Precisely predicting the end of the world.

I have a confession. And it is a little embarrassing.

In 1999, in the weeks before the feared collapse of all technology and the possible zombie colonization of America, I bought a few gallons of water. I didn’t think the world was going to end, but for some reason I was pretty sure that I needed 14 gallons of water in my parent’s basement.

I’m not sure that would have been long enough to survive on after civilization’s collapse but I could have at least used it to walk to a major city with my son, in search of my wife who may have become part of the undead masses. I think my life just merged with a graphic novel/television show since I don’t have a son, but I did buy those waters out of fear.

I blame the Y2K gun show I attended as a people watching adventure. It was in Alabama and people were saying things like, “When the banks collapse, bullets will be currency.” I considered getting a book on curing your own squirrel jerky, but instead bought a t-shirt that said, “Suburban Self-Reliance, if you can’t get out, you better get ready.” Awesome.

So when I recently saw a billboard that advertised the coming apocalypse, my old feelings of water storage were stirred up. I’m not sure if you have these billboards in your state, but here is what they say:

“HE is coming again! May 21, 2011.”

There are a few things I think about this:

1. The 7th grade version of me would have been terrified.

13-year-old Jon Acuff would have been horrified to hear this news. Not so much because of the end of the world but because I wanted to get married before Jesus came back and well… I talked about this in the first chapter of the Stuff Christians Like book. It’s embarrassing, but in the 7th grade I had a few things I wanted to accomplish before the return of Christ.

2. The dead birds falling from the sky can’t have helped.

I recently read an article by a biologist who said mass deaths by certain species are very common, but often go unnoticed by the media. Doesn’t matter. The bird deaths reported recently are definitely going to add fuel to an end of the world fire.

3. Wasn’t the end of the world predicted when I was in high school?

I distinctly remember seeing a poster with a red cross on a telephone pole proclaiming the end of the world. (When I was in high school in 1992, hanging things on telephone poles was our version of the Internet.) I sat in class, probably thinking about the immense talent of Gerardo, which was clearly displayed in “Rico Suave,” and how much I loved shopping at the Chess King.

4. Does it say May 21, 2011 in the Bible?

I’ve read the Bible completely through and never saw it explicitly mentioned. It’s possible it was in a genealogy list that I “scripture skimmed,” but I feel like I would have seen that.

5. Doesn’t it say we won’t know when the end times are in the Bible?

Matthew 24:36 say, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” And that wasn’t a disciple saying that, that was Jesus. We’re talking red letters. Maybe the Message version of the Bible says, “but only the Father and certain billboards on 65 North outside of Nashville,” but I doubt it.

6. Is anyone going to let California know?

I have no fear that these warnings are spread across the southern states, but is anyone going to tell California what’s happening on May 21? Mike Foster lives there. Carlos Whittaker visits often. There might not be as many churches there, but if Tennessee is part of the Bible Belt, I consider California to be the Bible Sunglasses. Somebody better give California a heads up.

7. Are we trying to beat the Mayans?

Isn’t there a Mayan calendar from days gone by that predicts the end of the world in 2012? I know there’s a stunning film, a work of art captured in two hours of perfection that makes “Citizen Kane” and “Gone with the Wind” look like drivel, but isn’t there a Mayan calendar prediction? Are we racing that?

Those are the seven, exact things that go through my mind in the split second when I drive by those billboards. Then my wife says, “Are you writing a post in your head right now?” And I say, “That’s crazy talk! I love you. You’re so pretty!”

Am I the only one who has seen this billboard? Are they in your town too? Am I the only one who deep, deep down inside with 2% of myself thinks, “what if they’re right?”

What’s your take?

Is the world ending on May 21, 2011?

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Comments

  1. Beth says

    I’ve not seen those billboards but if everyone is saying the world will def. end on May 21, 2011, then I’m pretty sure that’s the one day the world will actually not end on. So I’ll probably go to Target, since it won’t be crowded…

      • jefflyle says

        Be careful at Target. The same ppl that put up the bilboard about May 21st are running a quarter page ad in local newspapers saying that the antichrist will emerge from the produce aisle at an American Target store. Be afraid…be very afriad.

    • Saint Mercy says

      I live in north Alabama and we don’t have one of those billboards. Although I did see an article on this prediction on a news website. I had similar response to yours, particularity about the Mayans. Are we trying to show them up? Like, “HaHa our apocalypse is better than yours!”
      Anyway here we have an atheist billboard causing it own issues:
      It says “You KNOW they’re all SCAMS.” and features images of symbols of the 5 major religions. Everyone is freaking out about it. It is pretty amusing.

  2. April says

    As a teenager, I agree I would have been completely terrified by these billboards. Now, I cringe and drive on. In the interest of full disclosure, you better believe I’ll be on my best behavior on the 21rst :). Just kidding. Maybe.

  3. Josh says

    I taught sociology to high schoolers at a public school last year, and at some point the end of the world came up. Some Christian commentator had a video saying the world was going to end in April 2010 or something. So I included that in our class discussion – tongue in cheek.

    The morning after the supposed ending (9th and 10th graders) came to school saying they were terrified to go to bed that night, scared about what would happen! Cracked me up. I love teaching high school.

  4. paul says

    I hear these billboards are going up around Atlanta though I have not seen one. I’m told the people putting them up claim to be Christians. It never ceases to amaze me how often we see so called ‘Christians’ saying incredibly stupid stuff like this in direct contradiction to the Bible. If they own Bibles apparently they don’t bother to actually read them. Or even scripture skim for that matter.

  5. Jenn Williams says

    May 21, 2011 is my husband’s and my 6th anniversary. It’s also 9 days before we leave for Rwanda with Land of 1000 Hills.

    So, I think this falls in the category of “I know I’m supposed to want Jesus to come back soon, but after then would be preferable.”

    Oh the silliness of all our predictions! And California as the Bible sunglasses – love it!

  6. Rob Shepherd says

    I haven’t seen that billboard, but I wish I saw one like. I might even create one. It would say, I know the Date the World will End – text me to find out. I would then put one of my friends cell numbers on the billboard. How much to billboards cost?

    • Lisa Granger says

      They actually didn’t…The “end of the Mayan calendar” in 2012 is actually just referring to one of many Mayan calendars, and if you were to speak to an anthropologist or historian who has studied Mayan culture, or better yet, an actual Mayan Priest (the do still exist!) then they will tell you that it’s not so much “the end of the world” but “the end of an era.” Though Christians, Muslims and Jews tend to view time as mostly linear that’s not a way of thinking that was or is shared with other cultures and religions (in fact, I believe that besides being monotheistic religions that share a common deity, and tracing their origins back to a common founder, the whole “time=linear” thing is considered to be one of the main distinguishing factors of the Abraham faiths). I believe, that like many ancient (and actually, many contemporary) cultures and faiths, the Mayans thought time to be cyclical.

    • Matt T. says

      A general rule of thumb is that the History Channel is even less reliable than Fox News/MSNBC (there, debate thwarted).

  7. emspeaks says

    Hmmm, that would definitely cramp my plans for this year.

    I agree, the 7th-grade me would have been TERRIFIED at seeing that billboard, but mainly because the 7th-grade me was afraid of everything. Including the idea of sex, so I wouldn’t have even wanted Jesus to hold off coming back until after I got married. I … had problems. Also, the whole “Matthew 24:36″ thing wouldn’t have occurred to the 7th-grade me. But these people! Supposedly Christians! Seriously, do you pick up a Bible once in a while?? I don’t want to sound judgy, but … it’s God’s Word! GET IT RIGHT!

    OK I’m done now.

  8. Paul Sappington says

    1844 – The Great Dissappointment: The Baptist group that fell for the prediction formed the Seventh-Day Adventists, and made up an excuse for why 1844 WAS the beginning of judgment.

    1935 – Billy Sunday calculated this year as the end of the world. He died that year.

    “88 Reasons the Rapture Will Happen in 1988″ – a book that was followed-up in 1989.

    Yeah, I’m interested in what excuse these people will come up with in May 22.

    I’m in Missouri, and an article appeared in our local newspaper.

  9. Dan from Newnan, GA says

    No.

    I have not seen the billboards, but this person’s crusade has been mentioned on Christianitytoday.com. Oh, I am sure some bible-illiterates will explain away Jesus’ comment about not knowing the day or the hour…

    By the way, I stopped buying into the Y2K hysteria about a year before Dec 31, 1999. Why? Do you REALLY think that EVERY computer chip was somehow incorrectly designed? People were afraid of the toasters going bonkers!!! Geez.

  10. SARS says

    Well I am getting married on the 21st of May 2011. I know it might be stressful preparing weddings but I never thought it might culminate in being responsible for the end of the world.

    Massively hoping we are not raptured away before my wedding *fingers and toes crossed*

    • Craig R says

      Some would say that marriage IS the end of the world.
      Certainly not me. Honey, if your reading this I love you. :)

  11. Some Guy says

    If California is the Bible Sunglasses, does that mean Florida is the Bible Boot?

    But they probably don’t wear boots much there… maybe Bible Sandals?

  12. Jefflyle says

    I don’t know when. You don’t know when. The Mayans were sucking down mass quantities of jungle peyote so they were all tripping. None of the goofy American cults know when it all comes crashing down. Maybe we should ask those buffoons at Westboro Baptist Church- it would give them something to distract them from the folly of picketing funerals. One thing is for sure: He’s coming again. Better get ready.

    • KMR says

      I think that’s the point actually. If we believe scripture He is coming again (although I don’t know if by rapture). Do I think it’s May 21st? I think it’s safe to say the chances of that are slim (and after reading their reasoning for choosing that date, I’m pretty comfortable saying non-existant). But does the idea of it make me nervous? No. As a Christian, why should God coming and ending the tears and pain of so many people make me nervous?

    • Michael Wong says

      You casually make fun of other peoples’ religious beliefs, yet you would probably bristle if someone made fun of your own. How is the Mayan religion any more absurd or laughable than yours?

      • jefflyle says

        Not in the mood to debate with you today, Michael. Perhaps you should consider developing a sense of humor as a new year’s resolution. In case you haven’t noticed, the Christian faith is made fun of constantly and I really don’t take it personally. Find me a Mayan and I’ll be glad to apologize.

        • Michael Wong says

          So if I were to describe Christianity as nothing more than the ignorant hallucinatory ravings of drunken Bronze Age shepherds and fishermen, that doesn’t bother you at all? Just good fun? If so, then fair enough. To be honest, though, I think that if I did that anywhere OTHER than as a response to you doing it to some other religion, you would have a very negative reaction.

          • Jefflyle says

            Having a negative reaction is not the same thing as taking it personally. It’s easier for hear that kind of stuff because I’m assured that there will be an occasion yet future wherein you will learn how horribly wrong you are in your rejection of Christ. I have prayed more than once that you will realize this yourself prior to the end of your life on earth. One way or another, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. He has not left us with an option B.

  13. Bethesda Lily says

    I actually stumbled upon this doctrine (am I allowed to call this teaching a doctrine?) accidentally. I was looking at an apparently unrelated website entitled “Links of Interest to the Visually-Impaired”. But among the Braille watches and talking screen-readers was a link that said “Judgment Day: May 21, 2010″. What did that have to do with anything? And so, not because I actually believe this, but because I wondered how badly others were being led astray, I clicked on that link. How they came up with this particular date is complicated, and I shall leave it to others to explain the calculations. But yes, Jon, you are reading the Word correctly; that date is nowhere found in Scripture! As for point 5 on that brilliant list of yours, you wouldn’t believe what was said of it. According to this “ministry”, Jesus’ command not to seek to know the times and seasons and His words that no man knows the hour were inserted for the early church only and do not apply today. So… What else are we to abandon because it was “for the early church only”? In all other areas, this site seemed to embrace Scripture, but the one area that did not confirm its unique date has been theologically obliterated.

    So, do I believe that Jesus COULD return on May 21? Of course. He is God. Do I believe that His coming would be in response to this ministry’s words or that this particular ministry is prophetic? Absolutely not! I have actually been studying Revelation pretty intensively and, while many of the signs of His return seem to be reaching their fulfillment, I’m not comfortable making these sorts of predictions. Be ready always, but predicting specific dates is, to put it plainly, misleading the flock.

    It looks as if I’ve gotten more serious than is my wont on this site, but there it is–the Bethesda Lily strong opinion of the month. Maranatha!

  14. Tina says

    In our area we have smaller signs, but also a van painted in big, bold letters proclaiming it. As a believer, it makes me cringe because yet again we’re made to look like idiots–this is up there with Haiti getting bombarded b/c of dedicating themselves to Satan.

    I, too, am dying to know what their website says on May 22nd. Maybe “Make ya look!” or “Gotcha!” ?

  15. Michael Wong says

    As a man with a scientific background, I have the luxury of being able to dismiss doomsday predictions as the silly tripe that they are, so if anyone thinks the world is going to end on May 21, 2011, I’ll make an offer: I’ll lend you money on May 20, and you sign a contract promising to pay me back ten times as much on May 22.

    I would also be willing to offer post-Rapture pet care services to Christians, so that your beloved pets would find a caring home after you’re taken up. Of course, you would have to pay up-front.

    • paul says

      Hilarious. I’m sorry to say there are those who will probably take you up on the post-rapture pet care. Don’t even get me started on how little evidence (esentially none) there is for the idea that the rapture will take place before end times. That’s mostly wishful thinking.

    • paul says

      Funny! I’m sorry to say that there are those who will probably take you up on the post-rapture pet care. Of course there is the whole debate about whether or not our pets are going to heaven with us. Don’t even get me started on how little evidence (essentially none) there is for the idea that the rapture even takes place before end times. That’s just wishful thinking from those of us who prefer not to suffer. Cause you know, according to Revelation, the end times are really gonna suck.

      • paul says

        I apologize for the double post. I got an error on the first post and it did not show up. Got an error on the second post and then bam, they both showed up. My bad.

    • Jefflyle says

      Hey, Michael, you just made fun of my belief system and I didn’t bristle like you predicted. I guess failed prophecies belong both to atheists and people of faith!

  16. Joseph says

    Silly Christians… It never ceases to amaze me how much some people get obsessed with prophecy and the end times and the rapture, blah, blah, blah… Don’t get me wrong – it’s scripture, so it’s important. But I always tell my students that they already know how they should live, and it shouldn’t make any difference if they have 50 years left or only 2.

  17. Paul in Tucson says

    We don’t need to tell CA. They’re safe. What will happen is that on 5/21, the San Andreas Fault will finally split. The good news is that CA won’t sink into the Pacific when it happens. The bad news, though, is that everything EAST of Burbank will sink into the Atlantic. I know this is true because similar things happen all the time in Road Runner cartoons, which are the epitome of apocalyptic visions.

  18. PepperReed says

    An acquaintance of mine noticed the ‘proclamation’ and thought perhaps if this group really believed that the Raptures was going to take place on 5/21/11, the should consider signing all of their valuable worldly good (house, cars, bank accounts, etc) over to charity, as they won’t be needing them any more.

  19. Nicole says

    A friend of mine at work is convinces it’s going to be May 2012. He doesn’t think the world is coming to an end but he thinks that there will be earthquakes, horrible weather, and all kinds of mayhem. Wait a second… wasn’t there a bad earthquake in Hati last year, and a tornado in MO and AR? The bird situation is causing a lot of mayhem…hmmmm

  20. Sam says

    I read that the guy behind this whole thing has predicted the Rapture before. And, uh, I don’t remember hearing about Jesus being back in town; how about you?

    I always go back to that Charles Schultz quote about not worrying about the end of the world– it’s always tomorrow in Australia.

  21. Ramona says

    I saw the bill board the day before the news cycle covered it. Many of the same thoughts went through my mind! There was a ‘end of the world’ scare when I was in high school too – although that was many years before Jon was in high school!

    BTW – if anyone is interested on my take on the billboard, you can read my Jan 3 blog on it: http://ramblingsjesusfreak.blogspot.com. I said pretty much the same thing said here though.

    • KMR says

      I read your first two entries. The one on Jon the Baptist brought me to tears and your one on May 21st was thought-provoking. Just thought I’d let you know I enjoyed them…..

  22. Ramona says

    I saw that billboard just outside of Columbus Ohio the day before it showed up in the news cycle. I admit my reactions were a lot like yours, Jon. I even had an ‘end of the world’ scare in high school – although that was many years before you were in high school. Some things never change!

    BTW – I blogged about this too. If anyone is interested, look at the Jan 3 post on my blog: http://ramblingsjesusfreak.blogspot.com. I do say many of the same things Jon said here, but maybe you want another take in it.

  23. Jeremiah says

    I saw one of the signs of the apocalypse last night: Michael Tate from DC Talk is now the lead singer for Newsboys. I’m sure this is news to only me, but this singularity of Christian supergroups (even though I don’t think any of the old newsboys were actually in it) must be a sign of the end. It is like the Christian version of the Beatles going out and getting Jim Morrison to sing for them. I was waiting for Carmen to show up…

  24. Selena says

    I think end-of-world predictions are a way for Satan to make us focus on self-preservation, instead of pouring ourselves out for others and spreading the gospel. Fear is not from God.

  25. Marni says

    I have seen all kinds of dates recently – and this is one of them. Welcome to the south folks (and this is North Carolina, so I am still trying to figure out how this is the “south”)! My take is actually the thought that you stated clearly…#5. We won’t know the time, nor date, when all that we “know” ends. Jesus said it – no questions left to be asked with this one. It’s pretty “red” and white.

    • paul says

      Well, you’re pushing the limits of the South. And y’all like yellow bar-b-que. But, technically, you are below the Mason-Dixon. Just kidding. Heck, Mayberry is in North Carolina. You can’t get a whole lot more southern than that.

  26. sharideth says

    the world has been predicted to end no less than 3 times in my lifetime. i’m not that old.

    in 1992, the earth was suppose to end by earthquake. so my fiance (now hubs) and i threw an End of the World Earthquake Party. there were over 70 people in our basement apartment, we served milkshakes (get it?) and had live bands all night long. by the time we moved out, there were still footprints on the ceiling from the mosh pit.

    yes. the footprints were mine.

    • KMR says

      Just to clarify the group isn’t saying the world will end on May 21st. That’s just the rapture. The world will officially end in October 2011 – don’t think they’ve put out an actual date yet. There. Doesn’t that make you feel better ;)

  27. stacy from louisville says

    “Suburban Self-Reliance, if you can’t get out, you better get ready.” OK, I want this shirt but I want to tweek it:

    “Motherhood: If you can’t get out, you better get ready.”

  28. Brenda says

    “I consider California to be the Bible Sunglasses.” I love this so much. And I can totally picture Jenny asking you if you’re writing a post in your head. It just seems so Acuff.

  29. Stacy From Louisville says

    You have my eternal devotion. You said “Rico Suave”. Rico…….Suave……..Rico……Suave……..Me gusta.

  30. michael says

    You made me laugh with #1. I had the same thought when I saw this silly prophecy.
    This the same guy that said Christ was returning in 1994, oops, he reminds me of my GPS when I’ve made a wrong turn. “Oh Christ didn’t come back when I said he would…Recalculating…Recalculating…”

  31. Lisa says

    Too funny Jon!

    The end of the world hype has some nice benefits. Good stuff, cheap, for instance.

    The birds dying, is well, I hate to say this, but all my fault. I didn’t mean to do it, but I’ve had some great quiet times lately, and some powerful meditation moments…and well, I guess it just got out of hand. Sorry. Lesson learned!

    In related news, I just posted about cage fighting God: A “How To” (obviously). It’s way easier than you think, and you don’t even have to tag out.

    I invite you and friends to read and respond here: http://wp.me/p1g2iA-18d

  32. Brenda says

    “I consider California to be the Bible Sunglasses.” I love this so much. And I can totally picture Jenny asking you if you’re writing a post in your head. It just seems so Acuff.

    Have you ever seen the movie A Thief in the Night? I watched that as a kid, and it made the rapture into something terrifying for me. I wasn’t TOO worried about the year 2000 y2k new millennium stuff, but in the back of my head I think I was still a little worried. Specific predictions don’t bother me anymore. I’m more just amused by them, wondering how on earth people think they know the unknowable.

  33. Kara says

    Although I haven’t seen any of the billboards, consider Cali successfully warned. I’ll start speading the news here. (;

  34. seekingpastor says

    I have not seen these billboards, but I recently saw a bumper sticker that said “Sunday is not the Sabbath. Sunday Law will soon be enforced.” Not sure what this means, but it is just as weird.

  35. Darlene T says

    At a Wal~Mart parking lot in Salem, Oregon there were several RV’s painted black with the words, “Judgement Day May 21, 2012″ written on them. I took a picture.

    I just think we need to not be concerned with the timing, but just be ready. Have your lamps full of oil, you know?

  36. Brandon Pachey says

    I am not saying its going to happen, but if it I am going to be laughing at everyone that doubted the billboard…

    And the people that were waiting for a sign, since there are billboards now and all….

  37. Jessie says

    Haven’t seen the billboards, and, because of #5 above, I’m not really concerned about this date or Dec 12 of next year. You could almost be positive Jesus won’t return these days, can’t you? ;)

    This made me smile: “That’s crazy talk! I love you. You’re so pretty!” Sometimes I wish my husband would learn this line. :)

  38. Kathryn says

    Yesterday driving home from church, there was a man standing on the corner of Cool Springs and Mallory. He had a giant wooden cross with words to the effect of the world’s ending. The cross was so big he couldn’t hold it upright. Wow…

  39. Hey Now says

    The billboards are up in Orlando. If they serve no other purpose I guess they can help open a dialogue regarding being ready at all times for Jesus’ return.I also had an embarassing crush on a boy my friends called Rico Suave for various reasons. Good times.

  40. Pam says

    I live in Jackson, TN and haven’t seen any billboards like that. I do see the occasional hand printed sign along I-40 declaring the end of the world, though….does that count?

  41. jjmahoney says

    I’d like news cameras in the faces of the people making that prediction on May 22nd to ask them why they’re still here.

    I had a friend 20 years ago who went to some revival meeting and came to church the next Sunday raving about Christ coming back the following Spring (probably May too). This was back in the early 90s. It may have been the same one you mentioned in 92. But my friend was thoroughly convinced that this person had a string of evidence that pointed to that date. A lot of that kind of stuff went on during the first Gulf War, with comparisons to Revelation creatures and fighter jets with faces painted on them. “Maybe John was seeing these planes and didn’t know they were planes!!” Yeah, maybe. :-

    For all those false prophecies, I’d love to see them held accountable when the prophecy doesn’t happen. The Bible has a lot to say about false prophets.

  42. Gabe Taviano says

    I don’t believe Cali needs any notice, since the billboards here in Columbus, OH (The LORD is COMING – May 21, 2011) are from Family Radio from Oakland. Pointing to 7,000 years after the flood / citing 2 Peter 3:8. The insanity goes on.

      • Tesorae says

        Amen, amen. Goes to show just how much the Bible can be twisted if you allow it to be. And it goes to show what can happen if you take the Bible out of context.

        • Luis says

          I wonder how many people -Christians, could talk/read their claims and make a fair and Biblical defense against their idea.. ‘m afraid many mock but don’t have the Biblical knowledge to know why they could be off.

  43. Beth W says

    I have seen one in Kansas City, Missouri on I-35 North, headed to Des Moines, IA – so they are NOT just in the south. I’m not sure if we are on the northern edge of the Bible Belt or not. What do I think when I see it? I immediate think – “there they go again!” I simply fall back on your #5 because if Jesus said it, I believe it and that settles it!

  44. Laurie says

    Haven’t seen any billboards in my area and don’t know when the world will end but I truly loved the Chess King reference. Almost choked on my salad from laughing….which is why I love this blog. :)

  45. Ash says

    As a Christian, this is one of my favorite activities. I’m working on a board game based on this idea. It will be much like Clue. Except that Jesus is always the answer. (Jesus! From the east of the dining room at 4:38 pm on October 3, 2017!)

  46. Debbie says

    Don’t worry about California! We may not have billboards, but there is a very large bus that we’ve seen driving through our neighborhood that has been painted to alert us to May 21st.

    My husband was so intrigued, he actually altered our route so we could follow it and read more.

  47. Chase says

    Good old Harold Camping. He said Jesus would return in 1994, he said the apocalypse would wipe Jerusalem in 1988, etc.

    Jesus said to always be ready, to always have oil in your lamp. But these type of things make us look like fools but give us a great opportunity if we take notice.

    Its a chance to share truth and love with people. Sure, dates are stunning, but the world laughs at all Christians when false prophets make dramatic statements.

    Its a beautiful chance to share the real Jesus if we take the time to show them Him and we He actually said.

  48. Rachel says

    Oh yes, those billboards have made it to California! Has created quite the “who cares?” and “who’s the HE?” frenzy. Maybe our tolerance for weirdos and crazies is just too high for anyone to get too worked up over a few billboards? Regardless, I still think it is a strange and ridiculous billboard campaign!

  49. SamL says

    Figures it would be the day before my birthday. I’m not convinced but I’m asking for my presents a couple days early, you know, just in case.

  50. Javier says

    Don’t believe that anyone is going to be raptured on May 11th, 2011, nor do I really believe that Jesus will come on that date. I think to a certain degree it can bring up some interesting conversations, but on the other hand can make us Christians look bad when we say something like this is going to happen and then it doesn’t. Essentially it’s a bad interpretation of Bible prophecy…

    Even so come Lord Jesus…in regards to California don’t worry about them they got Rick Warren:)

  51. Betsy says

    Yeah, we’ve got the billboards here. I even read part of the group’s website about their “calculations.” Like so many groups that have gone before – recent and further back in history – this group is trying to pinpoint something that can’t be marked or known. I don’t know what that temptation is, but I do know I’ll be interested to see the reaction shots on May 22nd.

    • Betsy says

      “Here” = in Atlanta. Sorry about that vagueness. Obviously I should have been as precise with my location as these folks are with their timing.

  52. Sarah says

    Don’t worry about California– we know! In fact, the church sponsoring the billboards is based in the Bay Area (Near San Francisco). Growing up one of my parents friends attended that church. She owned a pet store in our town, and I used to go there often. I was about 11 at the time. One day she started telling me that if I didn’t go to church with her, that I would be left here, there would be earthquakes, my parents would probably die, and I would be alone. Coming from a non-Christian home, I knew nothing about the Rapture– so you could imagine the horror I felt. I started having nightmares, was afraid to leave my parents to go to school, I cried a lot. It was bad.

    I started going to a baptist church fairly soon after that whole thing with some neighbors– and couldn’t understand why everyone talked about the rapture like it was a good thing. To be honest– I consider myself to be a strong Christian, I love God– but talking about the rapture is still ultra hard for me. I can’t watch end-time movies (a la theif in the night) if a loud car drives by in the middle of the night– I panic. So, even though I’m 28 years old now, seeing those billboards up, and hearing people talk about it, it still stirs up fear in me. So needless to say, I’m ready for May 22nd so the loonies will pack up and go home.

  53. Anna says

    if you were some of those people who keep saying it will happen on may 21,2011 or in 2012 wouldn’t you feel stupid when it doesn’t happen? lol Since it does say in the scripture that no one knows when he will return i just can’t imagine him deciding that humans had a good idea about when he should return. I believe it will be a day no one will expect.

  54. JmyJon says

    Let’s see: 5/21/2011. 5+2=7. And 2+1+2+0+1+1=7. That’s 2 out of the 3 7s that make up 777. I’m convinced. Stocking up on bottled water as I type. And maybe some Slim Jim’ to snap into.

  55. DWH says

    I don’t know if there are any billboards in California, but good luck wrestling any one of the LA billboards away from the film production companies. We have movies coming out, dammit, and we need everyone in town to know, even though many people in town know people who worked on those very films. This California resident has, however, heard about this particular rapture date. I suppose it means that all the saved people will be spared having to watch the Smurfs movie, and all the dirty heathens that are left deserve to have it inflicted on them…

  56. Mimi says

    Only 2%?!? You’re dang near saint-hood! Chess King…shudder and giggle. Seriously, the world has already ended…I’m just waiting for it to be re-made.

  57. Bruce Lofland says

    I have not seen a billboard like this. I gave up on end-of-the-world predictions back in the 90s when they were everywhere. I remember in 1980 when someone told me the world would end ing 1998. It ruined my whole day. No more though.

  58. Lindsey Whitney says

    We have one downtown too. Something about the return of Christ, a Bible study starting soon, and that date. I could never figure out what the date was being ascribed to, but perhaps it was indeed the end of the world.

    I recently read the book 2012 last year, which examined 10 end of the world theories. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the solar flares, but I don’t think the world is ending anytime soon.

  59. Lindsey Whitney says

    We have one downtown (Erie, PA) too. Something about the return of Christ, a Bible study starting soon, and that date. I could never figure out what the date was being ascribed to, but perhaps it was indeed the end of the world.

    I recently read the book 2012 last year, which examined 10 end of the world theories. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the solar flares, but I don’t think the world is ending anytime soon.

  60. Tiffany says

    I live in Nashville, so I have seen the billboards. Honestly, when they first went up it is was before Christmas and I thought it was an advertisement for some grand Christmas event. “He is coming, again” Like they were going to have a live nativity or something really snazzy. Yeah yeah, the date says May 21, 2011…. I didn’t really read it while I was speeding by. It looks like a Christmas scene so I just assumed….

  61. Amanda says

    I live in Arkansas and I’ve seen a few of the billboards. Of course part of me considers that the world may in fact end on May 21, 2011, but the rest of me highly doubts it. Why? Because I always come back to the scripture that says no one knows the day of Christ’s return. And since God has a sense of humor, I kinda feel like he won’t pick that day simply because people think they have figured it out. ;)

  62. Bob says

    They’re all over the place thanks to the fruitbats at Family Radio (Oakland, CA), lead by Harold Camping. Same outfit responsible for the signs on the telephone poles that you saw in 1991.

    We had one in our town (Concord, NH), on a utility pole that you saw as you were turning in to the main entrance of the Fort Eddy Shopping Plaza. Remnants of it may still be there today. It was mostly still there in 2001.

    They’re all the same group. The billboard campaign is national. That’s a lot of money going down the tubes to rent all that billboard space. It’s a shame it isn’t being used for legitimate causes (like mosquito netting, clean water, etc…).

  63. Melissa says

    “…if Tennessee is part of the Bible Belt, I consider California to be the Bible Sunglasses. Somebody better give California a heads up.”
    hahahahahaha thanks for the shoutout!

  64. Johanne says

    I have to admit; when I hear someone tell me the world is going to end and then they give a date, for a split second my mind wanders to the movies. Thank God he put Matthew 24:36 in the Bible!

  65. Rachel says

    I’m pretty sure that the world’s not going to end May 21. Actually, I’ll bet money that God says, “Yeah, I thought about May 21, but now I’m SPECIFICALLY not going to make the world end that day because the humans think they know so much. Silly humans.”

  66. Tricia says

    I’m gonna be eating some serious crow if they ARE right. My sister listens to the quack who promotes this idea….

    But if anything gives me pause to think that maybe it’s real, it might be that California re-elected Jerry Brown to be its governor. If anything screams, “The End is Nigh!” it’s got to be that!

  67. Beth says

    I actually think that might be the day that Neyland Stadium on UT’s campus has been booked for non-denominational, east Tennessee-region wide worship. :) Interesting…

  68. Justin says

    This is great! I have thought numbers 1,2 and 5 for sure. Not gonna lie all those dead birds had me googling what was in some of those end time prophecies.

  69. Melody Logan says

    We saw a caravan of about 7 of these vehicles driving to Nashville to visit my in-laws for Christmas from Northwest Arkansas. It was humorous to me. My husband and I then proceeded to get into a discussion about #7. But I went to the website to check out what this madness was all about…it is just that. I think there are always going to be a person or group of people who cannot handle God not revealing specific things to them so they try to figure it out themselves instead of letting God be in control. There are things we will just never know until they happen and as Christians shouldn’t we be okay with that?? Oh well….it will definitely be interesting on May 22….:)

    BTW, I read your blog everyday and thoroughly enjoy it!!!

  70. Jooje B says

    Perfect excuse to procrastinate in buying my wife’s birthday gift. If they’re wrong, I still have 10 days to piece something together…

  71. Dan says

    As a practical joke, we should get hordes of people to dress up as Jesus on May 21 and go knocking on doors…

    “Hey guys, it’s Me! I gave you a heads up way in advance – are you all packed and ready to go? I’m hoping we can all fit in my Civic, but if not, we’ll take the bus!”

  72. Howie says

    “I sat in class, probably thinking about the immense talent of Gerardo, which was clearly displayed in “Rico Suave,” and how much I loved shopping at the Chess King.” HAHAHA!!! I really shouldn’t read this when I’m in a position to not be able to guffaw loudly!

    We in California are aware of this, which makes us wonder which will happen first: Jesus’ return (I vote for that one), or tumbling into the ocean…

  73. Christina W. says

    I always liked my mom’s response to these kind of predictions. Since the Bible says no-one will know the day or the hour, as soon as someone predicts those specifics we can be quite sure that’s a time when Jesus will not return.

  74. Jackie says

    I think it would be awesome if it happened on May 20th just to catch those folks off guard, you know, the ones that are planning on having a last hurrah the night before Jesus arrives… haha

  75. moonchild11 says

    I was in 5th grade when Y2K and I specifically remember being secretly excited because I thought the end of civilization would be a fun adventure I guess. But, then my parents got worried and stocked up our basement with SPAM. SPAM! I didn’t want the world to end if it meant I’d have to eat Spam for the rest of my life. She could have at least bought Twinkies. Then the world didn’t end and I was still getting leftover y2k spam in my lunches in high school. I actually found a few cans last Christmas that we never got around to eating. Maybe they’ll come in handy this May.

    And if the world DOES end in May, well, at least I’ll never have to pay back all these school bills.

  76. Steve says

    Can’t remember who it was, but I remember hearing that one of the many people who predicted the end of the world was shameless enough to predict another one pretty quickly after their original guess went past! I guess there’s more worrying things they could be doing…

    Seriously though, people who’re fanatically into this kind of thing often, not always but often, do nothing to help the people & the world now. I guess there seems no point if they know there’s not much time left. May as well just wait…

    …as you already said in the post, NO. ONE. KNOWS. END. OF. DISCUSSION!

    I totally realise that won’t end the discussion, it’ll probably make it worse! But it made me feel better.

    I’m from the UK, if that helps anyone understand any of that…

  77. Tammy says

    If it is, that’s pretty exciting, we get to party in Heaven with Jesus.However, I’m very curious to watch what they will be saying on May 12th.But really, there are much more important things for the church to focus on-like sharing God’s love with a lost world instead of make unscriptural predictions of when they will be out of time. Just saying…

  78. Tesorae says

    They are popping up in central Ohio, too! Everywhere is going to know the “world is ending.” :-S

    The good thing about this is that it prompted a great conversation between me and a friend of mine about the end times, what really will happen when Jesus comes back, and whether or not we can actually know when it is going to happen. We discussed salvation and living a Godly life while on Earth – pointing others toward the Light.

    My fear about this, however, is that (because the Bible says even the Son does not know, as you pointed out in your blog) when the world does NOT end on May 21, 2011, people who have turned to God out of fear are going to become unreachable. While they once may have been influenced to see Christ’s love, many people are going to be completely turned off to the idea of Christ, because of the lies which “led them to Him.” Granted, if they run from Christ because of a lie of a proclaimed believer, they did not have a real relationship with Him anyway, but it is still a worry that they never will because of this.

    • Chin says

      I wou;dn’t worry too much about anyone getting ticked off that they were tricked into coming to accept Jesus as Lord. No matter why you came to Jesus, a real conversion is exactly that – a real conversion! If it’s out of fear alone and there was no real experience of a relationship with the Lord, then there’ll be another opportunity to get with the program. My recommendation is that we all live, one day at a time – as best we can so that we need not fear the end of days!

  79. eric says

    I just hope that when it doesn’t happen (I guess I should say when/if for fairness) on 5/21/11 that we show the same grace that He would…judging other Christians for predicting an incorrect date would be way worse than predicting the date, right?

    Grace required…for all of us. May 22nd may be the time for them to get some.

    • Matt says

      It is not judging a fellow Christian to strongly condemn a teaching method that goes contrary to words clearly spoken by Jesus. As a minister, if I do not speak out against this sort of nonsense, I allow my flock to be led astray by false teaching.

  80. Mary s says

    We have them in colorado. That date also happens to be my husbands 30th birthday, he thinks Jesus is coming to celebrate…

  81. KMR says

    Since a lot of people have mentioned Matthew 24:36 I thought I would throw out that this particular group HAS considered that verse and have explanations on why it doesn’t apply. Are they valid explanations? I personally don’t get them but they are definitely worth reading if you find that kind of stuff interesting. http://www.wecanknow.com/

    • Charis says

      Yeah.. I’m going to say that a hefty percentage of the scriptures noted in their reasoning are pulled quite far out of context, even to the point of contradicting the rest of Scripture.
      I mean, if I wanted a son, and went through the bible pulling out every instance where God said, “And you shall have a son,” that doesn’t mean I’m gonna have a son, right?

  82. Paul says

    I plan to read your take on what didn’t happen – on May 22, 2011. I have plans for the summer. Our church has a couple dozen folks going to Swaziiland to work this summer. The Detroit Lions are finally winning. Naw… I think we could make better use of the bucks for billboards.

  83. Bruce says

    Simply put? No. But it did used to freak me out too when I was eight. Of course, that’s when rabbit ear antennas on the t.v. were cable. No one even heard of the “inter-web” or the “YouTube”… The date set was 1988. One generation after 1948. Our pastor showed us a movie called, “A Thief in the Night.” Now, it’s only the production value that disturbs me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6xmDRwcjv4

  84. Ashley says

    I’ve seen those bumperstickers with the May end-of-world date out here in California (in both english AND spanish).

    Mind you, I’m in the conservative part of the state…

  85. Tim Newton says

    I saw a May 21, 2011 ad in a Reader’s Digest and I just had to follow up. The reasoning they give is hilarious: since a day is as a thousand years to God, and Noah had seven days to warn humanity before the flood, then that means that 7,000 years after the flood began the world is over. Makes sense, right? O.oa <—Scratching my head.

  86. Nicole Egerer says

    I feel/felt the same way. The birds AND fish dying certainly does add to the fuel or the end of the world hysteria. And supposedly its not just in the U.S. but my hubby said there are also reports of it happening in Italy too. I want me and my husband to have a baby before Jesus comes but then again, I think I’ll take Him over a dying world any day (no matter what day it turns out to be!)

    Thanks for sharing! Your posts brighten my day for sure!

    Kind Regards,
    Nicole

  87. ARuthC says

    I haven’t seen the billboards, but some guy on twitter told me that the world was ending May 21, 2011. I replied that it was nice to know exactly how long I have to finish all my books.

  88. Valerie P says

    Kudos for the phrase in #2, “adding fuel to the end of the world fire”…nice imagery. I’ll see your Chess King and raise you a Contempo Casuals! My 4th grade self would have driven right off the freeway in panic if She’d seen the billboard(4th graders shouldn’t be driving for this very reason), that year really freaked me out, with “The Day After” on TV, and other things I shouldn’t have been watching. Luckily the thirty(coughing-to-cover-up-actual-age)year-old in me looks forward to Jesus coming back, and the the next part of eternity kicking in. I don’t plan to be around for the ugly stuff via the Rapture, but luckily my handsome redneck (see, I said handsome first, so I can sneak the judgement in under radar) husband has a lot of bullets, water and Spam (which I will only eat in a last ditch effort to end it all…the bullets I mean, never the Spam).

  89. Helen says

    Sigh. On the one hand, I love Jesus, and I really am looking forward to His return.

    On the other hand, I myself want to give the lost “just a little more time…”. I wonder how He must feel.

  90. rksun says

    Lol, California has been warned! Yesterday my pastor mentioned it in his sermon and said that since it’s not for us to know the day or the hour, all these billboards tell him is that it for sure won’t be that day! :D

  91. brendq cole says

    If Jesus doesn’t know the date of his return, then I’m pretty sure the “date setters” won’t be figuring it out.

  92. Amy says

    LOL, I don’t think the world is ending any time soon . . . not likely anyway . . .

    But I’ve seen and read enough apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels, Twilight Zone episodes, zombie and sci-fi movies that I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to have a 2-4 weeks’ worth of water, food and ammunition stock piled in a secure bunker, just in case.

    And I’m only half kidding.

    Especially if the dispensationalist are wrong (not wading into that argument today) and we don’t get to skip out on the turbulent end times by being raptured first.

  93. Drew says

    When I was in fifth grade, back in the 70s, I remember someone predicting that the rapture would happen between noon and 3pm on a particular day. Unclear on all this rapture stuff (we were mainstream Lutherans) I looked it up. Then I seriously freaked out. But I told no one.

    The day came, and I was freaked out all day. I would be at school when the rapture happened, and this idea of being separated from my family when Jesus came back really bothered me. Well, most of the day I had other things running through my mind, but in idle moments, the dread fear came back.

    Anyway, I think at about 5pm that evening, I suddenly remembered that, oh yeah, the rapture was supposed to happen between noon and 3pm, and it didn’t!

    Over the next few days, I calmed down about it considerably.

    Since then, I consider the logic behind “no one will know the day or the hour,” and whenever someone makes a prediction, I mark it off. “Well, I know the rapture ain’t happening then!”

  94. coffeemom says

    DON’T PANIC!
    Reserve your table at Millyways (the restaurant at the end of the Universe)
    and remember the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42.

  95. Kathy says

    Is this a good excuse to get out of attending fundraising meetings for my food bank dinner auction on …. TA DA … May 21, 2011?

  96. Ashley says

    Yes, these people are everywhere! I saw it written in spray paint on a make-shift house church in Charleston, SC. Then I had people handing me pamphlets on the Brooklyn Bridge. Looks like their headquarters are in Brooklyn so obviously they are a little bit crazy.

  97. Conor says

    I’ve seen this group posting ads all over the place. Who are they and why are they so convinced that is when the end will come?

  98. Sam says

    I live in Brooklyn, New York and they have a free paper they give out on the subways called the metro. Believe it or not, i think last November, they had a full two page spread saying that the world will end May 21st. I also remember in 2008 or 2007, there was a guy who started a website who was completely sure the rapture would occur in the summer of that year because of a vision he had.. I’ve just always wondered why are so obsessed with predicting when it will happen..

  99. Alban says

    Yeah. The first thing that came to mind was “I guess this means I’m not getting married before Jesus comes.”

    Come to think of it, this may not be a bad pickup line…

  100. Lauren says

    I’m a missionary in Guatemala working in a Indigenous Mayan village. Some people have stopped paying mortgages, electric bills and so on because they believe the world will end, or reset, in December 2012. We’re thinking maybe we should take advantage of this and get some souls saved. Pull one of those “well you may not need to pay your electric bill to keep warm if the world’s ending, but speaking of warm, hell’s gonna be a doozie.”

  101. Samantha Kite says

    To be 100% honest, I never pay attention to those kinds of things. But I do think it’s something we need to think more about. One of two things is going to happen. Jesus will either return first or you will die first. Not you as in Jon Acuff you, but you as in anyone reading this comment (the few). One of those events could happen any moment. To be honest, the sad part is, I hope they don’t happen soon. Is it terrible to have things you want done before Jesus gets back? I want to get married and have children. I want to write a book. I have all these desires that to me are like bargaining chips with Jesus. “Please don’t come back yet because I have so much to do..” Like I’m anything. I’m nothing in the picture of the universe. He is God almighty. He can come back any time.

    I’m just saying, whether or not it happens on May 21, 2011, I’ve recently been really convicted over the fact that I haven’t thought about Jesus coming back or life after death too much except that I know I want to go to heaven. I just think there’s more than that.

  102. Jewelielyn says

    i live in california, and i want to thank you for sharing this important information! because i have not seen any of these billboard warnings. so thanks for having our back ;-)

  103. Carol says

    I’d just like to say how much I appreciate your frequent Chess King and Z. Cavaricci references. And that thanks to Google, I just discovered those pants are still in circulation.

  104. Lady Tam says

    Part of me would be flooded with relief to have a solid date like that, actually. About five months would be just enough time to get all my affairs in order! XD

    Hrmm…that’s an idea. What if we lived our lives as if the world was going to end in five months? [In a positive way, that is. Not in a panicked, buy-and-store-all-canned-items-in-the-basement kind of way.]

  105. Shae says

    Thanks for letting California know! Seriously, with the exception of the Mayan Calendar and occasional crazy cult news story, we don’t hear anything. I think we’re too fond of wearing our sunglasses at night (or in doors, or in the “rain”)

    I had to laugh at this though, because I do wonder deep down, but then, as I joke with one of my friends, “If God is real, and as powerful and awesome as I believe him to be, then I have to believe He would end the world the day after the prediction, just because He’s God, and He can.”

  106. Terrance says

    I know you’re just kidding about #6, but I’ll have you know that there are at least 33 churches around the University of California, Berkeley, campus that are part of Unity in Christ, a group dedicated to promoting ‘unity in Christ’ amongst the fellowships at Cal.

    And I think I heard about the May 21st prediction on NPR, so yes, California knows. At least those who were listening to NPR when that was broadcast…

  107. Krystal says

    It’s funny that it said May…I recently heard a tv minister say October. Oddly enough the date was still the 21st. So they must be sure on the date…they just can’t decide on the month. ;P

    But really, you’d think that these people would realize that if Jesus doesn’t even know …then odds are we won’t either.

    I remember when I was a kid, my cousin would always say the same thing you did…she wanted to get married and have a family before Jesus came back. She wanted him to hold off just until she grew up…that’s not really too much to ask, right? lol I however would hope and pray for the rapture every morning before school so I could get out of going lol.

  108. Angie says

    I guess this is the modern version of someone standing on the street with signs that say, “The End is Nigh!”. Which begs the queston – Are the sign-holders now organized and buying up add space?! I somehow find that more alarming than the end of the world…

  109. newlywed says

    oh, this is the first time I’ve heard about the new improved date. How do they get past that whole “no one knows the day or the hour” verse?
    I’m recalling the 88 reasons Jesus will come back in ’88 (then- whoops, miscalculation- 1989!) And we got on the Y2K bandwagon, too. And my little niece wanted to us to visit for Christmas because “the world is going to end in 2012″ (she saw the movie)

  110. Debbie says

    No, don’t think that will be the day. While the dead birds, fish and penguins is concerning; my biggest concern lies in the persecution of our brothers and sisters abroad.

    I read an article of a woman who just graduated with her Masters, was offered and job and refused so that she could live up until May 21…really?

  111. Debbie says

    No, don’t think that will be the day. While the dead birds, fish and penguins is concerning; my biggest concern lies in the persecution of our brothers and sisters abroad.

    I read an article of a woman who just graduated with her Masters, was offered a job and refused so that she could live up until May 21…really?

  112. Hope says

    The front of the last catalog that we got from budk.com (knife store in Moultrie, GA)said “Prepare for the Apocalypse”, that was the first I had heard about it. So I ordered one of each knife and sword, and now I am ready for it.

    You know I am kidding about buying knives and swords right?

  113. Bill U. says

    Is the world going to end on May 21, 2011? Will Jesus return on that day? For those of us with life debilitating handicaps I sure hope so, but I doubt it. We’re not going to get off that easy. For those of you who believe they are not going to be “left behind”, think again. Things are going to get alot worse before you “take off”.

  114. Kelly says

    We had a guy preach a revival in 2002 and he was sure the world was ending in 2007, he had carefully disected the Bible and knew this to be true. Well 2007 came and went. Just sayin’…

  115. Alan says

    This will probably happen as predicted, as those of us who live in Philadelphia are pretty stoked by having Cliff Lee join an already loaded pitching rotation.

  116. JoeB says

    This is coming from Harold Camping – of Family Radio. He also said the world was ending September of 1994 and even wrote a book detailing his logic and conviction “1994?”… he was wrong.

    Camping is jacked up on numerology and ascribes secret meanings and interpretations using numbers and various applications of them in the Bible.

    I find his conclusions largely irrelevant. We either live in Christ today, forever, or we do not. If we live in the former, it doesn’t really matter when the “beginning” is. If we live in the prior, every second is a cause for alarm regardless of when the “end” is.

  117. Hershey says

    Nope, haven’t seen any signs, but we have had like 5,000 birds drop out of the sky in the past few days. I’m in Arkansas though, so it seemed more likely to me that some redneck had somehow made a giant shotgun and was just blasting away while sippin’ a Bud and Yelling “GET UR DONE!!”

    • Melody says

      haha! I am in Arkansas too and that sounds like the most logical explanation of the birds that I have heard!! Thanks for the laugh!!

  118. ElusiveTurkey says

    I live in California and, unfortunately, we’ve already heard about this. Thanks for the concern though.

    My mom stored water in about 50 empty 2-liter Pepsi bottles in 1999. After 2000 came and Y2K was no longer a threat, my cousin and I had a blast pouring out the water bottles all over each other. So I guess some good came of it.

  119. Dineen Miller says

    Okay, this just cracked me up, so I had to say thanks for the chuckle. I read a lot but don’t comment (you have plenty without mine). Loved the part about CA—I live in the Bay Area so consider CA notified. LOL!

    But the comment about your wife asking if you just wrote a blog post in your head really made me laugh. As an author, I totally get that. My poor hubby. He waits for me to “come back.” LOL!

    Thanks again! Blessings!

  120. Jake says

    I’m only 40 & I’ve seen the End of the World come and go several times. For those of us who remember the Cold War, it seemed like EVERY DAY was predicted to be the end of the world…except certain holidays. I believe the Bible is the Divine Word of God, and I’ve read Revelation. (Notice I didn’t spell it “Revelations.”) This is what I’ve seen: God has a plan; God has given us signs as time progresses to remind us He has a plan; and, we win in the end.

  121. Erin says

    There’s one in my town, too, and it gets on my nerves. And maybe freaks me out a little. Then again, I’m the gal who used to get freaked out my the headlines in The Sun when I was standing in line at the grocery store with my mom…

  122. Sarah says

    I’ve thought about asking the people who are predicting this if I can help spend their money. Because you know if they are really going with this they should be giving money away and we’re adopting and it’s about $25,000. So if anyone meets them – send them my way. But for conscience sake, send them to 2 Thessalonians first and maybe they’ll change their ways.

  123. nick says

    I’ve had a business card on the fridge for months now that my wife found at the checkout counter in Target! I’m thinking of throwing a party for the end of the world on May 21! My wife is bummed that we might not get to see our anniversary on the 23rd!

  124. Jared says

    I’ve known for a long time that 5/21/2011 would be the end of the world. That’s my 50th birthday!

    I live in California & came home several months ago to a packet of “tracts” on my doorstep announcing the big date.

    • Grey says

      I am convinced the end of the world is probably the only way for us 50 somethings to get off of AARP’s mailing list.

      • Stacey says

        Awesome comment.. I used to sort my grandmother’s mail and practically have to wade my way out of the pile from AARP.. If you don’t get your fill there you can always turn on TV Land midday.. my grandmother also gave Bonanza a special place in my heart but the AARP Medicare Supplement commercials at double volume gave my Mute button a purpose in life.

  125. LeeAnna says

    Here in Butte, Montana, people are actually using their cars as billboards….yeah that crap is up here too lol

  126. Ali says

    I haven’t seen any in GA but I have heard of them. I also went to their website and read how they know these things. In my opinion it didn’t make a whole lot of sense, it kind of sounded like people pulling numbers out of different places in the Bible and adding and subtracting to get something that, in their minds, made sense (also while reading I couldn’t help but be reminded a little of the movie 23, the one with Jim Carrey, but I digress). Anyway, whenever I think about this or see something about the billboards, many of these same things run through my mind, especially number 5. Also as much as I hate to admit it I also “deep, deep down inside with 2% of myself thinks, ‘what if they’re right?’”

  127. Danni says

    They are in Oklahoma, but not in billboards that I have seen. They are written on the sides of white vans that apparently come in packs of 5 or 6.

  128. Willie Mac says

    Yes, Jon; the end of the world is definitively coming on May 21, 2011. Did you not hear the great prophet Jack Van Impe proclaim it to be so at the beginning of the year? Were you death when that prophetic genius John Hagee sounded forth the call of the Messiah’s return on this particular day, which not much different than he does every week? I mean there was over a foot of snow in Northern Alabama for goodness sake…yes, it is the end of the world!

    False. It will not be the end of the world on May 21, 2011

  129. mattias says

    This is news to me. My favorite part is where your wife knows you so well that she can pinpoint the moments where you’re thinking of a new post.

    Oh, and the water thing, you should definitely be embarrassed.

  130. Garrett Wragg says

    Since that May 21st is my birthday, I can officially say that I do not believe the world will end on my birthday.

  131. Josh says

    I live in Philly area and haven’t seen these billboards. But my wedding date is May 21, 2011. For some reason I googled this date and saw posts about the world ending. I then thought your number 1 thought, I really want to have my honeymoon before this event, and if not I will be so mad, haha.. I also started reading your book shortly after I saw the posts of the end and thought the first chapter essay that touched on this was hilarious. –Sorry for the Long post!

    • Susan says

      My wededing is May 21st, too! And I totally agree…. I hope Jesus is running a little bit late and doesn’t get here until the 12th. For the exact reasons mentioned by 7th grade Jon. :)

  132. Daisy says

    Hello? Harold Camping (the wacko predictor of this) is from Oakland, California, so consider us notified! So proud that we get to claim another nut-job. There are some great conversations about this. The best comment I saw was that he can’t be a prophets because he was wrong about the world ending in 1994 and God’s prophets are never wrong. Bazam!

  133. Daisy says

    Hello? Harold Camping (the wacko prognosticator)is from Oakland, California, so we get to claim the win on this. So proud that we foisted another nut-job on the world. There’s some great discussion about this out there…my favorite comment was that since Camping was wrong about the world ending in 1994, he cannot be a prophet. God’s prophets are never wrong. Bazinga!

  134. Jessica J. says

    This is really gonna mess up my reading the Bible in a year plan. Hopefully I won’t be left behind because of being less than half way done.

  135. Wendy says

    Read this and will be sure to tweet and email all the California church member I know! Us Californians sure love spreading word about end times on twitter and highways! lol

  136. Raven says

    Stamping Out Harold Camping

    Is Second Coming date-setter Harold Camping worthy of death? He already has a zero batting average after his September 1994 prediction fizzle and, according to the Bible, is a false prophet.
    Nevertheless that California shaman, who should be ashamed, claims he’s found out that Christ’s return will be on May 21, 2011 even though Matt. 24:36 says that no one knows the “day” or “hour” of it!
    A Google article (“Obama Fulfilling the Bible”) points out that “Deut. 18:20-22 in the Old Testament requires the death penalty for false prophets.”
    The same article reveals that “Christians are commanded to ask God to send severe judgment on persons who commit and support the worst forms of evil (see I Cor. 5 and note ‘taken away’).”
    Theologically radioactive Harold Camping and his ga-ga groupies (with their billboards featuring “May 21, 2011″) should worry about being “stamped out” if many persons decide to follow the I Cor. 5 command.
    The above article concludes: “False prophets in the OT were stoned to death. Today they are just stoned!”
    PS – For many years Camping was not known as a pretrib rapture teacher. But now, for $ome my$teriou$ rea$on, he seeks support from those who believe in and teach an imminent, pretrib rapture which supposedly will occur SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE the traditional SECOND COMING to earth! For a behind-the-scenes, documented look at the 181-year-old pretrib rapture belief (which was never a part of any official theology or organized church before 1830!), Google “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards” and “Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts.”

    • DonDonP1 says

      Well said! Good thing, I have never seen a ’5/21/11′ billboard and never will. I shall agree with people stating that the world will not end on May 21st or October 21st this year, nor will it end on December 21st of next year, for I’m looking forward to all the good, non-apocalyptic events that will truly happen, especially the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games in the United Kingdom. Yes, May 21st will come and go without incident, as will October 21st, 2011, and December 21st, 2012.

  137. Melody says

    Ah, yes, the good ole days…1995, age 11, and my dad (God love him) was saying Jesus might come in 2000. So afraid he would come before I got my driver’s license, ha!
    And coming from the Belt Buckle of Texas (that’s right, the Big D), I nearly died laughing at Bible Sunglasses. Classic.

  138. Catalina says

    I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who mentally checks her social calendar, wondering what will she be doing on the day of the supposed end of the world.

  139. Katie Brewer says

    I have to admit. When I was a little girl I used to go to bed at night and purposely think to myself “Jesus is coming back tomorrow” just so that he WOULDN’T, seeing that I just said that he would and no one knows when he’s coming back.

  140. K8Ybug says

    My sister in law is totally into the world ending in 2012, Nostradomus’ prediction…(spelling on that is incorrect I’m sure.) She is positive that the world will end in 2012, and has based all of her beliefs on the fact that she now has 1 year left to live. I laugh at her and tell her that when 2013 hits, assuming that God has not returned to grab me, or has chosen to take me to heaven, I will be the first one calling her at midnight asking her what she believes in now… my bible ready in my hand, and praying that she will finally be ready to accept Jesus in her heart. I believe no one has predicted the time or day, because thats what God has told us, and I’m believing God. :)

    • Vince Smith says

      My brother had an interesting take on the “no man knows the day” idea. He suggested that a group of Christians should band together (any number would do, but 365 seemed to be the “right” number) and be assigned days, so that every day would be covered by at least one of the group. they would then proclaim that their day was the day that Jesus would return. Since none of them could be right (because the Scripture can never be contradicted), the return of Christ could be put off indefinitely.

  141. Brittany says

    Two RV’s completely decked out in “He’s coming! May 21, 2011″ spotted in Santa Cruz, California today…the Bible Sunglasses are being warned.

  142. Scott says

    I was at that “terrified age” when the report “88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return In 1988″ was published. It had us a little freaked out. Then October ’88 came . . . and went. And went some more. A year later the same group published “89 Reasons.” I think the last one was, “‘Cause He didn’t show up last year.”

    This is not a new practice. People have been trying to nail down a certain time and date since the first century. Apparently, when God wrote “no man shall know,” He really meant “Okay, a few of them will get kinda close.” There’s nothing to fear from any of this, of course. Hey, God could beat them (AND the Mayans) to the punch. The end may come sooner than May. Wouldn’t THAT be a laugh. . . !

  143. Usher says

    Whenever I hear somebody saying the end of the world is on such and such a day, I feel like God makes sure he does NOT rapture us on that day, lol. I know that’s sounds silly, but since Jesus said that nobody knows the day or the hour, I feel like he would never let somebody be even accidently correct. Then, I wish people would stop prediciting when it was going to be so that it would happen already, lol. Oh, and I haven’t seen the billboards around here in south Jersey.

  144. A Barrett says

    Fine with me, but I prefer May 2nd. I’ll turn 61 on May 3rd and I’d like to Rapture with a nice round number.

  145. Jake says

    Jon, clearly you missed that part about the spotted horseman of the apocalypse. It’s the one that kills random animals to freak people out.

    One of my coworkers is ornithophobic. She couldn’t tell if she should be rejoicing over the dead birds, or if she should be creeped out. It was a fun conversation to have because she was basically panicking over the whole ordeal.

    As for the billboard? I’m sure they got their date from Madonna. The problem with that is that she’s only a second-rate kabbalist and might have done her math wrong. I’d shoot for earlier, just to be safe.

  146. Rachel says

    I had always heard it said that if we predict He’s coming on a certain day, He definitely WON’T come on that day. But that’s just a saying. That being said, you’re hilarious.

  147. Alex says

    I live in New Zealand and I saw one of those billboards on my way to the supermarket a couple of weeks ago.

    So its safe to say they are quite widespread!

  148. Siriusly deluded says

    I am confused – it is difficult planning my participation in the revelery without more specifics — for example, should I plan for breakfast on the 21st or will I just cease to exist at a minute after midnight? Will I get a refund on airfare for portions not completed by the 21st? If I get really drunk the night before will I be able to avoid a hangover if the world ends during the night when I’m asleep? Finally, will I have time to say “Fuck You God” before the end, or should I start saying it now? Thanks for your help.

  149. Ramon Pooser says

    It’s possible, in light of what Mark 13:14 really says. Read it ten, fifty times until you get it. It’s proof positive that Jesus was looking at us when he said this verse! Any day now is possible!

  150. Becky says

    Through a strange turn of events, I found the website of the people putting up the billboards (not sure if anyone has posted it/seen it yet): http://www.familyradio.com/index2.html

    According to the home page, “the Bible guarantees” that Judgment Day is coming on May 21.

    Haven’t poked around too much on the site, but I plan to…very fascinating stuff!

  151. Brad S. says

    Anything in possible in Christ. I think God has a sense of humor, so I think he would make it May 20th just to be funny. Anyway I am looking forward to Jesus coming back. If it next month great… or in 20 years what ever. Come Lord Jesus Come!!!!

  152. Bruce says

    When the calendar first clicks over to May 21st in Kiribati, Tahiti and Hawaii will just be ticking over to May 20th, and it will still be May 19th in Samoa for a couple of hours, so I guess if you want to survive the end of the world for the longest, get yourself to Samoa pronto, & if you want to check out early, head to Kiribati. Both are beautiful pacific paradises, so either way, a great place to watch the apocalypse from.

  153. Zach says

    Actually Harold Kamping, who came up with this wacked theory, lives in Oakland, California. We were sort of the first to hear about this garbage. Sorry to break it to ya. :)

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