A California preacher who predicted the world would end last Saturday has revised his apocalyptic prophecy. He's now saying he was off by five months and the Earth actually will be obliterated on Oct. 21.

Harold Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before catastrophe struck the planet, apologized Monday evening, saying he didn't work the dates out as accurately as he could have.

Camping spoke to the media at the Oakland headquarters of his Family Radio International, which spent millions of dollars— some of it from donations made by followers — on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message.

After much prayer and contemplation, Camping  says he realized that May 21 wasn't the date of the biblical Rapture, in which the faithful would be swept up to the heavens.

Rather, May 21 was a "spiritual" Judgment Day, when the entire world was placed under Christ's judgment.  Camping now says the apocalypse will come in five months, and the world will be completely destroyed.

But because God's judgment and salvation were completed last Saturday, he says there's no point in continuing to warn people about it, so his network will now just play Christian music and programs until the final end on October 21st.

via YouTube Video: End-Of-The-World Predictor Confronted.

Even though apocalyptic thinking has always been part of American religious life and popular culture, most Christians don't believe the date or time of Jesus' return can be predicted.

They point to several passages in the Gospels, in which Jesus says "But of that day and that hour knows no man, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."