When will the world end? What do you imagine the apocalypse will be like?
Howard Camping dedicated his life to these mind-bending questions, predicting that the world would end and Jesus would return to the earth during his lifetime. The would-be prophet passed away last weekend. He was 92 years old.
You can read many of Camping’s books for free at the Family Radio website, including Adam When? A Biblical Solution to the Timetable of Mankind (cover image embedded above). In his most famous prediction, Camping thought that the Christian rapture would occur on May 21, 2011, marking the return of Jesus.
The Kernel described his campaign:
“So taken in by the fervour were his listeners, that the campaign to save the world cost around $100 million. Through the sale of television and radio stations, Camping’s followers financed a marketing campaign that rivalled promotional work for Hollywood blockbusters. Many of his listeners chose to donate their own money to the cause, often mortgaging their homes or slipping into financial difficulty. For his listeners, getting into debt was not a problem. After all, it would all be gone by May 2011.”
His Family Radio Network raised millions in a campaign to tell everyone, but the apocalypse never occurred. He also predicted that the world would end on both September 6, 1994 and October 21, 2011, but missed those dates as well. The religious leader finally posted this message in March 2012:
“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 … 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.”
If you are looking for more apocalyptic inspiration, you can download a free copy of the Book of Revelations, the book of the Bible that has spawned centuries worth of predictions about the end of the world.