Family Radio founder Harold Camping may have missed the mark when he predicted the world was going to end this year, first in May and then October, but is he that far off?
In a recent interview with Colorado's 9News, Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, shared his thoughts on the notion of the world ending sometime in the near future.
"These are scary times we are living in," said news anchor Lance Barry. "We are seeing massive storms all over the globe, we are seeing unrest in the streets, we are seeing financial uncertainty. Some, and perhaps a growing chorus, is starting to say we are beginning to see the beginning of the end times."
"What would you tell your followers about the times we are living in?" Barry asked Osteen. "Is there any suggestion this is the beginning of the end?"
Osteen said he could not be certain, but that in these difficult times it is extremely important to have faith and trust in God.
"You know, I'm not sure, the Scripture said towards the end we'll see all these things happening," Osteen replied. "My encouragement has always been to keep moving forward, keep being your best, to live your life like every day like could be your last and to make your life count. So I'm not sure about all the end times, but I do believe we're living in significant times."
Barry also asked if Christians should be excited about the end of the world, as many believe that on that day God will return and take all his followers back up to heaven.
"What we believe as Christians is that at the end it only gets better when you go to be with the Lord, and so I don't think there's anything to fear," Osteen said. "I think that's why the Scripture says when a lot of these things are happening, look up, be full of joy because there are going to be great things."
Throughout the interview, Osteen also discussed topics such as wealth and fame, homosexuality and the church, and how he has seen an increase in the congregation as a result of the difficulties the world is facing.
"When things go down, like the economy and the natural disasters and things like that, in my position and the field that I'm in, we see our churches go up, because many people do turn to their faith in these difficult times," said Osteen. "It's an interesting time, but I do think people are turning to their faith, and I think it's becoming more acceptable."
The full interview can be viewed at KYPOST.com.