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MIAMI ( – Across South Florida, and around the world, the clock did not stop, earthquakes did not tumble buildings, and the skies did not crack open. In other words, the world did not end as a  fringe Christian radio group, the “Family Radio” had predicted.

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

Those who don’t believe that the world will end  had with the countdown. The Florida Atheists and Secular Humanists marked May 21 with a Rapture Party at the Lauderdale Beach Hotel Tiki bar in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

“The heathens are going to party until the end of the world,” said one of the hundred or so people at the Ft. Lauderdale party. They were ready at 6 p.m,, when the world was supposed to end in the Eastern time zone, but as was the case in earlier time zones, the Apocalypse stayed away.

“We’re just here to party,” one woman said, “In case they’re right, we’re pretty certain they’re not, but well see.”

Said one organizer, “It’s ridiculous to start with. We’re just increasing that ridiculousness.”

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 came come up with Saturday as the date of the apocalypse.

Camping also predicted the world would end in 1994. 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.

Comments (15)
  1. Kathleen Sullivan says:

    I’m not sure about people being impacted, but wierdly, all the ducks, both Muscovy and wild have disappeared from my neighborhood. There has not been one duck of any shape, size or kind in or around my canal all day, no Ibis’, egrets or pigeons either. Verrrry strange!!! Do you think they got it wrong and we, the people, really are safe from the Rapture??

    1. james says:

      kathleen, you are a loony tune. want to see animals get out of your basement and go outside

      1. magaly schroeder says:

        that’s great, i believe that God won’t destroy what he did, so far we had a Beautiful summer day,i believe that this my third round on food fior the wild bird in my yard, boy they really eat! just marvelous day,just how God do things,

  2. Phil Landers says:

    What, does it have to be 6pm wherever that fool Camping happens to be standing? It’s been 6pm in Rome for some time and I’m sure the Vatican is still packed but then again the Catholics aren’t “real” Christians now are they? And neither is anybody else in the consideration of the numerous sub-sects / denominations of conflicted Christianity.
    None of us chose to be here nor gave our parents permission to conceive and bring us into this world. Yet when some of us arrive we are perpetually bombarded with the dogmatic paranoia created by those too lazy to seek out the answers for the unexplained in a scientific fashion. There is no God, only lazy paranoid humans that are too simple to do the math and want to drag everybody else down into their pit of eternal damnation threatened misery. Grow up . . . .

    1. Savannah Jo says:

      There is a God. That’s all I have to say.

      1. Phil Landers says:

        NO, there isn’t.

  3. Mary says:

    when the world fails to end these crazies are going to say that it was their intercession with God that saved the planet.

  4. magaly schroeder says:

    wonderful comments, i believe Phil is missing something, dear God don’t be to hard on him! Love u God!

  5. erika says:

    I just hope all this drama is fake….its already 6:20 pm. and were still here thank god….I have a 5 year old boy and 1 year old girl i want to see grow….God Bless You

  6. andrew says:

    does anyone know 6:00 what part of the world because i am getting so anxious its been 6:00 in several parts of the world………..

  7. savannah jo says:

    From what I read its supposed to be 6 pm pacific time but I don’t believe this man…nobody but God will no the exact time.

  8. John says:

    I feel sorry for these people who believe in legends. It makes a good disaster movie but it is not reality. The world will end in about 2 billion years. We have plenty of time to plan.

  9. estrella says:

    No predictions can be made by anyone about the end of the world, only God knows when the time will be and since we will not know it is a good idea to practice being a good Christian so we can be saved. Pray everyday and praise the Lord for everything and do not forget to thank him for every blessing in your life.

  10. abner says:

    To those people who do not believe there is God, why you turn your attention to God if this event did not happened? It was not God who predict. Just wait the time and you will see face Jesus face to face at judgment day.

  11. Phil Landers says:

    I plan to mI’ll tell you to your face whether you want to hear it or not.

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