Living just east of Crazy

Why the rapture won’t happen today

Written By: Eddie Snipes - May• 21•11

The claim behind the prediction of the rapture:

Watching the followers of Pastor Camping explain the rapture is disheartening. Several of them have stated they quit their jobs and planned their finances to run out today, May 21st. As his people stated in an interview, The rapture and the end of the world“There is no plan B.”

According to Camping’s statements in an interview, the rapture is to occur exactly 7,000 years after the flood. Today is that date by Camping’s calculations.

His reasoning is that the Apostle Peter said, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years.” Since God said, “I will send a flood in seven days”, the earth will end 7,000 years from the date of that statement. However, people seem to forget the rest of Peter’s statement, “and a thousand years is like a day.” Now if we apply the same logic to the second half of the verse, calculations suddenly don’t make sense. Perhaps the point of Peter’s statement isn’t a coded message, but a reminder that time is not a boundary to God. Whether it’s a thousand years, or a single day, God is there and unaffected by time. We are bound by time, He is not.

Reasons why rapture predictions don’t pan out

Aside from the fact that Harold Camping predicted the rapture and end of the world in 1994, there are specific biblical reasons why the world won’t end today. The first and most obvious is Jesus’ statement in Mark 13:32-33

32 ” But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

How is it that people who claim to be Bible scholars who predict the rapture never seem to understand what Jesus said to his disciples? If Jesus said no one knows – not even the Son – doesn’t it stand to reason that a preacher or Bible scholar can’t know either? Do they have more understanding than Christ? Apparently not. 41 times since 1900 the end of the world has been predicted. 41 times they failed. Today will be the 42nd failure.

Camping’s followers attempt to explain away Jesus’ comments, but there is no escaping the plain truth staring us in the eye. Not only did He say, “No one can know the day or hour,” but he also said, “You do not know when the time is.” Let’s take a glance at the rest of Jesus’ explanation. He mentioned this in each of the gospels, but Luke gives the most details. Luke 12:42-46

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?
43 “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
44 “Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
45 “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,
46 “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

Can you pick out the instruction being communicated in this passage? The point Jesus is making is simple to understand. First, He will come when you are not watching or expecting it. That tosses May 21st off the prophetic calendar.

The purpose of Jesus’ foretelling His return (i.e. the rapture)

The purpose of prophecy is not to predict God and try to outguess him, but to know how to watch. If God gave a date, no one would be caught unaware. The whole purpose of waiting and watching is to determine who is faithful and who is not. The unfaithful only keep their house in order when they think they are being watched. That is human nature. When we know the boss is coming, we make sure we look busy, the office is clean, and everything is in order. But a surprise inspection reveals who we really, are and what our work ethic really is.

Those who are truly following Jesus Christ will not be caught unaware. Whether Jesus comes on May 21st, August 15th, or ten years from now – it doesn’t matter. A faithful believer will always be watching because their heart is on obedience, not merely hoping we hear the sound of approaching footsteps in time to get ready.

Do I believe the Lord will one day return? Absolutely. But it will be on a day when the world and the church is unprepared. Those who become apathetic and neglect their call to discipleship will be caught by surprise. The faithful will be surprised as well, but it won’t matter for they are always ready and watching.

Here’s my prediction. Monday morning Harold Camping’s followers will be looking for jobs, and like the 41 failed rapture predicting prophets before him, he’ll have to find an excuse for being wrong.

See you in Church on Sunday.

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  1. You hit the nail on the head, Eddie! Thanks for posting this.

  2. Kohta Hirano says:

    I agree, it is disheartening to see these followers throwing their life away for an event that won’t occur today. I’m an atheist yet I agree with every point you make. Once you apply some basic logic to Camping’s arguement, it just collapses. And even disregarding religion, to put any kind of event down to a year, month, day and hour is just proposterous and impossible. If the world’s going to end, we’ll have no warning of it.

    Also, As you’ve said, there’s no ”Hidden message from God” in these parables and statement. If a person looks at a source with the INTENT to find a hidden message, they will. They’ll misinterpret or wrongly assume facts. The only reason people are following him is because, by nature, they are prone to worry. And if people are worrying and desperate, they’ll turn to anythiing that could give them a way out. Camping states that this date has been spoken of in Religion but what he is right now is the head of a cult with ridiculous beliefs and predictions.

  3. Amy Deardon says:

    Eddie, fabulous essay! I heard Gunther Von Harringa interviewed on Michael Medved’s radio show yesterday, and was impressed with Mr. Medved’s restrained questioning. How sad that Mr. Camping’s organization has so publicized this crazy prediction. It does nothing except sully the name of Christ, hurt the faith of weak believers, and place an obstacle in the path of those who might listen to the gospel.

    Of course we do not know the day or the hour. I’m not even convinced a Rapture, a la The Left Behind series, will occur. It doesn’t matter. We follow Christ, and do his work: feed the poor, comfort the sick, help the lonely, and so forth. If we keep looking at the sky we might trip on something.

    • Eddie Snipes says:

      I agree. It’s interesting that when the disciples were gazing at heaven when Jesus ascended, two angels appeared and said, “Why are you gazing up into heaven?” They were then instructed to do as He commanded. If we stay focused on our instructions to be salt and light in a dark and decaying world, we need not worry about when or how he will return.

  4. Carole Brown says:

    Amen, Eddie. Great post that makes a lot of sense.

  5. Diana says:

    Thanks for this 🙂 It’s nice to read something real and not mocking Christ’s eventual return. God bless you

  6. Fantastic post, Eddie. It IS disheartening to see these people giving Christians a bad name…yet again. Don’t they realize it’s more important to be a true witness and disciple to the lost than to spout off about being able to outsmart or out-think God? There are still far too many prophecies to come true before the season is even nigh. Our job, as you stated from Scripture, is to watch and wait and always be ready. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Andrea says:

    The adage all our parents used on us “No worky, no eaty” has its roots in Paul’s writings to the Thessalonian church (1 or 2? I didn’t look it up).

    When they had a similar prediction, they did the same thing – stopped working to sit around and stare at the sky. Paul said, Get up and work. To be sure you do, let’s make a new rule, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. (I probably paraphrased a little 😉 )

    I’m gonna go find the reference, then I post it here if someone doesn’t beat me to it.

  8. Andrea says:

    2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

    “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. ”

    My memory was slightly faulty. The context of these verses isn’t directly about end-time prophecy. But much of the book discusses this topic, and they definitly apply to that situation, as well as others.

  9. Gkay says:

    The particular reason why the rapture cannot take place today, is because Christians will go through at least half
    of the Great Tribulation period. This can only happen when the “man of sin is revealed” and that has not happened yet.
    Read Matthew 24,it expressly shows a number of things Jesus
    told his disciples prior to his return.Christians will be
    hated by all nations ,delivered up and killed vs.9. Many
    people, even believers just do not read the Bible and what it actually says.The rapture does not mean Christians will escape the anti christ and some of these comings problems.
    We will escape only the absolute worst “wrath” of God against an unbelieving world.

    • Thurston sandlin says:

      no you are absolutely wrong the BIble says that christians will be caught up and will not go through the seven year tribulation what bible ae you reading?

      • Eddie Snipes says:

        I don’t think you fully read this article. The question of when the rapture occurs is not addressed here. This discusses man’s attempt to predict, and it refutes those who refute Jesus’ teaching that it isn’t for man to know or attempt to outguess God. Pretrib and post-trib is another topic.

      • Eddie Snipes says:

        This post doesn’t address the question of post /pre trb rapture. Your objection is unrelated to this topic.

  10. Will says:

    Excellent post Eddie – The whole focus is that we’re supposed to be ready EVERY day. It’s a wicked servant who says that the Lord is delaying His coming. If it’s May 21st, then it couldn’t have been the 20th or earlier, which means Mr. Camping is preaching that the Lord is delaying his coming.

  11. Kevin says:

    I’ve realized another reason the world won’t end based on simple logic. In order for it to be on a specific time, the world’s time would have 100% synchronized, which it isn’t.

  12. Good post, Eddie. But I have to disagree with some of your theology. There is no reason Jesus cannot return on the 21st. If you take that scripture about watching to mean that He can only return if no one is watching, you’ve made the same mistake as the days and years interpretation. By that logic, a person could keep Jesus from returning by expecting Him at any moment, which is what He instructed us to do. He wouldn’t tell us to do something we cannot do. I touched on this on my blog at http://www.kbpeaks.com.
    The return of Christ is imminent. It could happen any time, whether someone picks the day or not. He is not dependent on us, in any form. Point is, it would only be a guess, not a prediction.
    Personally, from what I see happening, I’m surprised He hasn’t come already. All the players are in place. I’m expecting Him any day.

    • Eddie Snipes says:

      There’s a big difference between quoting Jesus and doing what Campings is doing.

      First, I never said that Jesus can’t return until no one is watching. It was Jesus who instructed his disciples to watch and be ready always for he will return at an hour when they are not watching.

      This does not mean that he can’t return if their watching. It means to watch always. Saying he won’t return on the date where a false prophet makes a big prediction doesn’t mean God can’t return. It means that I believe God has the foreknowledge and knows when to return.

      The Bible says that God saw the end from the beginning. He knew when Harold Campings would make his big spectacle – just as He knew when the other 41 false prophets would try to outguess him this century. And he knows when the future false predictions will occur.

      If you carefully read Jesus’ statements above, it’s clear that some will be watching. To watch isn’t to predict, but to live in a way that we will not be ashamed when he returns. It isn’t to bind God. It’s to bind our hearts with the knowledge that there are consequences to living contrary to the truth. Some will be found faithful. Most will not. Those who are truly faithful will never be caught unawares for their lifestyle is centered on living as a disciple.

      Around the world people are afraid and are trying to get things in order. What will their lives be like a month from now? Even the unfaithful straighten up when they see the need. But the true reward is to those who live everyday like they belong to Christ. The Bible is where they look for accountability – not to predictions of those claiming to have inside information.

      This week Harold Campings has his 15 minutes of fame. Next week his 15 minutes of shame. Then everything will be as it was before. Each person’s lifestyle will testify for or against his or her faithfulness.

  13. Penny Zeller says:

    Excellent article, Eddie. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  14. Thurston sandlin says:

    what bible are you reading? the bible clearly states that christians will be raptured and not go through the tribulation

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