Harold Camping has predicted that the world will end on Oct. 21, but has the stroke he suffered not long after his May 21 prediction failed to come to pass having an influence on his recent revamped pronouncements?
Many Christians have expressed concern with the continued assertions by Camping concerning the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the world.
Retired pastor and author Glenn Lee Hill of the Meadowbrook Christian Church in Rocky Mountain N.C. told The Christian Post, "That is an erroneous prophecy, I don't believe the world is about to end. Jesus has provided the choice for people to live forever."
Dr. John Noe, an author and theologian who has appeared on CNN's Larry King with Harold Camping, also expressed disagreement with the Family Radio broadcaster's end times predictions. Noe reminds us of the Gloria Patri, the church doxology which says: "Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: World without end."
It is clear that there are many who fervently disagree with Camping's notion of the end of time, Still there has been a change in Camping;s declarations in the past few months, especially as it relates to the destructive nature of the last days.
In his prior telling of Judgment Day on May 21, Camping spoke of the coming of a great earthquake, "such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great."
He then said that those "who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until Oct. 21, 2011, when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants."
In his latest description, published last month online, of what will happen during the end of the world on Oct. 21, Camping said this: "The end is going to come very very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen by Oct. 21."
He then went on to say that "there would be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God."
This was a comprehension that comforted Camping, as he pointed out, due to the consideration of loved ones "that are dear to us, that we know are not saved, and yet we know that they will quietly die and that will be the end of the story.”
What has caused the change in his description of this event, in terms of its violent intensity, over the last few months? Is it possible that Camping's recent illness contributed to his change of perspective?
On June 9, Camping suffered a stroke, which caused him to be hospitalized. On Sept. 20, Family Radio posted a special announcement on its website which said, "By God's mercy Mr. Camping has been able to return home, where he is continuing his recuperation in the care of his dear wife."
Did such a life threatening, or perhaps, near-death experience like a stroke, influenced Camping's new view of a much quieter, no-suffering Oct. 21 judgment day?
Research done on near-death experiences find that those affected often have a new-found appreciation for life and loved ones.
Could this explain Camping's softer tone and his regard for loved ones? Or is this simply just another prophetic insight, on Camping's list of unfulfilled prophetic insights?