by Dr. Tim LaHaye
Never in all the years that I taught Bible prophecy have I been interviewed by so many in the media about a potential date for the end of the world as I was during the days leading up to Harold Camping’s prediction of May 21st as the “Judgment Day” to be followed by the end of the world in October. Obviously Camping was 100 percent wrong. God’s Word clearly says: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
Camping is a good example of those who spiritualize or allegorize Bible prophecy. When they interpret the Bible in this way, they are always wrong! In this case not only was he wrong about the date of the supposed end of the world, but he seemed also to merge the judgment and the rapture together. The truth is they are at least seven years apart. The rapture will come first when Jesus fulfills His promise found in John 14:1-3, where He promises to come again after He prepares a place for us (His followers). His crucifixion paid for the sins of all mankind, and those who accept this undeserving gift of forgiveness and become believers in His death and His resurrection for they will be taken to His Father’s house in heaven. The end of the world as we know it won’t come until He returns in power as the King of Kings to set up His millennial Kingdom on this earth. This won’t happen until after the seven-year tribulation ,– which Jesus warned us to avoid (Matt. 24:21).
The sad part of the media hysteria of Camping’s predictions is that it may cause those who do not yet follow Christ to lose confidence in the Christian message that the time WILL come when Jesus actually does call His believers to Himself, and they won’t be ready. Any serious student of Bible prophecy knows that it could be very soon. There are more signs that Jesus could come today than at any other time in history. This is why everyone should examine his own heart to make certain he has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of His life so when He does come, he WILL NOT BE LEFT BEHIND!
For those of us called to teach the prophetic Word of God and to all Christians In fact, Camping’s insistence on setting a date is an embarrassment. Having demonstrated that he was wrong three times, he now has the audacity to set a fourth date, October 21st. “Don’t be deceived, God is not mocked!” One thing is certain, Jesus is coming at a set time and day and hour known only to the Heavenly Father. What is important is that you have accepted Him as the only Savior who can bring you to the Father for He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.