I do not believe any such thing will happen, but many do. Camping has said if you dispute him, you must do it from Scripture. There is not enough space here to take on that challenge and I am not such an expert on the Bible to feel equipped to do so. However, there is a statement he has made that popped out at me as making no sense.
In his explanation of the timeline, he has said there is no 1,000-year millennium as traditional Christian prophesy often teaches. It is stated in Revelation that Satan is seized after Armageddon and bound for a 1,000 years after which he is let loose a little bit. He contends the 1,000 is not physical time, but is symbolic. In his scenario, Satan was bound at the time of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Satan was thus chained up for 1,955 years, until 1988 and then released. In 1988 upon release, Satan then took over all the churches in the world and so everyone who is truly saved should get out of the churches.
He has also stated that during this 1,955 years that Satan was bound, he was still able to roam about seeing whom he could devour like a roaring and sowing "tares" in the churches. I do not quite understand how he could be bound while also roaming free. Perhaps somewhere Mr. Camping explained that.
Note that I said Mr. Camping. I have seen and heard him called in the news media a Preacher or Minister. He is not a minister. He is a civil engineer, turned founder of a Christian radio network called Family Radio. Up until 1988 he was a member in good standing in a Reformed Christian Church, but never more than an Elder. I would call him a Bible scholar.
As long as we are correcting the media, many have gotten great glee in reporting Mr. Camping called for Judgment Day in 1994 and it didn't happen, so he wrote another book. This is technically true, but the original book was 1994?, with a question mark, and he did say in it there was a possibility that 2011 might be the actual year if 1994 wasn't. He has not left himself any wiggle room this time. He has unequivocally and absolutely guaranteed May 21, 2011 is it.
Anyway, back to my problem with 1,000.
Mr. Camping has explained the Devil being bound at the Resurrection for 1,955 year as the fulfillment of the 1,000 year bondage spoke of in Revelation. So how does he explain adding 955 more years on?
He references the passages quoted at the beginning of this post. With 2 Peter 3, He interprets "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" as simply symbolic.
This is possible, and certainly in the case of Peter could be exactly right. Peter was calming people impatience about Christ not yet having returned. He began this way: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Obviously he is telling the believers that what seems a long time to them is nothing to God. I don't see that as the case in Revelation. I feel where it says a 1,000 years there it means a 1,000 years.
Even so, Mr. Campings stretching 1,000 years to 1,955 for the convenience of his timeline is...well...it is a stretch. (I'm not even going to get into his placement of this event where he did.)
A problem with his argument is he is fine with using the 1,000 equals a day concerning other events, for instance, the 7,000 years between when the Great Flood came and this coming Saturday. Here he uses such things as the seven days of Creation, Daniel's Week and the seven days between when God told Noah to get in the Ark and when the rain began as indicating there would be 1,000 years from then to Judgment Day.
In these situations as described by Mr. Camping I don't think you can have it both ways.
There is an irony that Mr. Camping should rely so heavily on Second Peter. In that Book, Peter spends much time warning against false prophets and those who interpret Scripture to their own devices.
A second thing I would like to touch upon is knowing or not knowing the date of the Second Coming. Mr. Camping is emphatic that true saved Christians will know the date and the hour. One reference he uses to support this is from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10:
The people who feel safe, who get drunk or go to sleep without care are those who do not believe Christ will come again or dismiss the signs around them. They are taken by surprise.
We Christians need to believe in what Jesus told us and be ever ready for his appearance, not in fear, but in hope. But we shouldn't not so focused on the specific day or hour we lose sight of everything else. That would be counterproductive.
As to going as far as naming the hour, 6:00 PM, that is even more problematic, but this piece is already very long, so we will leave that go for now.
It is now 10:30 here. Less than seven hours to the earthquake begins in the South Pacific, so we shall see, shan't we?