I'm not expecting Van Impe to turn his back on the message he's preached for the past 30 years. I'm just anxious to see what he has to say for a rebuttal. I'm actually expecting them not to reply at all. If I get a response from him I'll be sure to send it to you.
I saw your answers about my questions about the Jews and thank you for them.
Of course, when the truth isn't that exciting to people, they shun it. People love false prophets like Hal Lindsey and Van Impe and others because their theories sound like a Hollywood movie; heck, they are a Hollywood movie (Left Behind)! It's amazing to me that people still listen to these "prophecy experts" after so many false prophecies and predictions that haven't come true.
Hal Lindsey theorized that Jesus would return probably in or before 1988 (in his book The Late, Great Planet Earth), since that would be a generation after the Jews returned to Israel (from the false interpretation of Matthew 24:34). When that didn't happen, he said that a generation could be 70 years or even 100 years, so Jesus should return before 2018 or 2048. That'll keep people buying his books until then, I guess. He then set a date for the Battle of Armageddon in 2000 (which I guess would make the "rapture" 7 years before in 1993 in his view).
I remember Van Impe making a video called "2000: Time Bomb" and thought it was Biblically prophesied that the Y2K bug would usher in a period of chaos that would lead to the rapture, tribulation, and rise of the antichrist. Talk about something blowing up in your face! I also remember him making comments before the year 2000 that Jesus should return by 2004, then it was 2007, then he pushed it back to either 2012 or 2018. He now claims to not know the exact date of the rapture but says it is coming very soon. In two words: total nonsense.
Here are some other failed predictions, from Wikipedia. Now, I think the page might have an anti-Christian bias to it (the page itself is called "Unfulfilled historical predictions by Christians;" no other page is devoted to failed predictions from other religions) but nonetheless it has some good examples of what we are talking about.
1980s - Hal Lindsey predicts that a "United States of Europe" with its own central government will form and will control the military and all political structures.
September 11-13, 1988 - Edgar C. Whiseant said that Jesus will return between these dates in his book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988.
1989 - Benny Hinn predicts that the "Antichrist" will come on the scene and rule the world within a few years.
1989 - Benny Hinn predicts that earthquakes will badly damage the East Coast of the United States in the next ten years.
1989 - Benny Hinn predicts that Fidel Castro will die within ten years.
1989 - Benny Hinn predicts that the United States' first female president will be elected "within the next few years" and will destroy the nation.
1994 - Harold Camping predicts in his book 1994? that Jesus will return on September 6, 1994.
1995 - Benny Hinn predicts that God will destroy the homosexual community of America with fire.
2000 - Hal Lindsey says that the Battle of Armageddon will take place in the year 2000.
2002 - Pat Robertson predicts that Detroit and San Francisco will be hit by terrorist attacks.
2004 - Pat Robertson predicts that President Bush would win the presidential election in a "blowout." He barely won the election.
2006 - Pat Robertson predicts that America's coastline will be "lashed by storms" and a tsunami will hit the Pacific Northwest. Not a single hurricane made landfall in the US this year.
It is intersting to note that these very specific predictions have gotten more rare, especially after the blowups that most of these people faced after Y2K turned out to be nothing. Now they say these things will certainly happen "soon." I guess that way they keep people afraid of the future and it holds them accountable to nothing because they make no predictions with specific dates. It retains the credibility (in the minds of the people who believe in this stuff) since there are no exact dates for people to hold them to (when in fact there are; I have just listed some of them). It is obvious that these people have no credibility.