For a long time people have been predicting the end of the world.
[The artist formerly known as] Prince did it in the song 'Party like it's 1999', REM claimed back in 1987 that it was 'the end of the world as we know it' and that they felt fine about it.
Many pastors and religious leaders have attempted unsuccessfully to predict the end of the world - perhaps most famously the Jehovah's Witnesses, who predicted the return of Christ and the end of the world would happen in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994.
Right now in the US there is a movement - inspired by the calculations of radio preacher Harold Camping, who also predicted the return of Christ in 1994 - which claims that the exact date for the return of Christ will be on May 21, 2011, and that the end of the world will happen on October 21, 2011.
Across the US, billboards and other advertisements are proclaiming the return of Christ on May 21, 2011. Here are some examples:
This prediction - like most before it - is based on 2.Peter 3:8, which says that 'one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.' Rather than an analogy explaining that God doesn't see time the way that we do, many people assume that this is a divine recipe for us to calculate the exact date of Christ's return.
Despite the fact that Jesus, in response to his disciples' question about WHEN he would return to establish his Kingdom on earth, told them that it was not for them to know the times or the seasons that the Father had fixed by his own authority, and that they should rather focus on carrying on Jesus' mission by being his witnesses in the world (Acts 1:7-8), these people refer to 1.Thessalonians 5:1-5 in claiming that we can in fact figure out the time of Jesus' return.
Personally, I don't think that 2.Peter 3:8 is a recipe for figuring out the exact time of Christ's return. However - if I am wrong, I'm ok with that. I'm ready to go at any time. I won't be surprised if Christ doesn't return on May 21, 2011, but if I'm wrong, that's cool too. Either way I say Maranatha! (Come Lord!)
Here is the website of ebiblefellowship, in which they explain why they believe Jesus will return on May 21.
Interestingly, they claim that the great tribulation started in 1988 and that the tribulation actually lasts 23 years, not 7 years like most dispensationalists claim.
Here is a video made last year explaining this claim:
What do you think?
Are you going to sell all your possessions and party like it's 1999 until May 21?
Is this just another misguided attempt to calculate the end of the world?