For those who are hard-core end-times Bible students, May 21 has been a test to their faith due to Harold Camping's prophecy that a rapture was going to happen on that day around 6 pm. And as the day came and went with nothing much happening in the world, not even the prophesied earthquake that was supposed to sweep across the world starting from New Zealand, it just goes to show: God is proven right about His Word. Spoken from Jesus Himself about the day of the Lord's coming:
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." (Matt 24:36)
Harold Camping is a false prophet. He was proven wrong about his earlier prediction of 1994, he is now proven wrong of his May 21 prediction, and as he tries yet again with the prediction of October 21 of this year, he will most likely be proven wrong again.
Scripture says we can know when a true prophet of the LORD has spoken:
"when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him." (Deut 18:22)
Back then, in Old Testament times, false prophets were to be put to death and not clung onto. In the New Testament times that we are in now, the only thing we can do to false prophets is keep them out of the fellowship of believers to protect the flock.
Jesus in his Olivet Discourse says that there will be false prophets that will rise and deceive many. There will even be those that will show great signs and wonders that will deceive, if possible, even the very elect.
Peter says in his second epistle:
"But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber." (2nd Peter 2:1-3)
The bottom line is: we are NOT to know about the day or hour of the Lord's coming. We can be aware of the times and seasons, which are indicators that the Lord's coming may be sooner than we think, but most importantly we are to be prepared for that day whenever it comes. Paul says:
"But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him." (2nd Thes 5:1-10)
Jesus Himself says:
"Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming; in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning; lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!" (Mark 13:33-37)