After making three false predictions about the end of the world, California preacher Harold Camping is apologizing for his mistakes, according to the LA Times.
Last year, Camping predicted that the days of rapture — when Jesus will return, those who are “dead in Christ” are left behind, and “we who are alive and remain” will be caught up in the clouds to meet “the Lord” — were upon us and Judgment Day would occur exactly on May 21, 2011. In his interview with NY Magazine, Camping said:
God has given sooo much information in the Bible about this, and so many proofs, and so many signs, that we know it is absolutely going to happen without any question at all. There’s nothing in the Bible that God has ever prophesied — there’s many things that he prophesied would happen and they always have happened — but there’s nothing in the Bible that holds a candle to the amount of information to this tremendous truth of the end of the world. I would be absolutely in rebellion against God if I thought anything other than it is absolutely going to happen without any question. …
When the clock says about 6 p.m., there’s going to be this tremendous earthquake that’s going to make the last earthquake in Japan seem like nothing in comparison. And the whole world will be alerted that Judgment Day has begun. And then it will follow the sun around for 24 hours. As each area of the world gets to that point of 6 p.m. on May 21, then it will happen there, and until it happens, the rest of the world will be standing far off and witnessing the horrible thing that is happening.
In preparation, some believers were said to quit their jobs and clean out their banking accounts. Fliers were handed out and billboards were put up, declaring to the world that Judgment Day had arrived.
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Obviously, May 21st came and went.
Still, Camping wasn’t to be undone. He made yet another prediction. This time the new date was October 21st:
I do believe that were getting very near the very end, we’ve not known, we’ve learned that there’s a lot of things we didn’t have quite right, and that’s God’s good provision. If he had not kept us from knowing everything that we didn’t know, we would not have been able to be used of him to bring about the tremendous event that occurred on May 21 of this year, which probably will be finished out on October 21.
It looks like it will be the final end of everything.
There will be no big display of any kind, the end is going to come very very quietly.
Nearly six months after his most-recent prediction, on Thursday, Camping finally apologized and admitting that he doesn’t know when the world will end in an open letter:
“We humbly acknowledge we were wrong” and “we have no new evidence pointing to another date for the end of the world…. Family Radio has no interest in even considering another date,” his letter said. “We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God’s hands and he will end time in his time, not ours! We humbly recognize that God may not tell his people the date when Christ will return, any more than he tells anyone the date they will die physically.
Back in 1994, Camping made his first prediction. The preacher wrote a book, “1994?” declaring that the month of September had to be the last one of the world. When that month came and went, Camping deflected to 2011. It’s good to know he’s officially out of the prediction business.