Harold Camping (Photo Credit)
Well, according to Harold Camping anyway. Have you seen the billboards? Or the crazy signs? Right next to a Sleepy's billboard near my home there's a rather large one, so I see the message quite often. From NPR:
"Brian Haubert grabs some pamphlets and marches toward the flea market in Palmyra, N.J. Armed with a poster that trumpets Judgment Day on May 21, 2011, he braces for rejection. Announcing God's wrath is not always a popular message.
"I've been called a heretic," says Haubert, a 33-year-old actuary. "I've been told I read the wrong Bible. And then there's the occasional person who seems to be genuinely interested," he says.
His friend and fellow believer, Kevin Brown, uses a gentler approach, not confronting people or engaging in conversation, just politely handing out Judgment Day pamphlets.
Brown, who owns his own nutrition and wellness business, is soft-spoken and polished, not someone you'd imagine giving away doomsday tracts. But he says the clock is ticking.
"People need to know," Brown says, "and God commands us to share the Gospel about the end of the world. He says if we do not share the Gospel then their blood will be on our hands, whether they believe or not. God's been moving me to do this."
Spreading The Word
Haubert and Brown are two of a small — or not so small, who knows? — army of Christians sounding the alarm. They drive caravans and put up billboards, hand out tracts and try to convince friends and family that Judgment Day is upon us. Brown says this message is laced throughout the Bible, but only some can decode it. It will happen this way:
On May 21, "starting in the Pacific Rim at around the 6 p.m. local time hour, in each time zone, there will be a great earthquake, such as has never been in the history of the Earth," he says. The true Christian believers — he hopes he's one of them — will be "raptured": They'll fly upward to heaven. And for the rest?
"It's just the horror of horror stories," he says, "and on top of all that, there's no more salvation at that point. And then the Bible says it will be 153 days later that the entire universe and planet Earth will be destroyed forever."
Most Bible scholars note that even Jesus said he had no idea when Judgment Day would come. But May 21 believers like Haubert are unfazed.
"I've crunched the numbers, and it's going to happen," he says.
Haubert says the Bible contains coded "proofs" that reveal the timing. For example, he says, from the time of Noah's flood to May 21, 2011, is exactly 7,000 years. Revelations like this have changed his life.
"I no longer think about 401(k)s and retirement," he says. "I'm not stressed about losing my job, which a lot of other people are in this economy. I'm just a lot less stressed, and in a way I'm more carefree."
He's tried to warn his friends and family — they think he's crazy. And that saddens him.
"Oh, it's very hard," he says. "I worry about friends and family and loved ones. But I guess more recently, I'm just really looking forward to it."
Haubert is 33 and single. Brown is married with several young children, and none of them shares his beliefs. It's caused a rift with his wife — but he says that, too, was predicted in the Bible.
"God says, 'Do you love husband or wife over me? Do you love son or daughter over me?' There is a test. There is a trial here that the believers are going through. It's a fiery trial."
As May 21 nears, Brown says he feels as if he's on a "roller coaster." What if he is raptured but his family is left behind?
"I'm crying over my loved ones one minute; I'm elated the next minute," he says. "It's all over the place."
Read the rest here. So are Camping's teachings. He has foretold the date of the Rapture before; the last date he gave was for 1994. I'm actuallysurprised, in this day and age of the Internet, that so many people have been taken in by this false prophet. Google his name and a trillion hits will come up about his past failed prophesies. So what gives?
Last fall, Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff dedicated part of a show to exposing Camping's false teachings. Go here to listen.