Will Jesus Christ come back to rapture His people on May 21, effectively bringing to an end the current world as we know it?

Even Drudge Report has it: Multitudes of Christians are proclaiming that the Rapture will occur this weekend. This “end of the world” hysteria is sweeping across continents as some Christians attempt last-minute efforts in preparation and evangelism, while atheists and other skeptics are capitalizing on the opportunity: Some have created an organization that will take care of “left-behind” pets of taken-up Christians. Skeptics are undoubtedly snickering at the religious fanatics who are fearing May 21. They cannot wait for May 22 to prove the Bible wrong.

To their surprise, the Bible cannot wait for the coming of May 22, either.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven” says verse 36 of Matthew 24, the famous chapter giving signs of Jesus Christ’s second coming to earth. A few verses later, it becomes clearer:

“Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming” (40-42).

These verses in the Bible are extremely clear that no one will know the day when Christ comes. Why then is May 21 proclaimed the rapture date? The originator of this date, Harold Camping of Family Radio, is expressly known for his end-times “predictions” (note the plural). His prediction that the world would end during 1994 was shown to be false, though he claimed that God extended His mercy a little longer. But the clear fact remains that he and his followers are not following God at all, for Camping totally ignores the Bible’s clear declaration that not a human nor angelic soul will know the day that Christ returns.

This viral belief is a false teaching — plain and simple. The worst part of this whole thing is that most people hearing this stuff will not know that the huge majority of rapture-believing, fundamentalist Christians like myself do not believe in this deception. I can just imagine atheists on May 22 championing the falsity of Christianity based on this twisting of God’s Word — without ever bothering to see if the Bible even teaches this stuff. And they will lead many claimed Christians astray after the dust settles from May 21. I am posting this before “the big day” in hopes that skeptics and fervent believers alike will remember that despite the furor of end-times predictions, the Bible is in no way disproven by their failures. I hold the belief that we are very likely living in the end times, but we must not believe any old rapture prediction:

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Camping is just another false prophet as promised for the beginning of the end, albeit without even any wonders. The real trouble is yet to come, and no one will be making date predictions on that day. Camping’s call of May 21 is like the boy who called wolf — the skeptics will laugh at all these false warnings, but when the real time of the end comes upon the earth, they will not be laughing. After all, the end only has to come once. Not on May 21, but don’t let that fool you.

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