The more I think about and read about Harold Camping’s prediction of the end of the world, the more I realize how much harm it has done. Not only for those who followed him wholeheartedly, and spent every cent they had before the expected end, but most especially for those who now mock the Christian faith. Rest assured, Judgement Day will come; we just don’t know when.
In Deuteronomy 4:1-2 Moses instructs the Israelites to obey the Word of God, but to not add anything to it or subtract anything from it. This is a commandment that is repeated in Deuteronomy 12:32 and Revelation 22:18-19, and it is exactly what Harold Camping did. He manipulated facts about dates such that he came up with a convoluted mathematical proof that the rapture would occur at a specific time on a specific day. Not only was this adding to the scripture, it was also contradicting the scriptures that say that no one knows the day or the hour. (Matthew 24:36, Matthew 24:42, Matthew 24:50, Matthew 25:13, Mark 13:32, Acts 1:7) If we add to scripture, we are putting ourselves in the place of God, thinking that we know more than God has made known to us.
God provided us with His word to teach us and to bless us, so that we could know and worship the one true God. Deuteronomy 6:1-3 says that by keeping His commandments and teaching them to our children and grandchildren, we would receive blessing and prolong our days. Matthew 4:4 tells us that we need God’s Word to live on, that living by bread is not enough. We can, like Jesus, use it to guard our hearts against the devil’s schemes. The Psalms indicate that the word of God is like a light to our path (Psalm 119:105) and useful for maintaining a pure life. (Psalm 119:9, March 9, 2011) Mark 4:20 promises that those who follow the Word will bear much fruit.
Nowhere does the Bible indicate that there are secret codes to figure out so that we can learn what the Bible says is not for us to know. The human race was warned from the very beginning not to try to become equal to God by knowing everything that He knows. In the Garden of Eden, even though God commanded against it, the serpent told Eve that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would open her eyes so that she would be like the divine beings—she would know what God knows. (Genesis 3:4-5) Secret things belong to the Lord. (Deuteronomy 29:29) He has, however, given us plenty of other information to think about, study and put into practice. We need to take the things that He did reveal to us, and use them to obey His statutes and give glory to Him.