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Rapture on May 21, 2011? Nonsense.
I am a believing Christian. I believe in the truthfulness of Scripture. The Scripture talks clearly about that, which has been lately in the news, the rapture of the Church:
"But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Thess. 4:13-18 (NKJV).
Catholics don’t seem to believe that this will happen. However, those who take the Bible at its word, and don’t attempt to use sophistry to muck it up, believe that this will happen. I am among those believers. The Book of Revelation talks of a seven-year period of judgment upon this world. Some Christians believe that the Rapture heralds the beginning of this period of judgment, others believe that it occurs at the halfway point, as marked by the "abomination of desolation," still others believe that it happens at the end of that time period. That is not a point of heresy or orthodoxy; it is a point of debate.
However, Harold Camping, the leader of Family Radio, a putatively evangelical Christian group, has predicted that the rapture happens on May 21, 2011. Camping and his followers misread 2 Peter 3:8, which states that a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day to the Lord God Almighty. this verse, however, is talking of the timelessness of the Almighty, and is not intended to be a cryptographic primer for calculating the date of Jesus’ return. In fact, Camping has gone nonsensically far afield, because Jesus Christ Himself said:
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."
Matthew 24:36 (NKJV)
"Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."
Matthew 25:13 (NKJV).
Camping also predicted that the rapture was to come in 1994, but that fizzled and he apologized for a "mathematical error." Scripture has another account for someone who predicts that God Almighty will do X and it does not come to pass:
"And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him."
Deuteronomy 18:21-22 (NKJV).
Camping’s and his words are not to be feared. For if you believe on Jesus as your savior and trust only in Him and not your own works, you are saved even if the rapture happens as he predicts. However, I believe that Camping was wrong once, and once is enough to know that Camping speaks presumptuously.
Now if and when this does not come to pass, what will happen is that Camping will be conflated with Bible-believing Christians, and the name of Jesus will be sullied. People will go further down the road of thinking that Christians are crackpots and will reject Jesus, to their own eternal destruction.
Camping may mean well, but he has strayed off the reservation. He has wrongly predicted the rapture once before. If he’s right, then I’ll apologize to him as we’re caught up into the air. However, I believe that the likely scenario will be different.
The Bible is true and real. Read Matthew 24 for Jesus’ account of the end of the end times, which is truly imminent. Then understand that you are able to be saved from that. The rapture is a real thing that will happen in the future. Camping, however, is not to be trusted, based on the words of the very Holy Bible he purports to decode.