After Harold Camping was wrong about the apocalypse occurring in 1994 he attributed his mistake to a mathematical error. This time he is sticking by his prediction by making some changes in the details.
Camping’s predictions can be divided into three phases for the end of the world. First, he predicted that the Rapture would occur on May 21. He has revised this to mean that a spiritual Rapture actually did occur rather than anyone physically rising up. He believes that God did “bring judgment on the world.” Next, Camping had repeated more common Christian prophesies of a period of great suffering for those left behind for five months. This was revised to speculate that a merciful God had decided to spare us this period of suffering. Perhaps having to watch the endless announcements by Republicans as to whether or not they are running for president is sufficient suffering for us.
The final part of the prediction is that the earth will come to an end at the conclusion of this five month period on October 21. Camping is sticking to this saying, “It wont be spiritual on October 21st. The world is going to be destroyed all together, but it will be very quick.”
Only a small minority of Evangelical Christians accept Camping’s prediction with regards to the exact date, however far more share the same basic beliefs while saying the date of the Rapture cannot be predicted. A Pew Research Center found that, “By the year 2050, 41% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ definitely (23%) or probably (18%) will have returned to earth.” Evangelical Christians are most likely to hold this belief: “Fully 58% of white evangelical Christians say Christ will return to earth in this period, by far the highest percentage in any religious group.” This belief is also most commonly held in the south, and those with less eduction are more likely to believe that Jesus will be returning by 2050.