Looking for That Blessed Hope
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
Scripture is clear: no man knows the day nor the hour of Christ's return. So whether we die or the Lord returns, we each need to be ready TODAY.
So are you ready? If yes, great! But if not, why not? Friend, now is time to get ready and stay ready.
Mat 24:35,36 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:48-51 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Mar 13:32 But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Luk 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
MORE ABOUT HAROLD CAMPING
Who is Harold Camping, Really?
By Ariel R. Rey | Christian Post Contributor
The Christian Post > U.S.|Sat, May. 21 2011 03:25 PM EDT
Harold Camping will long be associated with the failed predictions of the end of the word. But who is this man responsible for the multimillion dollar campaign declaring May 21 as Judgment Day?
He was born by the name of Harold Egbert Camping in 1921 in Boulder, Colo. At an early age, he moved to California where his interest in math and science developed, later taking him to University of California Berkeley during World War II, where he received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering.
Shortly after the end of World War II, he began his own construction business where he was able to earn his own living.
In 1943, he married his wife Shirley with whom he had seven children. During their early years they were congregants at First Christian Reformed Church of Alameda where he shined as the most popular Bible studies teacher.
He had become a self-taught Bible instructor for his students. His charisma and eye for biblical details helped him gain popularity among his students and the church.
From 1954, he became the owner of Camping Construction Company, and by 1958 he and two others formed the non-profit ministry of Family Stations, Inc. in San Francisco.
Family Radio was the ministry’s Christian educational network and it expanded over the decades as it broadcast teachings, Bible readings as well as Christian music such as southern gospel music across the country. Some stations chose to play contemporary Christian music.
When he was in his 40s, he began hosting his own Open Forum program during the weekends, which still continues to be broadcast on more than 140 stations in the U.S.
In 1973, he sold his business and became a full-time volunteer employer of Family Radio where he served as the president and general manager of the stations.
The network is reportedly now worth more than $120 million and has 66 stations throughout the country. The network's broadcasts can reach as far as Nigeria and are available in 61 languages online.
In 1970, Camping published the Biblical Calendar History, where he proclaimed that the creations of the world happened in 11,013 BC and Noah’s flood, 4990 BC.
While 1988 became a popular doomsday year due to a book written by Edgar Whisenant, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could be in 1988, Camping began to proclaim the world’s impending end during his radio program as well in his Bible class.
Camping didn’t agree with Whisenant’s end of the word date but he didn't yet provide his own prediction.
Due to his persistence on the end of the world, his church elders told him to cease all prophesying about the apocalypse. He, his family and 110 members decided to leave the church, according to The Huffington Post.
In 1992, he published his book 1994? where he predicted that the world would end, though he wasn’t certain about the year; he was only certain that it would happen sometime soon.
In 1994, his followers gathered inside Alameda’s Veterans’ Memorial Building to wait for the return of Christ. People dressed themselves in their Sunday best and held their Bibles open faced towards heaven.
But nothing happened.
Camping said that was just a “preliminary study,” hence the question mark in the title of the book, and he spent the next decade completing that study.
In 2002, he announced the end of the church age and claimed that God was no longer blessing and using local churches because of their apostasy and that believers should quit the church. Three years later, he published Time Has an End where he officially began proclaiming that he had recalculated the rapture date to be May 21, 2011.
According to his prediction, around 200 million people will be raptured at 6 p.m. that day and the rest will suffer for five months until Oct. 21, making it the definitive date for complete world obliteration.
Currently, among his family members, only his wife of 68 years believes him and none of his six living children, 28 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren believe in his theories.
--- end ---
When Doomsday Isn't, Believers Struggle to Cope
Stephanie Pappas, Livescience Senior Writer,
livescience.com – Sat May 21, 10:31 pm ET
If you're reading this, Harold Camping's predictions that the end of the world would start Saturday (May 21) failed to pan out.
That's good news for most of us, but Camping and his followers were looking forward to the end. After all, they believed that they were likely to be among the 200 million souls sent to live in paradise forever. So how do believers cope when their doomsday predictions fail?
It depends, said Lorenzo DiTommaso, a professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal who studies the history of doomsday predictions.
"If you have a strong leader, the group survives," DiTommaso told LiveScience. "Sometimes the group falls apart. Most often, the answer given by the group is that the prophecy is true, but the interpretation was wrong." [Read: Why People Look Forward to the End]
In 1994, Camping predicted a September doomsday, but hedged his bets with a question mark. On his website (familyradio.com), Camping wrote that he had misunderstood a key biblical passage, but since that time, biblical evidence for a 2011 end had "greatly solidified."
Doomsdays without doom
The classic study of "doomsdays gone bad" took place in 1954. A Chicago woman named Dorothy Martin predicted a cataclysmic flood from which a few true believers would be saved by aliens. Martin and her cult, The Seekers, gathered the night before the expected flood to await the flying saucer. Unbeknown to them, however, their group had been infiltrated by psychologist Leon Festinger, who hoped to find out what happens when the rug of people's beliefs is pulled out from under them.
Festinger's study, which became the basis of the book "When Prophecy Fails" (Harper-Torchbooks 1956), revealed that as the appointed time passed with no alien visitors, the group sat stunned. But a few hours before dawn, Martin suddenly received a new prophecy, stating that The Seekers had been so devout that God had called off the apocalypse. At that, the group rejoiced — and started calling newspapers to boast of what they'd done. Eventually, the group fell apart. Martin later changed her name to "Sister Thedra" and continued her prophecies.
Other failed doomsday prophets have struggled to keep their followers in line. One self-proclaimed prophet, Mariana Andrada (later known as Mariana La Loca), preached to a gang of followers in the 1880s in the San Joaquin Valley of California, predicting doomsday by 1886. But Andrada was not consistent with her predictions, and believers began to defect. Trying to keep one family from leaving, Andrada told them one of them would die on the journey. Sure enough, the family's young son soon fell violently ill and passed away. The family accused Andrada of poisoning him. She was arrested and found not guilty, but never returned to preach to her followers.
Searching for explanations
How Camping's followers will cope with a failed doomsday prediction depends on the structure of the group, said Steve Hassan, a counseling psychologist and cult expert who runs the online Freedom of Mind Resource Center. [After Doomsday: How Humans Get Off Earth]
"The more people have connections outside of the group, the more likely it is that they're going to stop looking to [Camping] as the mouth of God on Earth," Hassan told LiveScience. "Information control is one of the most important features of mind control."
In his experience, Hassan said, about a third of believers become disillusioned after a failed prediction, while another third find reason to believe more strongly. The remaining group members fall somewhere in between, he said.
Doomsday groups in history have run a gamut of responses after failed predictions, said Stephen Kent, a sociologist at the University of Alberta who studies new and alternative religions. On occasion, a leader will admit he or she was wrong; other groups will come up with a face-saving explanation. Some groups may blame themselves, rationalizing that their lack of faith caused the failure, Kent told LiveScience. Other groups blame outside forces and redouble their efforts.
"One of the options is for the group to say, 'Society wasn't ready, Jesus felt there weren't enough people worthy of rapturing. Hence, we've got to go out and convert more people,'" Kent said.
After the apocalypse
Often, a failed prediction leads to splinter groups and re-entrenchment. After Baptist preacher William Miller predicted the end of the world on Oct. 22, 1844 — a date thereafter known as "The Great Disappointment" when nothing happened — his followers struggled to explain their mistake. One subset decided that on that date, Jesus had shifted his location in heaven in preparation to return to Earth. This group later became the Seventh-Day Adventist church. [Infographic: Doomsdays Past and Present]
Sociologists and doomsday experts agree that Camping is likely convinced of doomsday rather than perpetuating a hoax or running a scam. A con artist, Hassan said, would never set himself up for failure by giving a firm date.
A belief in doomsday gives followers a clear sense of the world and their place in it, Kent said. Those comforting beliefs are difficult to maintain after the world fails to end.
"This could be a fairly sad day for these people," Kent said. "There will be some greatly disheartened people who may be terribly confused about what didn't happen."
--- end ---
Doomsday believer donates entire inheritance to Family Radio
Blake Ellis, On Wednesday June 1, 2011, 5:07 pm EDT
When the world didn't end on May 21, many people who had given up their earthly possessions were left with nothing.
But one believer never lived to see the day. She left nearly her entire estate -- around $300,000 -- to the group behind the failed prediction, leaving some family members out in the cold.
Eileen Heuwetter was shocked to find out that her aunt left the majority of her estate to Family Radio, the group responsible for the doomsday warnings that the world would end on May 21. She and her sister were each left $25,000 from their aunt's estate. The rest is going to Family Radio.
The network of Christian radio stations based in Oakland, Ca., is almost entirely funded by donations. According to IRS filings, the group brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009 alone.
Heuwetter, the executor of the will, knew how much her aunt loved the radio station and admired its leader, Harold Camping, who is viewed as a prophet by many of his followers.
While other family members insisted it was crazy to let her aunt give all that money to a radio station, Heuwetter didn't initially contest the conditions of the will. She knew little about the Christian radio station, but knew her aunt, Doris Schmitt, found comfort in it.
Schmitt had lived a tough life, struggling with alcoholism and losing her two children to drug addictions before dying alone at 78 on May 2, 2010 in her small home in Queens, New York.
"This was not a woman who had anything. She literally had Family Radio on day and night -- she went to bed with it and woke up to it," said Heuwetter. "That was all she had."
It wasn't until recently that Heuwetter learned who was really getting her aunt's bequest. She said she first realized this was the same group when she saw buses driving around New York City the weekend before the supposed end of the world, spreading the doomsday message. "I'm looking at these brand new buses drive around with Family Radio's name on them, saying 'Doomsday is May 21', and I said, 'Oh my god, this is who my aunt gave all of her money to," Heuwetter said. "I didn't know he was so crazy, and at this point I was incensed that this man was going to get everything my aunt had left."
While Heuwetter says she didn't necessarily need the extra cash, other family members were struggling and could have used a little help, she said.
Even worse, Heuwetter said, was that Camping's prediction never came to fruition. Heuwetter's family members were just as angry when they learned about Family Radio's failed prophecy, so they brought the case to several lawyers, who sympathized with the family, but agreed they had no case. Family Radio did not respond to requests for comment.
The estate is within weeks of closing, and Heuwetter knows it's a lost cause.
"It's just so frustrating because I know there's nothing I can do about it -- this man is going to get hundreds of thousands of dollars from my aunt," she said. "And she wasn't a rich woman."
Though Camping later clarified that his prediction actually extends until October, many followers were disappointed when the rapture didn't happen on May 21. Heuwetter said there is no way her aunt would have given the money to Family Radio, had she lived to see Camping's doomsday-gone-wrong.
"She would have been devastated," Heuwetter said. "Listening to him say things would be better in paradise made her feel better -- she totally believed she would leave this world on May 21, and she needed to believe that."
If she were here to watch the world continue after May 21, she would have likely given her money to other family members, said Heuwetter.
"It was a good amount of money that would have helped a lot of people live better today -- but now it's not helping anyone."
--- end ---
Is Harold Camping a False Prophet?
False Prophet Harold Camping Now Has Billboards