Camping is wrong, (as is Jeff) and has been wrong before (For even Suggesting a date in anyway shape or form) and will be again, (I can't wait Til the day after on May 22nd.)
Matthew 24:36-44, while spoken directly to the people in Jesus’ time, also contains a principle. The timing of Jesus’ return and the end of the age is not for us to know. Scripture nowhere encourages us to try to determine the date. Rather, we are to “keep watch, because we do not know on which day our Lord will come” (v. 42). We are to “be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when we do not expect Him” (v. 44). The force of Jesus’ words diminishes if at some point in the future someone will be able to determine when Jesus is coming back. If the date is discovered, we no longer need to “keep watch” or “be ready” until the date is approaching. So, with the principle of Matthew 24:36-44 is mind, no, it is not possible for anyone to know the date that Jesus is coming back.
Despite this clear biblical principle, many throughout Christian history have attempted to prophesy the date that Jesus is coming back. Many such dates have been proposed, and all of them have been wrong. Today, there are two popular proposed dates: May 21, 2011 and December 21, 2012. The December 21, 2012 date is related to the Mayan calendar, with no biblical data used as evidence. The May 21, 2011 date is proposed by Harold Camping of Family Radio. It should be noted that Harold Camping previously predicted that Jesus would come back in 1994. Obviously, Camping was wrong. This should give us yet another reason to doubt the validity of his prediction of May 21, 2011. Camping, does, however, claim to find evidence for the May 21, 2011 date in Scripture. By using a speculative date of 4990 B.C. for the Flood, and then applying the “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years” of 2 Peter 3:8 to the seven days of Genesis 7:4, and then counting down the 7000 years from 4990, the year 2011 results. Then based on “the seventeenth day of the second month” from Genesis 7:11 and using the Hebrew calendar, the date of May 21 is determined. So, is there any validity to Camping’s methodology?
First, Camping conveniently ignores the second half of 2 Peter 3:8, “and a thousand years as one day.” Further, 2 Peter 3:8 is not providing a method for dating the end times. Rather, 2 Peter 3:8 is simply saying that God is above and beyond time. God is timeless, infinite, and eternal. Second, nothing in the context of Genesis 7:4-11 indicates that the “seven days” and “seventeenth day of the second month” are to be interpreted as applying to anything other than what God was specifically saying to Noah. Third, the Flood being dated to 4990 B.C. is speculative at best, with no explicit biblical evidence. Camping’s calculation of May 21, 2011 falls apart with even the most basic biblical scrutiny. Now, is it possible that Jesus be coming back on May 21, 2011? Yes, but it is just as possible that He will come back on any other date. Does Harold Camping’s particular dating methodology have any biblical validity? No, it does not. Assuming that Jesus does not return on or before May 21, 2011, Camping, and others, will surely calculate new future dates and will attempt to explain away mistakes by “errors in the formula” or something to that effect.
The key points are: (1) the Bible nowhere encourages us to attempt to discover the timing of Jesus’ return, and (2) the Bible gives no explicit data by which the timing of Jesus’ return can be determined. Rather than developing wild and speculative calculations to determine when Jesus is coming back, the Bible encourages us to “keep watch” and “be ready” (Matthew 24:42-44). The fact that the day of Jesus’ return is unknown is what should motivate us to live every day in light of the imminence of Christ’s return.
The Second Coming: Signs of Christ's Return and the End of the Age
By: John MacArthur
· 9 years ago