for being a sign to us). And there are many other signs that show us that His return is near. Here are a few:
- Wars and rumors of wars (Matt. 24:6)
- Famines (Matt. 24:7)
- Pestilences (Matt. 24:7)
- Earthquakes in various places (Matt. 24:7)
- Lawlessness (Matt. 24:12)
- A whole list of things from 2 Tim. 3:1-5: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”
Now I know that there have always been these things (these signs), but the key thing to remember is that there will be an increase of these things. Jesus pointed out to us that it will be like birth pangs or labor pains (Matt. 24:8). Just as the pains of child birth increase in intensity and are closer together means that the baby is soon to be born, in the same way, when the signs of His coming increase and are more frequent, this means that His coming is nearer.
3. The details of the rapture are made clear to us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
1 Thess 4:16-18
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Here are 5 details of the rapture we see from this passage:
- The Lord Jesus will descend from heaven. He will come for the purpose of bringing those believers that are His own to heaven—to a place that He has prepared for them (Jn. 14:1-3).
- This event will be quite spectacular. Verse 16 says that there will be a shout, a voice of the archangel, and a trumpet blast. I’m not sure what the purposes of these things are. I’m not sure these sounds will even be heard by us, since we know that this event is a mystery—sort of a secret event (1 Cor. 15:51). I have a feeling that maybe they are symbolic of this great event, or maybe they are signals to the angels who will participate in this event.
- In that spectacular moment all dead believers will be resurrected up out of their graves and will rise up to meet the Lord Jesus. Since their spirits are already with the Lord, what ever is left of their dead bodies will be raised, made new and immortal, and will be joined to their spirits.
- Then, after those dead believers are resurrected and are carried to heaven, next, all those believers that are alive on the earth will also be taken up to heaven. I don’t know how long after the first group is taken up that the second group (those still alive) are taken up, but I think that it will be a very short time. The actual resurrection of the dead believers will be very fast. In 1 Cor. 15: 52 it states that it will be “in a moment, in the twinkling if an eye.” That’s fast. Very fast! I would think that those who are alive at that time, that their taking up will be very fast too. And when they are taken up they will receive new bodies too. That could be me! I could be alive when He comes!
- Where will we go? Verse 17 says that we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So those who are alive on the earth will be taken up and will meet those who were previously taken up. And so we all will be together and will meet the Lord in the air. And wherever that is –“in the air” and “in the clouds,”—we will be with the Lord. For how long? Always. We will always, from that time on, be physically with the Lord.
Verse 18 is for all of us who are Christians. We are to comfort one another with these words. What words? That He is coming soon. That the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Also Christians, be aware of the time and what is going on in the world. Don’t be deceived by false prophets.
And pray. Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41).
Are you ready to meet the Lord? I welcome your comments.