Image by Getty Images via @daylifeAccording to “self-taught biblical scholar and radio mogul” Harold Camping the Just Judge, Jesus Christ, will return on May 21, 2011 “at exactly 6 p.m. local time, whatever your local time is. He’s been delivering this prediction for several years, a recalibration from his earlier prediction that the Rapture would happen in 1994” (Preachers Line Up Against May 21 Leader).
It is amazing to me that people will believe false prophets such as these even while considering themselves Christians. Persons such as Mr. Camping are, by definition, antichrist. Not in the sense of some horror movie but in the true sense that the Gospel they preach is not that which was preached by the Apostles who are the foundation of the Church.
Mr. Camping’s false prediction back in 1994 already shows him as a failed prophet and antichrist, especially since he continues to preach this falsity in clear opposition to Jesus’ own words. Speaking of the Eschaton, Christ states, “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark (RSV) 13:32).
Then of course there is the false and very recent teaching of the “Rapture.” This idea has become wildly popular since the publication of the Left Behind series of novels. I think most would agree that the author of these books took inspiration from the Book of Revelation and Protestant theology that twisted Bible passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which says, “…then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
Those who hold to this recent theological theory (about 150 to 200 years old) that has no basis in Sacred Scripture and/or Sacred Tradition will read 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and point the passage as clear evidence of the “Rapture” as they know it. And as they know it divided. This division of teaching shows evidence against Sola Scriptura and shows Protestantism for what it is: Christianity without the Fullness of Truth.
In the eternal wisdom granted her by Christ, the Church has always taught us that:
The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvellous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death.(Song of Songs 8:6) (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 1040)
What does this mean for us? Well, basically it means that properly catechised Catholics (Christians since AD33) understand that there will only be ONE Second Coming of Jesus and that we are effectively living in the Amillennial period, which is in the Glorious reign of Our Lord – for we are living in a time of Grace. All of this Grace, of course, begins and ends with the mystery of the Holy Eucharist – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ under that appearances of bread and wine.
Anyway, Camping is wrong and preaches a gospel that is not of Our Lord. Saint Peter speaks of persons such as this in 2 Peter 2:1:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words… (2 Peter (RSV) 2:1-3a)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. (1John (RSV) 4:1-3)
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel — not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians (RSV) 1:6-9)
So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians (RSV) 2:19-22)
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame. (Song of Songs (RSV) 8:6)