Last year Harold Camping, the now 90-year-old founder of Family Radio, became notorious for his predictions of the Rapture on 21st May and the end of the world on 21st October. Nothing special happened on either day. But even afterwards Camping insisted that his general approach in predicting such events was correct, and he was mistaken only in the details.
But now, it seems, he has changed his mind. The Christian Post reports that Harold Camping Admits Sin, Announces End to Doomsday Predictions. In a letter to his radio listeners, the basis of the Christian Post article, Camping has written:
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.
We realize that many people are hoping they will know the date of Christ’s return. In fact for a time Family Radio fell into that kind of thinking. But we now realize that those people who were calling our attention to the Bible’s statement that “of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Matthew 24:36 & Mark 13:32), were right in their understanding of those verses and Family Radio was wrong. Whether God will ever give us any indication of the date of His return is hidden in God’s divine plan.
We were even so bold as to insist that the Bible guaranteed that Christ would return on May 21 and that the true believers would be raptured. Yet this incorrect and sinful statement allowed God to get the attention of a great many people who otherwise would not have paid attention. Even as God used sinful Balaam to accomplish His purposes, so He used our sin to accomplish His purpose of making the whole world acquainted with the Bible. However, even so, that does not excuse us. We tremble before God as we humbly ask Him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement. We are so thankful that God is so loving that He will forgive even this sin.
So we must be satisfied to humbly wait upon God, and trust He will guide His people to safety.
I admire Camping for being prepared to publicly ask God for “forgiveness for making that sinful statement”.
Last June, after Camping suffered a stroke, I wrote:
I pray for a quick recovery for Harold Camping. I pray also for a genuine repentance and a return to the true gospel message with which he started.
The first prayer was apparently answered. I am pleased to see signs that the second one is also being answered, if perhaps more gradually. Camping also writes:
God has humbled us through the events of May 21, to continue to even more fervently search the Scriptures (the Bible), not to find dates, but to be more faithful in our understanding.
I now hope and pray that through this Bible study God will turn him away from his more general theological errors back to the true and powerful gospel of Jesus Christ.