‘Left Behind' Author: May 21 Rapture Is 'Flat Out Wrong'
By Ariel R. Rey | Christian Post Contributor
U.S.|Thu, May. 19 2011 01:44 PM EDT
Left Behind author Tim Lahaye says that “anyone who thinks they ‘know’ the day and the hour is flat out wrong.”
On his website, the best-selling author recently wrote a letter to the public advising them not to buy into Harold Camping's prediction that May 21 is the beginning of the end of the world. He remarked that it “is not only wrong but dangerous.” He also said the claim that God will destroy the world on October 21 "is not only bizarre but 100% wrong!"
An evangelical minister, Lahaye, 85, has recently drawn attention himself after pointing out that the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan are signs of the apocalypse just as he laid out in his fictionalized version of the end of days.
Nevertheless, he does not think that Camping’s prediction is correct because according to the Bible, “no one by God the Father knows ‘the day and the hour’ when our Lord will return.”
“No one knows, not even the angels in heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36). These words were preceded with verse 35, when He also said, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.'"
Camping and his followers have posted the May 21 rapture day prediction all over billboards and buses through Family Radio ministry.
LaHaye reminded the public that this isn’t Camping’s first infamous prediction. In September 1994 his so called end of the world prediction failed.
“Yet it seems he is still coming up with a date for Christ's return which seemingly only he has insight into – as he was wrong before so he is wrong now,” Lahaye wrote.
The Michigan native concluded that instead of focusing on preposterous assumptions, all God wants people to do is “to live every day as though Christ could come today.”
Focusing on the today and living by Christ’s Gospel is “a great motto for daily living,” he emphasized.
“For one day it will happen and we don't know when, but we don't want you to be left behind!”
LaHaye originated the idea of a novel about the Second Coming. He and Jerry B. Jenkins began the Left Behind series in 1995. Over 11 million copies in the series have been sold.
Doomsday: Is the world really ending today?
Posted Saturday, May 21 2011 at 00:00
Highlights of what is expected to take place during the day of May 21, 2011:
Mr James Bradley Okumu, an Industrial Chemistry student at Makerere University, has been following Mr Camping’s predictions. He believes in them totally, and tells us how events will unfold on that day of last reckoning, which we must prepare well for:
1. A huge earthquake will strike the whole world at 6pm local time of every country
but it will be a gradual process which will start from the east to the west.
2.After covering the whole world, the earthquake will then throw out of the graves all true believers who died a long time ago, who will be transformed instantly into spiritual bodies. They will then be brought up to be with Christ in the heavens.
3. The true believers who are alive will then follow and they will also be instantly transformed into spiritual beings and brought up to be with Christ in the heavens.
4. The non-believers and those who believe but are considered as sinners will all perish in the earthquake. Their bodies will then be thrown out like manure and shamed in the sight of God.
5. The whole world will then remain in such disorder until 21 October because from today (May 21) to October 21 will be the five months of the apocalypse period, after which the whole world will come to an end.
More than 11 years ago, at least 500 people died in a suicidal fire in a makeshift church in Kanungu District after being brainwashed by cult leader Joseph Kibwetere about an imminent doomsday. Harold Camping, an 89-year-old Califonia-based Bible teacher, thinks today is the D-day. Sarah Tumwebaze brings you details of this latest claim.
Today May 21, at exactly 6pm, the world is coming to an end, according to an elderly Bible teacher. He has studied and interpreted the Bible, and pinpoints today as the day of the apocalypse.
Such predictions of doomsday have been made in many parts of the world, including Uganda. In South America in 1978, Jim Jones, an American cult leader, ordered his followers to drink poisoned Kool-Aid and 909 of them, Jones inclusive, died.
Here in Uganda, on December 31, 2000, Kanungu District, in south-western Uganda, was filled with grief after a cult leader, Joseph Kibwetere, who was known as prophet, predicted the end of the world and ended up burning more than 500 people in a wooden church.
Kibwetere, who was the leader of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, had earlier predicted the doomsday for December 31, 1999. However, when it did not happen, he pushed it to December 31, 2000.
On this day, more than 500 followers of this cult entered their small church whose windows and doors were then locked from the outside. They sang for some hours before the small wooden building was set on fire. Everyone inside perished.
There have been other judgment days, including September 6, 1994. Despite the prophecies, the world has not ended. Indeed, our local clerics here have scoffed at the idea of predicting the end of the world.
However, the predictors do not give up. The most recent date that has been fixed by Harold Camping, an 89-year-old California-based Bible teacher, is today, May 21, 2011. He says he figured out the date of Jesus’ return by studying the book of Daniel and other Biblical texts.
Believers in this doomsday prediction have put up billboards, purchased TV adverts, painted warnings on rooftops and flooded many countries with printed warnings. The message on the billboards reads: The Trumpet is Sounding Are you ready? 21 May 2011 FamilyRadio.com.
According to Mr Maxwell Moahloli Motlalepula, a representative of Family Stations, Inc, this station which is spreading the judgment day message is a non-profit, non-commercial, Christian radio network.
“It was established in 1958 with one FM station in the San Francisco bay area. Mr Harold Camping along with two other Christian men purchased KEAR with the sole intent of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, there are 66 owned and operated radio stations throughout the US. Along with these domestic stations Family Stations also broadcasts its programming from numerous international broadcast facilities throughout the world.”
Mr Motlalepula explains that Camping is the President and General Manager of Family Stations, Inc. “He has been a full-time volunteer since Family Radio’s infancy,” he wrote in an email to Saturday Monitor’s enquiries.
He said it is out of Mr Camping’s efforts of reading the Bible for five decades that he has been able to come up with these dates.
“Mr Camping has been a tireless student of the Bible for more than five decades. The tens of thousands of hours he has spent analysing the Bible has given him a unique perspective of the entirety of Scriptures. Given the overwhelming Biblical evidence, the Family Stations, Inc.
Board of Directors made a determination to dedicate all available resources to proclaim the warning of May 21, 2011. God has prepared Family Radio for this important time in history. Given the population of the world, radio and the internet are the perfect vehicles to deliver this warning,” he explains.
Mr Motlalepula adds: “The date of May 21, 2011 was derived solely from evidence found in the Bible. The length of time between the day God created this world in 11,013 B.C. and the day he will destroy it in October 21, 2011. The discovery of this information built the foundation for what God would later reveal from the Bible as the date for the end.
Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 is the culmination of five decades of intensive Biblical study by Mr Camping and other Bible teachers who have discovered the same Biblical data.”
In Camping’s book We Are Almost There, he shows that God reveals the judgment day through his works in the Bible.
“Genesis 7, God is effectively saying all of mankind in the whole world have seven days to get into the safety of Christ, who alone can save us from the wrath of God. But God insists in II Peter 3 that we must absolutely know that a day is as a thousand years. So 7,000 years represent seven days. Therefore, effectively, God was telling Noah that all of mankind who would ever live in the whole world have 7,000 years to get into the safety of Christ, if they are to escape the wrath of God,” Camping explains in his book.
According to his calculations, 7,000 years after Noah’s day are in 2011. “Therefore, we must understand that God is declaring that He expects that all of the elect of God would absolutely know that the year 2011 is to be the end of the world.”
Camping also goes ahead to specify the date of the doomsday as being today, May 21. In his calculations, he says there is a five-month period that immediately follows the 8,400-days Great Tribulation period.
Mr James Bradley Okumu, who believes in Mr Camping’s predictions, says the tribulation period started in 33 AD and ended in May 21, 1988. “The 8,400 years after the tribulation period that is talked about by Camping will elapse today, thus making today the judgment day, and it will start at 6pm local time in every country moving from the East to the West. From today to the 21 of October it will be five months and this day will be the end of the world.”
Maxwell says they are very certain about the dates because, “Mr Camping saw God had placed a lot of proof to alert believers that May 21 of 2011 is the date Christ will return for His people and begin a period of the final destruction of the world. Some of the signs described by the Bible have all been fulfilled, giving further proof that we are approaching that time. Jesus warned of several spiritual signs, such as the complete degradation of the Christian Church, the devastating moral breakdown of society, the re-establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948, the emergence of the ‘Gay Pride Movement’, and the complete disregard of the Bible in all of society today as direct evidence of His return.
“Mr Motlalepula urges people to cry out to God for mercy and fully recognise the fact that they are sinners and therefore need God’s mercy.
“One must approach God with a broken and contrite attitude, because after all every human being, without exception, is guilty before God. Only God decides whom He will save and it is only Christ’s ‘gift’ of salvation that can save one from destruction and the terrible events coming upon this world on May 21, 2011.” However, different religious leaders have rejected Camping’s doomsday prediction.
Reverend Diana Nkesiga refers to Camping’s way of coming to the Day of Judgment as defective. “His way of calculating the days is defective because God does not calculate His days that way. More so, the Bible says no one knows the day or the hour.”
Only God knows
Father Wynand Katende also calls Camping’s prediction as, “an arrogate of the power of God because it’s only God that knows the judgment day because even when Jesus was asked by the Pharisees about the same in Luke 17:20-35, He did not tell them because this day is only known by God alone.”
Pastor Martin Ssempa regards Camping as a well-intended trumpet blower who rather blows it the wrong way.
“I find that his predictions are well-intended, but I do not agree with him on the time and date because the Bible says no man knows the time, date and hour apart from God alone,” opines Pastor Sempa.