Reformed Baptist Fellowship

It’s the End of the World as we Know It — October 21, 2011

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on September 29, 2011 at 6:15 am

Harold Camping made national news this spring with his prediction that the Lord would return on May 21, 2011.  He guaranteed the date, as “his facts” came straight from the Bible.  The prediction gained notoriety because of a world-wide radio network, a well-financed campaign by Camping’s network and an unknown number of devoted believers.  There were also thousands more that were not totally convinced, but thought his arguments made sense.  The internet then exploded with self-proclaimed Bible teachers who came up with the same numbers as Camping.  Finally, a slow news cycle gave Camping a ton of world-wide publicity during the final week before Camping’s alleged rapture.

A lot has happened since May 21, 2011.  The news media wanted to know what Harold Camping had to say about his failed prediction.  From all accounts he was genuinely perplexed and disappointed that he was wrong.  Wrong?  False teachers rarely admit to being wrong.  Two days later Harold Camping explained to the world that he had not been wrong.  The Lord had returned, but it was a spiritual return.  The world was not impressed, the media left, and the story died.  Less than two weeks later Mr. Camping suffered a serious stroke, from which he is still recovering.  The “spiritual return” card has been played in the face of false predictions many times before, and generally does not work, unless your name is Charles Taze Russell.

Family Radio continues on – in a very low key format.  Dig deep enough into their website and you will see they still say the world will end on October 21, but they don’t seem very excited about it, and no one seems to be paying attention this time.  They also proclaim that the day of salvation is past, and no one can be saved between May 21 and October 21.  Because of that, they have stopped preaching the gospel on their stations.  Of course, Harold Camping is also unable to host his nightly talk show, due to health constraints.  They now simply play music, with an occasional Bible study “to encourage believers” until the final end comes.  They are just marking time and have no desire for evangelistic efforts, or even to largely publicize the final end of the world on October 21, since no one can be saved anymore.

Although Family Radio proclaims salvation is no longer possible, in true hyper-calvinistic fashion, they spin this one too.  There are people who are saved and simply do not know it.  These people don’t realize that they have come to Christ (apparently without faith).  So while it may seem there are conversions during this time frame, these are just realizations of what had  already occurred prior to May 21.  Family Radio proclaims that the Holy Spirit is no longer at work in bringing men and women to Christ.

The moral of the story is apparent.  Error begets error and error always grows.  Harold Camping and Family Radio had a good beginning.  But as the years went on, smaller errors became larger ones.  Slowly but inevitably, Camping moved outside the realm of orthodoxy and into the realm of those who despise the church of Jesus Christ.  Along with him, he took thousands of others.    I have been acquainted with many Family Radio devotees in my thirty years of ministry.  Thankfully, many left his teachings long ago.  Others left good churches and followed Camping.

I suspect their spiritual journey has not been a good one.  Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.  Harold Camping publically despises the church and will answer to the Lord for it.  If that seems harsh, let us remember the Biblical admonition of James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (ESV).

Steve Marquedant
Sovereign Grace Reformed Baptist Church
Ontario, California 
  1. […] Steve Marquedant has a piece on the sad and very troubling saga of Harold Camping. You can read it here. Here’s […]

  2. The Bible warns us that many will be decieved and it certainly is true. Thanks to sincere pastors like Steve Marquedant we who desire to know the truth can be informed and kept from this kind of deception. I am fortunate to sit under Pastor Marquedant’s teaching and my knowledge has increased so much since I first came to Sovereign Grace. My heart goes out to those who are being misled. I thank God that I am not one of them.

  3. The world has moved on from Harold Camping, taking the opportunity to ridicule what it falsely believes to be God’s people. It’s shallow and frantic search for “news”, for fashion, for the latest thing to distract is an object lesson in itself, a warning just as the case of HC also is. I thank Pastor Marquedant for keeping this solemn lesson before believers and, in trusting to God’s preserving power, thank Him for those He will save through the dire example of Harold Camping. To God Be The Glory.

  4. Pastor Steve is on solid ground by always using bible scripture to test the “Truth” of any prediction of the end of the world. Just because the current world economies are in chaos and even if another world empire like America would collapse, it does not necessarily mean that the second coming of Christ is about to happen. What we are witnessing is the decline of sexual morals and values, violence of every kind and motive, the love of money, greed and a wide variety of Idolatry. This is a cycle of man’s behavior through out history. This is evidence of the fall of man from God’s grace. This is also reflected in all the watered down gospel message from so many so called evangalical churches. What we can say is true is that God is always separating His people from the world right up to the time Christ does return for His Saints and His Church. By the power of the Holy Spirit, He is regenerating those that are His and they will come to beleave and trust in Christ our Savior.
    Knowing we have a just God who keeps His promises is all we should focus on in times like we are living today. For me, it is a blessing from God to be a member of SGBC under Pastor Steve’s teaching of the pure word of God.
    To God be the Glory!

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