Condemning Millennialism as False Doctrine: The Real Lesson in the Camping Prediction
“Where is the Promise of His Coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the Creation.” (2 Peter 3:4)
Harold Camping managed to attract a lot of media attention with his prediction that today the so-called “rapture” would happen today. Consequently, he has made it possible for non-believers to do what they have always done: scoff and laugh and poke fun. But Harold Camping has done far worse than merely confess what the Bible teaches: that Christ will return again on the last day, he has subjected the entire Christian church to scorn and ridicule because of fanciful predictions, which are all grounded in a common false teaching among many protestant evangelical Christians: believe in a literal millennial rule and reign of Christ. Such teachings, and teachers, and church bodies that tolerate in their midst the heretical view that there will be a literal reign of Christ, on earth for 1000 years, must be rebuked and rejected.
All these teachings subject the Church and all Christians to ridicule. When we suffer persecution, it must be persecution for the truth, not because of a nut making crazy predictions. But he is not alone. Look at the fortune raked in by the authors and publishers of the “Left Behind” books. Shame on any Christian who read those and “enjoyed” them. Shame on those church bodies and church leaders that teach a “millennium” and encourage others to do so.
It is interesting to me to see how silent churches that advance these teachings have been during Mr. Camping’s predictions. They are complicit with such predictions. Mr. Camping just happens to have taken matters further than they are willing to go, but for how long have we been bombarded by apocalyptic predictions, claiming the Book of Revelation is a “road map” to the end times and to fanciful and fanatical distortions of the text of Scripture. Far too many Christians have been willing to be caught up in spending to much time thinking and talking about the “End Times” that they truly have become “so heavenly minded, they are no earthly good.”
Holy Scripture explicitly warns against those who claim to know when the end of all things shall be. Our Lord says to be prepared for the end, much as one might prepare for a thief to come in the night. You make your preparations, you get ready, but you never know when He will return.
So, rather than chuckle and make fun and jokes, let us lament that Mr. Camping is simply taking what is latent in much of American protestantism to an extreme degree, but it is rotten fruit born of the rotten tree of millennialism. Repent therefore of any temptation you have felt to believe all this false teaching and nonsense and then, dear friend, turn to the Lord of the Ages who welcomes you into His eternal kingdom, in the hear and now, through the precious Gospel that gives you complete forgiveness and a home forever in heaven with all the saints and those who have gone before.