Harold Camping was able to convince quite a number of people that 11-05-21 was THE DAY Jesus Christ was coming back and judgment was going to take place. --- a myriad of media sources reported on this, especially during the week preceding the "predicted" event!
It is 2:50 PM EDST on May 21, 2011 in Belsano PA USA as this is being written. It appears that Harold C. and his friends are not exactly on target concerning the return of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to this troubled world. As many pointed out along the way on this unfolding drama, Jesus explicitly said that no one among the human family knows the day nor the hour that He will return to the world which He created a long, long time ago. That moment is known only by God the Father Who knows the end from the beginning. Harold, of course, had an "explanation" as to how he was able to side step this statement by Jesus.
There are at least three primary tragedies in this whole episode:
First, the waste of a huge amount of money spent on the "campaign" is likely unfathomable. Billboards, for instance, were put up all over the place at a cost of more than a tad above $1.98! It is simply impossible to calculate the total amount spent in one way or another in getting the "message" out all over the world that 11-05-21 was indeed THE DAY! Most would probably agree that this gigantic sum could have been spent in a much better way such as helping the poor and needy. It is an example that compares to how our federal government handles money -- just pour it down a rat hole!
Second, the focus on a specific date set for the return of the Son of God diverted attention away from a Christian's primary responsibility. That responsibility is to be involved in every way possible in implementing the parting command of Jesus to go into all the world and share the Gospel with all people in all nations. By implication (and on basis of Jesus' personal claims and demands upon all humans) we are also declaring that all religious expressions apart from Christianity are false and that only Christianity is the true faith -- it is exclusively the only way to know forgiveness and peace with God! This is not personal opinion nor is it vain speculation -- it is solid fact as based on the claims Jesus made regarding Himself and the four demands He set forth which every person must meet if that person is going to know God and be a citizen of His eternal Kingdom.
Third, the subject of Jesus' return to this world is real. But now, after the May 21, 2011 fiasco, references to prophetic Scriptures and the attempt to preach and/or teach on the subject will likely be met with more ridicule and skepticism than ever. God has revealed quite a bit about what to expect in times preceding the return of Jesus to earth. The one thing God has not given us is a specific calendar date and hour on that date when human history as it is now being played out will come to an earth-shaking conclusion.
What to do? Seek direction from the Holy Spirit as to your involvement in carrying out Jesus' command (see His statements in Matthew 28) and live each day in expectation that He may return before the sun sets. When you lay your head upon the pillow at night remember that Jesus could return before the sun rises the next morning! The key is to live in a state of readiness at all times.
"Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." --- Matthew 24:42-51