Apocalypse Now?

By: Tim Kephart

MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – If you believe a fringe Christian radio group, then you’ve got a little more than 24 hours to either party it up, or repent for your sins. Because according to the “Family Radio” network, 6 p.m. Saturday will be when the “rapture” begins and the end of days begins.

There have been billboards across the Sunshine State for months proclaiming the rapture is near. CBS4’s Jorge Estevez profiled the billboards when they first started popping up earlier this year.

But what exactly are the billboards referring to about the rapture? Well, the Family Radio network’s founder, 89-year-old Harold Camping, said Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. will be when the rapture of the church takes place.

The rapture of the church is a relatively new idea in the realm of Christianity. It refers to the time when Christians believe that Jesus will take the faithful to heaven ahead of the calamity and destruction that lies ahead in the tribulations from the book of Revelation.

It’s drawn from passages in the bible including I Thessalonians 4:17 which states, “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

This would follow Jesus raising the souls of Christians who had already died over the millenniums.

The idea of the rapture picked up steam in the United States during the middle and late 19th Century with a school of theological thought called Dispensationalism. The movement was led by John Nelson Darby, who preached about a concept of the rapture happening at any moment, among other things.

Dispensationalism would go on to be the basis for vast parts of Christian theology in the United States for decades.

This brings you back to the idea that Camping, a civil engineer, has managed to convince thousands of people the beginning of the apocalypse is near and the rapture will happen Saturday evening.

So how did Camping come up with his dire prediction?

He based his theory for the rapture and second coming of Jesus on two Bible passages. The first is in second book of Peter in the New Testament.

Camping said the 2 Peter passage says that “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is one day.” By his deduction, Camping implies this to mean 7,000 years from the great flood will be the end of the world.

He also cites the book of Genesis. Camping said Genesis states, the flood began on the “17th day of the second month.” In his interpretation of the Jewish calendar, that date is May 21.

Combining the two, Camping has come up with Saturday as the date of the apocalypse. And what will happen precisely as 6:00 p.m., well, Camping said great earthquakes will be felt to start the apocalypse.

CBSNews.com even crunched the numbers for what would happen if the rapture of the church begins.

But don’t start worrying about not knowing if the Heat can beat the Bulls, or what the final episodes of Oprah will look like on television. Camping also predicted the world would end in 1994, which only happened for hard-core Nirvana fans.

And if you think you’ve heard stories like this before, you have. The most famous was from William Miller who founded the so-called Millerite movement. Miller predicted the world would end in 1843.

After the first time period he called for the end of world was nearing an end, Miller would go on to correct his time period to October 22, 1844. But on October 23, 1844, the previous day turned into the “Great Disappointment” for Millerites; and Miller’s movement lost credibility and steam after that.

So, if you believe the prediction from Camping and are planning on attending the Exxxotica convention, catching some rays on South Beach, or getting in a couple rounds of golf, you might want to do it before Saturday evening when Camping’s forecast calls for cloudy with a chance of rapture.

But what do you think? Share your thoughts with CBS4 on the rapture prediction and what you’re planning to do about it Saturday in the comments section below.

  • TNT's PR & Writing Services

    This is just complete and utter foolishness, many predicted the end before at the start of the New millennium, it was predicted that the world would end as well and half of the world got Baptized. Did it end there? No, the Bible says God will be coming like a thief in the night. Has a thief ever told you when he is going to break into your house? That would defeat the purpose. However, everyone is entitled to their opinions it is just a shame that they are taking innocent, really gullible people in with them. The only thing I can say is, read your Bible and find the truth for yourself.

    • Chet

      all I can is ” I’M GOING TO DIE” [ before my new flatscreen tv arrives !!!! ]

  • Dan

    So this guys gunna be the biggest joke come Sunday!!! I just hope that all those sarah palin loving, Jesus freak, tea partiers drink the Koolaid and give the real American citizens a break from their tomfoolery! Real Americans Hate Tea!

  • magaly schroeder

    how anybody can posible think that God is going to destroy what he build?????? then he won’t be a God of Love,Peace,companion and
    forgiviness, Dear Lord have mercy of your people, that still walking in the dessert.

  • nanayaa

    The Stolen Generation was from 1869-1969 thats the same year the Jews return to Isreal God was warning poeple. The same way they took the children in Australia thats how he was going take away the Christian but people did not pay attention. The rapture has already happened read Genesis 15 the whole chapter. I was born on 06 20 1969 and the rapture was July 1st 2009. God said I’m decendants of Isaackar in the old Testament. Revelation 18 : 2 was fulfilled when Egypt President resigned. God revealed himself to me when i was 14 years old. This is the best time to accept Jesus as your personal savior. There will be no rapture again trust me the rapture has already happened. were in the the tribulation period. below is the letter i’ve sent to churches around the world.
    April 28, 2011

    Dear Brother’s and sister’s in Christ,

    God has put this message on my heart to write this letter to all the churches in the world. Christ has Rapture/come for his bride on JULY 1ST 2009 at exactly 1pm to the New Jerusalem. I know when you receive this letter you want believe its OK, God is my witness. The Two witnesses in the Book of Revelation came to everybody in Dream and in vision, but people did not notice that. The rapture has also occur and people did not notice it also. We are in the Tribulation period. I told a few people and they don’t believe it either. Last night when i was asleep the spirit of God came in a dream to write this letter, because it has already prophecy by the early prophet in the old Testament.

    1. Around December 2007 two women who looks like angels came to me in a dream, and as I was talking to them I was talking to them, I look outside the window and I saw plenty people all ready to go. I asked them who are those people outside, and they said the people God is getting ready to go to the New Jerusalem, and my eyes opened in the dream.

    2. On July 1st 2009, at exactly 1pm, i was whipped out of my body to Billions of billions miles away, I saw God , I saw Jesus, I went through the Judgment , prayed and went to the New Jerusalem.

    I did not want to write this because i know nobody will believe me, but something within my spirit is forcing me to write this.

    May God Richly bless any one who read this..

    Yours, in Christ….

    • catia

      the bible saids that many people would be mislead from the truth. the bible also saids in the book of mathew chapter 24 that no ones when the rapture which is the coming of Christ will happen. so I recommend that you read it and study chapter 24 of Matthew. becaue the rapture has not yet come.

      • Phyliss June Rinis Myers


      • ed eymann

        the bible doesnt say rapture, u did- it sais no one knows the day or hour wen the son of man will come, so why did u change the bible and put rapture in there?
        i suggest u re-read matt 24 urself

    • Atheist

      God isn’t real

      the end,

    • carol

      I had a similar vision…but i had just dropped acid…wow, what a trip that was. The 80s were fun, werent they?

      anyway…out of curiosity…if this guy CAMPING was a prophet, then why did he keep so much of that money? Arent prophets supposed to give away the money? isnt there a saying in the bible…”A CAMEL HAS A BETTER CHANCE OF FITTING THROUGH AN EYE OF A NEEDLE,THAN A RICH MAN GETTING INTO HEAVEN”…or something like that.

  • louis

    if you are leaving tomorrow and you don’t know what to do with your stuff i will take care of it for you till god brings you back :)

    • TNT's PR & Writing Services

      lol, I’m with you on that one. My home is open for storage

      • Austin

        Im down with this option as well!

    • Chet


  • louis

    have a safe trip and don’t forget to write.

  • Jennifer S Floreno

    that story up there ^ is why there are signs and billboard saying DON’T DO DRUGS. I read online that guy was hooked on ecstasy and other drugs. Uhh, YEAH! LMAOOO

  • abner

    It’s doesn’t really matter if the rapture happen today or tommorow as long as you are christian (believer of Jesus Christ) you are saved. Even without rapture still many people are lost because they don’t believe the gospel. Jesus said: Mark 15: 15-16. “Preach the gospel to every creature, he who believe and is baptized shall be save”.

    • DR.G.G PSYCH


      • Sam

        Agree with you

  • Gramps

    What a shame Sunday is my first wedding anniversary.
    Oh well whatever will be will be!!
    Life is still good people hang in there the millineum didn’t have any reprecussions either…

  • Richyrich

    This sounds like that ugly guy with the white beard who decided that it was okay to sleep naked with underage girls, and that the world would end on a certain day back in like 2007. He and his followers stayed up all nite waiting for the world to end then the next morning they wandered around and refused interviews by the news guy that was covering the story (20/20 I think). A few months later the guy (self proclaimed Jesus himself, reborn) was sentanced to like 8 years in prison for statatory rape. Maybe some day he’ll hook up with the guys who killed themselves back in 1999 to hitch a ride on that comet that was passing by the earth, taking them on the fast track to heaven! haha…

  • Reys

    As a Christian, I am outraged by this news! This is why everyone hates Christians because of people like Camping, who are false prophets! The Bible warns us about people like him, and as a Christian, we have to be diligent and beware of lies because even the strongest Christian could fall.

    Harold Camping has manipulated scripture, and I am afraid that many are going to fall for his nonsense. I just hope that no one gets hurt because of his distorted version of the Holy Bible.

    And whether tomorrow is “Grand Finale” or not, we must all make sure our hearts are in the right place, and repent because tomorrow is never promise…regardless of whatever Harold Camping has prophesied.

    • yokolee

      Thank you Reys

      God bless


    • carol

      why do you think EVERYBODY HATES CHRISTIANS? HATE is a word YOU guys use a lot. I dont hate christians. you guys amuse me. Sometimes you guys irritate me when you judge me, but HATE? nope…i dont hate you. You do enough of that on your own.

  • Joe Regular

    Phooey on the whole idea of Doomsday.

  • Love USA

    If happen tomorrow?????..Today, celebrate “CUBA INDEPENDENCE DAY”(May 20),Unfortunate, Under Socialism…

    • Joe

      True – Cuban Independence today!

  • Gina

    You know, nanayaa, I feel fairly confident that if God were looking for a prophet he would find one who could spell…

  • nancy


  • Denise

    This old man really missed it! He missed the part in the book of Revelation that says “No man knows the day nor the hour when the son of man shall come.”
    You just can’t take half the Bible and beleive it, you got to beleive the whole thing. Whoever believe this old man will be very angry to find out that there was no rapture.

  • Al

    Harold Camping & nanayaa forgot to take their Anti-Phycotic pills again

  • Jamal

    I am terrified about this. Tonight, I am preparing for this horrible day tomorrow. God save us all!!!!!!! Off to the Hard Rock!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kay spencer

    God also says only HE knows the time. People seem to just use the verses they want to.

  • Hawks Man

    If the world ends , then ill move to Hialeah.


    The bible says the righteous shall inherit the earth and dwell in it forever! They forgot that part. SSS 666 JH

  • Tiffany Ortega

    Im a highschool senior and I think this end of the world day has to wait becuase we still have prom and graduation and Im not planning on dieing without being sucessfull!!!!

  • Destinysjrny3

    The truth is, none of really knows anything. We have ideas and opinions based on what history has taught us and what our own personal experience has taught us..but in the end only God has the answer. If it all starts to end tomorrow or if it doesn’t…isn’t the issue. Everyone is so concerned about having the write answer but not answering the right question. If it were “coming to an end”…are you right wtih yourself, your life, your beliefs. I’m not saying follow some relegion, or cult, or you must beleive…no, that’s not what I’m saying. Follow you heart to the truth and be right with yourself. Why wait until it’s too late because again, not one man can say he know’s when, be it tomorrow or not. We stil don’t have the answer.

  • john

    There is no god but Allah, Muhammad(pbuh) is the messenger of Allah

  • TNT's PR & Writing Services

    Camping got what he wanted, his 10 minutes of fame, now i suggest that if anyone was dumb enough to believe him and got rid of their stuff, that they should go seek out camping tomorrow. That will teach him not to mess with God’s Holy words.

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