A number of earthquakes struck different parts of the United States this week, including parts of Texas, Hawaii and California in the days leading up to Oct. 21 – the day the Rapture was predicted to occur for the second time this year by Family Radio host Harold Camping.
A 4.5-magnitude earthquake shook the northern part of the Big Island in Hawaii on Wednesday afternoon, with an epicenter about 13 miles southeast of Waimea, according to the United States Geological Survey. On Thursday morning, a 4.8-magnitude quake also struck 47 miles southeast of San Antonio, Texas, an uncommon occurrence in the state.
Another earthquake, with a magnitude of 4.0, struck the San Francisco Bay area in the early afternoon on Thursday, ironically occurring just hours after 8.6 million people reportedly participated in the 2011 Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill.
Though they are a somewhat rare occurrence, do these recent earthquakes really indicate the world will end today?
When Camping predicted Judgment Day would come on May 21, he said it would begin with a series of destructive earthquakes that would occur in each of the world's time zones. Although an Icelandic volcano eruption and a few earthquakes – in northern California and New Zealand – did occur that day, the damage wasn't convincing and the Rapture never came.
Camping revised his prediction after the day came and went, saying May 21 was indeed the beginning of a five month “day” of judgment and a spiritual rapture had occurred. Oct. 21 was the new date he set for the physical Rapture to take place.
An article on Family Radio's website titled “What Happened On May 21?” says the incorrect prediction for May was caused, in part, by a misunderstanding of the word “earthquake.” The article points to the Genesis account of God’s creation of Adam from the dust of the earth as a justification for what happened, or didn't happen, in May.
“Therefore we have learned from our experience of last May 21 what actually happened,” the article says. “All of mankind was shaken with fear. Indeed the earth (or mankind) did quake in a way it had never before been shaken. God had come spiritually to bring judgment upon the whole world.”
Will Graham, the oldest son of Franklin Graham and grandson of Billy Graham, spoke with The Christian Post after Camping's rapture prediction didn't materialize earlier this year, making it clear that Judgment Day should be taken seriously but its date cannot be accurately predicted.
"Harold couldn't be more right. The end of the world is coming," Graham said. "We just don't know the time of it. From his calculations, he was off. I don't think there is any man on earth who can ever really calculate to any degree when the return of Christ is going to be."
According to Camping, Friday marks the day when the world will come to an end but not as violently as he initially expected. “The end is going to come very, very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen by Oct. 21,” he said last month on Family Radio.
Also changing his previous prediction, Camping said there would be no pain suffered by those who are not raptured.
Camping has made similar Judgment Day predictions before including a 1994 forecast of the second coming of Christ.