It is genuinely sad to think that people have sold their worldly
possessions through faith in this nonsensical interpretive scheme.
This kind of date-setting does real harm to the cause of Christ,
because it gives the world occasion for ribald laughter when the
predicted date comes and goes with nothing remarkable happening.
Date-setting is to throw a big fat soft-ball slowly so that it hangs
right over the plate for the atheists to smack. This gives them a
chance to sneer, not at Mr. Camping's foolish and unbiblical playing
with numbers, but at the Bible, at the "mainstream" belief that
Christ will return:
"Walking among them, I'm
wondering if they are indeed bonkers — if Camping's
legionnaires are any nuttier than those who claim Christ will return
on a date TBD (i.e., mainstream Christianity). It's hard to
tell; as we head down Broadway, Dan and the others are confronted by
a number of rattled folks who aggressively counter with their own
strange beliefs. One middle-aged Latino repeatedly yells, 'NO ONE
KNOWS,' while a Hasid makes angry eyes, muttering as he smacks away
a pamphlet." (There Were Nine Days Left, by Chris Faraone, p. 7 , the
Portland Phoenix, May 20, 2011).
Harold Camping is aware that the Bible teaches no man knows the
day and the hour, but he's too clever to believe it:
"The Bible tells why the Bible did teach that. In Acts
1:7, at the time that the New Testament church age was about to
begin, Jesus taught His disciples:
"'And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the
times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own
". . .However, it was not until a very few years ago
that the accurate knowledge of the entire timeline of history
was revealed to true believers by God from the Bible. This
timeline extends all the way to the end of time." (Harold Camping, pamphlet 'No Man Knows the Day or Hour,'
from the Family Radio web-site).
The 'softer' kind of date-setting practiced by writers like Hal
Lindsey, who informed people a while back that this was the
'terminal generation,' does the same kind of harm in a less dramatic
way. When the predictions of these 'prophecy experts' fail to come
to pass, some people conclude the Bible can't be trusted. The Bible
is fully trustworthy and wholly true, but unfortunately the same cannot be said of all
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the
Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall
say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as
travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (1
" Watch therefore, for ye know neither the
day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matthew
That Jesus will come again to judge the world is entirely certain. When He will do so is not known.