In his book 1994? Harold Camping states the end of the world may occur this year, somewhere between September 15-17. He does not know the exact day because Scripture says "no man knows the day nor the hour" (Matt. 24:36). But according to Camping we can certainly know the month and the year that Christ will return.
Camping sold tens of thousands of copies of 1994? He appeared on "Larry King Live." A two-day debate was held between Camping and two professors from Westminster Theological Seminary. The media have given Camping's view front-page coverage because of his calculated prediction that Jesus will return then in 1994.
On Sept. 6, 1994, dozens of Camping's believers gathered inside Alameda's Veterans Memorial Building to await the return of Christ, an event Camping had promised for two years. Followers dressed children in their Sunday best and held Bibles open-faced toward heaven.
But the world did not end. Camping allowed that he may have made a mathematical error. He spent the next decade running new calculations, as well as overseeing a media company that has grown significantly in size and reach.
"We are now translated into 48 languages and have been transmitting into China on an AM station without getting jammed once," Camping said. "How can that happen without God's mercy?"
Now Camping is at it again, predicting today, May 21, 2011, will be the end of the world.
What would Camping say this time? Another God's mercy, or another expansion of his radio station?
What about his followers then? According to Justin Berton's report on SFGate, Rick LaCasse, who attended the September 1994 service in Alameda, said that 15 years later, his faith in Camping has only strengthened.
"Evidently, he was wrong," LaCasse allowed, "but this time it is going to happen. There was some doubt last time, but we didn't have any proofs. This time we do."
Would his opinion of Camping change if May 21, 2011, ended without incident?
"I can't even think like that," LaCasse said. "Everything is too positive right now. There's too little time to think like that."