Stories have been told and retold about how some of Camping's followers invested their life savings in billboards and cross-country driving campaigns to spread the word about the impending doom of the Earth and all who remain therein. That his predictions were completely off base is not particularly surprising.
That they were widely condemned by Amillennialists and even many who might accept the basic tenets of the premillennial message is likewise not a huge shock. The Bible gives no clear indication about the end of time, except perhaps to emphasize its unpredictability.
Lost in all this is a larger point; it doesn't really matter when, or even if, this world is going to end. The majority of us are not going to drastically alter our lifestyle or worldview based on the predictions of some doomsday prophet. If those of us receptive to the message of Christ are disinclined to believe in Camping's predictions, how much less so are those who reside outside the realm of Christian faith altogether? Can one truly be scared or shocked into faith?
Instead, what is important is how we conduct ourselves in the days we have. As Christians, this means a daily consideration of how our lives convey the hope that we have; to face the challenges of life in the world without allowing them to consume us. The great tragedy illustrated in the Camping debacle (apart from bad exegesis) was that his disciples allowed eschatology to completely control their lives; to sever any link with their responsibilities in this world. For many of us, the challenge is the exact opposite: the affairs of this life dominate, crowding out our role as witnesses to the divine.
Our faith should invade every area of our lives, but never force us to break all worldly connections. We are called to be watchmen and witnesses, two different but complementary roles. In all things, however, the cross of Christ must predominate.