By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The billboards proclaim the troubling news: May 21, 2011 — Judgment Day Begins.  It’s the latest in a long history of end of days predictions. Most of us enjoy living.

So why would someone want to predict the end of life?

“It is absolutely going to happen,” said 89-year-old Harold Camping, owner of a network of Christian radio stations.”There’s going to be a huge earthquake that will make the big quake in Japan seem like a Sunday school picnic.”

But if the engineer turned Bible scholar’s past history is any indication, this prediction will be as wrong as the 1994 prediction that the world will end.

“As long as history has gone on people have been predicting the end of the world,” said Bill McDonough, director of the masters in theology program at St. Catherine University.

“There’s sort of a God’s on my side sort of thing,” he said.  “This stuff happens around the turns of centuries, it happened around the millennium, and it happens around scary times,” McDonough said.

John Watkins, an English professor at the University of Minnesota who has studied apocalyptic predictions, said they come in cycles.

“We’re in one now:  biggest recession since the 30s?  Must be the world is coming to an end,” Watkins said.

In 1533, Michael Stifel, a German friend of Martin Luther, got his followers to sell their stuff. When the end didn’t happen he was locked in prison so no one would kill him.

In 1844, American Baptist preacher William Miller predicted Oct. 22: A day now known as the “Great Disappointment.”

In 1993, David Koresh went to Waco, Texas to wait out the end.

Some think when the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, that’ll be it.

“For every text you squint and read it backwards, you will find five texts that say we don’t know when the end of the world is, and our job isn’t to get too worried about that,” said McDonough.

Comments (44)
  1. unanswered questions says:

    Id like to know what he says about the prophecy in Revelatioins like the temple of solomon being rebuild, the anti-christ making a peace treaty with isreal marking the start of 7 years of tribulation and many others. or are we just cherry picking and chosing what bible verse to use.

  2. CJ says:

    My Gods were around thousands of years before the Christian God so I’m not all that concerned.

  3. A says:

    Oh CJ. Mythology and mortals don’t count.

  4. Nancy Aleshire says:

    There is no mention made of “the Rapture” The Bible says believers will be taken up into the clouds so we won’t have to face the tribulation on Earth. As a Pentecostal believer, I am not scared. Doomsday preachers come and go, but I know where my final resting place will be.

    1. Jeremy says:

      The Bible does not say we will not have to face tribulation on Earth. Jesus says in Matt. 24 that we will face tribulation before he brings his followers back. Expect to be here. Revelaton 6 makes it pretty clear that we will be here for atleast the 6th seal..

    2. Teched Off says:

      Yup, six feet under.

  5. mark says:

    Put the crack pipe down
    The Bible does not give a time or date. Gad says no one will know, this clown needs help

  6. JamieinMN says:

    No! I can’t wait to laugh hysterically and tell everyone who DOES believe “I told you so” on Sunday May 22nd.

  7. Thundergunn says:

    It’s time to call out these people for what they really are; Selfish, religious zealots. Mr. Camping has probably spent his entire adult life believing he will witness the Rapture. Instead, he’s near his life’s end and … nothing.

  8. What a Joke says:

    These ignorant fools are nothing more than superstitious believers in ghosts and fairy tales.

    Think CargoCult – religious practices that appeared in many tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures.

  9. Angela says:

    This is actually not a good question. It’s the dumbest question you’ve ever entertained.

  10. brandon says:

    people that believe this are just plain stupid

  11. Cody the dog says:

    I’d like those who are to be “raptured” to transfer their money to account. They don’t need it anyway.

  12. BF says:

    I am just trying to decide what my last facebook status update will be. Decisions, decisions!!!

  13. Teched Off says:

    Ok, so, the Earth is like this round thing that is 24 hours around by clock standards. So right now, it is Saturday somewhere, and they are still here, so wherrrrrre is the end? When we die we die, end of story. You cannot predict it, and for some people, death is a new life. Damn we think to much!

    1. Good Ol Boy says:

      Technically, they did mention a specific time, in a specific time zone as being the epicenter, if you will, of the catastrophic event…

  14. Sue says:

    of course the world is not going to end tomorrow, stop being so ridiculous! we all know the world will end december 21st 2012, DUH!

  15. New Man says:

    Why would it matter? If you have Jesus Christ as your savior, you live or die to His gain.

  16. Mark says:

    Happy End-of-the-World Everybody !!!

    Woo Hoo !! No work on Monday !!!

  17. Good Ol Boy says:

    Notice they haven’t quit their jobs, sold their homes or gave their money and possessions away. I bet they still have plans for next week. So, if YOU knew the world was going to end, would you ride it out with a cardboard sign and a custom screen printed T-shirt on a street corner, waving to cars and getting your picture taken?

    1. get real says:

      This must be the only article you’ve read about this story good ol boy. actually, yes many of them have quit their jobs and sold their possessions and some of them have small children that think mommy and daddy are crazy so it’s kind of sad.

  18. E says:

    Matthew 24:36
    “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

    1. Jake says:

      I think that verse might be referring to when the Timberwolves luck will change in the draft lottery.

  19. BC says:

    Its not going to end sat and it wont end in 2012, they keep leaving out the fact that their is a new mayan calendar that starts right after that one ends.

  20. elijah r says:

    if it doesn’t not happen i will send 89 year old an angry call or email and then to laugh at him. people who believe any of this nonsense should be shot especially the mayan calendar believers

  21. elijah r says:

    if it doesn’t not happen i will send 89 year old an angry call or email and then to laugh at him. people who believe any of this nonsense should be shot especially the mayan calendar believers go to the underworld

  22. LilChompStomp says:

    No worries, Gary Spivey said tomorrow is NOT the day…wea re OKAY!

  23. Ben N Whit says:

    IF it’s gonna end tomorrow live life like there’s no regret’s today

  24. Jeremy Davis says:

    I like this guys thinking it gets everyone thinking. But god is not going to destroy the earth he is going to destroy the ones ruining the earth. Pick up your bible and actually read it. Not just Revelations but the entire thing. He made the earth for us to inhabit why would be destroy it?

    1. Gi Gi says:

      How true it is a shame that people can’t believe this and make this place a bettter place to live and maybe god would spare them.

  25. Cry me a river says:

    That’s it, I’m taking a dump on my bosses desk…..

  26. Dave says:

    Everybody, including the news media knows that this guy is a kook and that the world WON’T end. There is no all powerful sky-daddy who has is saying, “That’s it. Everbody, out of the pool!”
    Nevertheless, it stimulates discussion and it gets people to read their websites (including me, guilty!) and it makes advertisers happy.

  27. Tony says:

    Isn’t a Rapture an extinct Dinosaur?

  28. basic notice says:

    People who believe in weird and dangerous things can be convinced to do weird and dangerous things.

  29. Johnny Rain Cloud says:

    What a redicuous claim! Here is a good question: Why does the media just eat these stories up? The world won’t end tomorrow, so these cults will pick a different day. Just dumb. These cults are people who are on welfare and get money from people like me who have a job and pay taxes. So we basically are paying people to be stupid and proclaim outlandish things. I wonder if this kind of job has health benefits and a 401(k)?

  30. Chelsey Little says:

    DIdn’t this same kook claim the same thing in 1999??

  31. BC says:

    Hey if it does and Zombies come out of the ground like they said, im gonna join them and do the Thriller Dance HE HEEE!

  32. Lutefisk says:

    Should be some great pictures from the space station

  33. oh mj says:

    The world already ended. The day michael Jackson died 😦

  34. Victim Du Jour says:

    Environmentalists predict the world will end from Global Warming unless we all repent for their green god.

  35. StupidIdiotsoftheworld says:

    Ohmygod. THIS is was Mental Institutions are for. Just because some stupid old country bumpkin says the worlds to end, WHY ARE WE ALL BELIEVING IT!?

  36. Gi Gi says:

    How do you know God just might say tomorrow the world will end he makes the decisions and if everyone is so concerned then why not try to make the world the way god wanted it without cheaters, murders, child molesters, drugs, and Alchol abusers to much violence in this world and who is to blame not God!!

  37. Charlie Severson says:

    I’m with JamieinMN. When Sunday rolls around, I want to see the reaction of those who are “absolutely certain” it will happen. Anyway, if you are of the Christian faith and you are striving to live your life like Christ, then you shouldn’t be worried about it, as you will supposedly be “saved.”

    I’m with some of the others on this thread, though: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only… …Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” -Matthew 24:36;42-44

    In other words, the Bible literally says NO ONE knows when this will happen, and thus we are always supposed to be prepared.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE