Belief that the world is ending on May 21, 2011, has become a global phenomenon. The May 2011 end of times paranoia started with Harold Camping of Family Radio, who says that mathematics in the bible point to that date as the day that Jesus Christ is coming back to declare judgment on the world.
Believers are encouraged to make signs and distribute them in order to warn humanity of its impending doom and to repent and find Jesus.
The effort has extended beyond the United States, as documented by eBible Fellowship, which shows pictures of "blowing the trumpet of warning" signs displayed in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Guatemala City, and Singapore. The website, which is dedicated to promoting Camping's doomsday message, has a missions map showing the sheer number of radio stations, billboards and "tract" distribution efforts worldwide.
The RV Caravan, Extended Missions and the "Goodbye to Pets" Policy.
Family Radio is promoting "caravan RV mission trips" where people can apply to join the caravan to distribute tracts proclaiming that May 21, 2011, is Judgment Day. In the terms and conditions for participation in "Project Caravan," the application states on page 3:
We have decided that it would be very unwise to allow pets on the Caravan. Pet owners must say goodbye to their pets a few months earlier than in May, 2011.
"Project Jonah" is similar to the "Project Caravan," except that it involves traveling to country to country to warn of the upcoming May 21, 2011, Judgment Day. Once approved, the missionary's commitment lasts until May 21, 2011.
Gay Pride a Sign of the End Times.
Camping preaches that homosexuality is such a shameful abomination that it normally is 'in the closet," but since God is about to destroy the world, the sin has been "let loose" and now the world is seeing gay pride parades and same sex marriage. He says that open homosexuality is a sign of the end times just like in Sodom and Gomorrah — proof, he says, that the world is indeed ending on May 11, 2011.
The Rapture and Judgment Day.
Family Radio teaches that the rapture and judgment day (the end of the world) will happen simultaneously following a "tribulation" that everyone must endure:
In Matthew 24, Christ gives us an outline of the signs or events that will take place just before the end of the world. He declares in Matthew 24:21-31:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
When we examine these verses, we shall see that the rapture not only immediately follows the final tribulation, which believers must endure, but that it will occur simultaneously with the end of the world. Thus, it must occur simultaneously with judgment day.
Camping's Previous Predictions … and Explanation As to Why People Do Not Believe Him Now.
Camping made a similar prediction back in 1994. From Religious Tolerance:
1994-SEP: Harold Camping, president of Family Radio predicted on his radio programs that the end of the world would happen sometime between 1994-SEP-5 and SEP-27. He said that he did not know the precise day because Matthew 24:36 of the Christian Scriptures says that "no man knows the day nor the hour." He interpreted a reference in John 21:1-14 to the disciples being 200 cubits from the shore in the Sea of Galilee as meaning that there would be 2,000 years between the birth and the second coming of Jesus. He estimates that Jesus was born on 0007-OCT-4 BCE.
In one of his sermons explaining why people don't believe or understand the May 21 prediction, Camping explains to his congregation that God has blinded some people because they are "lost" and therefore not saved because they sinned somewhere along the line and are already dead.