When I was a child back in the forties there were numerous predictions that the world was coming to an end. Of course, it never did. Thatís not to say that I wasnít concerned, because, frankly, the first couple of times someone predicted a certain date for earthís demise, I was uncomfortable the whole day, and relieved when the day was over.
As the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9), which might explain the most recent prophesy from doomsday prophet Harold Camping that we were to expect the Rapture/Apocalypse on May 21st. Of course, just like similar predictions from my childhood, nothing happened.
That said, I know there were many people who were concerned.
I would like to suggest to the men who make these predictions that in doing so they show themselves to be one of the false prophets the Word of God warns us about (Matthew 24:11). I say this because in stating that they know what day the world will end, they are, by implication, stating that the Bible is not to be believed.
As a fundamentalist Christian, I find that offensive, but my sensitivities are of no concern. What is of importance is the affect these false prophesies have on the worlds view of God and His Word -- that is to say, every time one of these Doomsday predictions comes and goes without being fulfilled, the body of Godís church looks like it is made up of a bunch of crackpots. To the general public, it is guilt by association.
Please donít misunderstand. I am quite sure that most of these clergymen/prophets have in their minds the best of intentions. But I am equally sure that they know little of the God they say they serve.
Listen to the words of Christ in Mark 13:31-33 (NKJV): "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is." There are other such references (e.g. Luke 12:40 & Revelation 3:3), all with like meaning.
Jesus, at the heart of our religion, is telling those who will listen, that not even the angels, and more important, not even Himself, knows when the end will come -- yet so called Christian "prophets" trumpet the day of the Apocalypse. Theyíve figured out the hidden formula, done the math, or God spoke to them. You can check the math all you want; it comes to a grand total of zero. And as far as hearing from GodÖI doubt it. My biblically inspired belief is that the Father will tell the Son long before He tells a minister here on earth -- and the Bible says Jesus doesnít know.
The end of the world will come just as the Bible describes. Of that I have no doubt. But no one knows when. How do I know that? The Bible tells me so.