Averting Apocalypse Later: October 21, 2011

Submitted May 25, 2011

Why do some people continually fall for repeated postponement dates predicting the "end of the world?" According to Harold Camping in his show "Open Forum," a brand new judgment day threatens us all in the autumn. Why do some continue to believe his prophecies, seemingly ignoring and explaining away past failures?

Why have some of his adherents sold their property, run up their credit cards to the "max" and then quickly spent all of their available cash in anticipation of the now-past "end" on May 21st? Think of it! These poor deluded folks now find their finances in tatters. How totally tragic!

Undoubtedly one could conceive of a number of possible reasons, but one reigns supreme. Some months ago while visiting family in Georgia, I became acquainted with a local Waffle House chef in a small town and introduced him to The Good News magazine. Then on another very recent visit just prior to May 21st, he remarked that Jesus Christ told us in the Gospel accounts that "no one knows the day nor the hour" of His second coming and the end of this age (Matthew:24:36, Matthew:24:42-44; Mark:13:32-33).

Over time he had gotten to know his Bible. Today a fairly substantial number of Americans probably don't even own a Bible. Consider the results of a March 2011 survey published in the USA Today snapshot column, responding to the declaration: “How Often We Read the Bible.” 53 percent read it at least once a month; 22 percent rarely; 24 percent never (May 24, 2011). And once a month is nowhere near enough time for Bible reading.

According to this Lifeway Research Survey, almost 50 percent of Americans hardly open the Bible, much less seriously read and study its pages. If those who were duped by false prophetic dates had only read and understood the Olivet Prophecy in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, they would have known better.

The Bible constitutes the one book that no person can afford to be without. It is God's inspired instruction book to mankind. Its pages tell us what to watch for as world events develop. Scripture gives us that added dimension of discernment in evaluating the uncertain and dangerous times in which we now live.

As a service in the public interest, the United Church of God publishes free booklets showing the enormous practical value of possessing and using biblical knowledge. Request in print or download Is the Bible True? and How to Understand the Bible .

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Ward Shamblin

Ward Shamblin's picture

I had not heard of this man untill a couple of weeks ago. I read some of what he was teaching. He taught that the rapture would occur on May 21st and 5 months later, the earth would be destroyed on Oct 21. He is now trying to explain the failure of May 21 but still holds on to Oct 21 as being the end of the world.


J_park3's picture

I wonder sometimes when people say things like this, if they really understand the implications how that is going to affect those who really believe that Jesus is going to come in power.
Is he saying that he missed "the so called Rapture and will be afflicated in the Tribulation"?

I will still be prepared for that day to come, but at the same time I will believe what Jesus himself said, that Only the Father knows that Day or Time.

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