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Originally published October 20, 2011 at 4:57 PM | Page modified October 20, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Rapture 2.0: The end is near, again

Don't make any weekend plans. Harold Camping, the end-of-times preacher who incorrectly calculated that the world would end May 21, has a new prediction. The Apocalypse will happen Friday, he now says.

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quotes Whew! Glad to know this. I better get all my possessions on Craigslist fast. Read more
quotes Has anyone heard anything from either Australia or New Zealand because it's Saturday... Read more
quotes What if you cross the International Date Line? Read more

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ATLANTA — Don't make any weekend plans. Harold Camping, the end-of-times preacher who incorrectly calculated that the world would end May 21, has a new prediction. The Apocalypse will happen Friday, he now says.

There were enough believers in Camping's May prediction that at least 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs warned of the coming judgment.

After that Rapture date came and went, Camping came in for a bit of static, especially from followers who had quit their jobs and/or depleted their savings figuring they'd be whisked to heaven. Not to fear, Camping explained. May 21 merely was the "spiritual" Rapture. Friday is the real deal.

Camping, who suffered a mild stroke three weeks after his first prediction failed to materialize, still spreads the word through his California-based Family Radio International website and 65 U.S. radio stations.

Unlike last spring, however, we're not seeing massive coverage of people camped out awaiting the end of the world this time.

So, are you getting your affairs in order?

Well, Timothy Lloyd, pastor Oakhurst Church in Decatur, Ga., is. Sort of.

"I am working on my sermon for Sunday," he said with a smile. "I have compassion on the folks who get fooled by this stuff because life is tough and these predictions give people a glimmer of hope. It gives folks a solid sense, an assurance of where things are going, because they can actually point to a date on a calendar."

He isn't big on headline-grabbing Rapture talk, though.

"I have much less compassion on people like Camping whose blatantly irresponsible interpretation of Scripture harms the faith of so many people while simultaneously damaging the public face of Christianity on a large scale," Lloyd said. "After all, Jesus taught his disciples to pray 'Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven,' not, 'God, please evacuate us from this broken, sinful world.' Evacuation is certainly not the plan."

Information from The Associated Press and The Washington Post is included in this report.

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