It's the End of the World As We Know It (Again)
My friends, I have to confess an unpardonable lapse of judgment. I have some very bad news to deliver, and what's worse, I forgot to tell you until now, when it's almost too late!
Please, let me explain. As you may recall, the brave and righteous Mr. Harold Camping previously predicted that the Rapture would occur on May 21 of this year, along with a massive earthquake that would cause global devastation on all those heathens left behind. Well, we all know how that worked out.
But proving that you can't keep a good man down, Camping has bounced back. He's posted to his website has a not-to-be-missed explanation titled What Happened on May 21? In it, he sets the record straight for those foolish souls who ever dreamed of doubting him:
We always look at the word "earthquake" to mean the earth, or ground, is quaking or shaking violently. However, in the Bible the word "earth" can include people as well as ground... Therefore we have learned from our experience of last May 21 what actually happened. All of mankind was shaken with fear. Indeed the earth (or mankind) did quake in a way it had never before been shaken.
Well, he certainly got one thing right - people were shaking on May 21, that's for sure. That said, I'm pretty sure it was with laughter rather than terror. But, moving on:
The second word, "rapture," identifies with the idea of the completion of God's salvation program... No one who had not become saved by that date [May 21] can ever become saved.
So, May 21 was the date when the great deli counter in the sky ran out of numbered tickets. It kind of makes you wonder why Camping is taking the trouble to write this, doesn't it? If there's no possibility of anyone else getting saved, then all he can possibly achieve is to tell us in advance of our impending doom. Doesn't that mean that all he's doing is gloating? Why wouldn't he just leave us in blissful ignorance to enjoy our last few days of life?
Thus we have learned that except for a somewhat different understanding of the words "earthquake" and "rapture" or "catching up" no other past teachings of Judgment Day or the end of the world have been changed.
See? See? It's just a "somewhat different" understanding, that's all - like fixing a typo. Other than the minor quibble of redefining all the key terms in his prophetic scheme to mean something other than what he originally said they meant, Harold Camping hasn't changed a thing! Scoff at that if you can, skeptics!
And Camping hasn't given up. Indeed, his beliefs will soon be put to the ultimate test. There's one final date in his timetable that has yet to arrive - and here, I'm afraid, is the bad news:
Indeed, on May 21 Christ did come spiritually to put all of the unsaved throughout the world into judgment. But that universal judgment will not be physically seen until the last day of the five month judgment period, on October 21, 2011... Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21...
You see, then, how negligent I've been. We have only one day left to live, and I forgot to tell you until now!
...Wait a minute. The end of the world is happening on a Friday? God damn it, God. I know you've got this whole intricate 6,000-year-long numerological scheme worked out that fixes the precise dates for every major event in the history of creation, but come on, couldn't you at least put it off till after the sweekend?
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