I would encourage you to read the following article, “Doomsday Prediction Fizzles Out” at foxnews.com, and contemplate the sobering reality that what we teach will always have consequences.
As I read this article, I was sobered by the tremendous consequences of teaching as fact what is opinion. James 3:1-2 warns the church that it is dangerous to frivolously multiply teachers. The consequences of promoting careless/ill-equipped teachers reaches far deeper than most would think. James says that teachers will receive a stricter judgment than the average layman. Think about it. Those who teach publicly have a greater accountability than the average person, because they are exposed to more truth than the average person, what they say affects more people, and the more they say, the more likely it is that they will say something that is in error.
This article is a living example of the visible consequences of one man’s careless misapplied use of Scripture. The world and fleshly minded believers have joined together in mocking Mr. Camping’s untenable prediction of Judgment Day. We should not join the scoffers; rather we should be sobered by the consequences of teaching error. Many sincere people throughout the world have sadly been deceived. Many have followed this man as their Bible teacher, giving money to spread the word, carrying signs in public proclaiming judgment day, taking stands against their families and friends, being ridiculed by believers and unbelievers alike, embracing his view of justification, and giving their entire life-savings in preparation for this day. My heart aches as I think about their spiritual condition. This is a living example of the blind leading the blind. The greatest travesty is the fact that the integrity of God’s Word has been brought into question. While his prediction was without legitimate Biblical support, the precious doctrines of the Second Coming of Christ and the Rapture of the Church have been mocked by the world. I challenge you to be sobered by this contemporary example every time you open your Bible and present a message as the Word of God. Whether you are a pastor who preachers to thousands, a father with your children, a neighbor with a neighbor, or a friend with friends in a Bible study, let us rightly divide the word of truth, laboring in study before we boldly proclaim the Word of God. Let us be careful as we consider our stewardship of teaching the word of God!