When will the Rapture Happen?
By Vernon Grey
[Please note: We are not setting a date. This is just a 'guestimate'. As Christians you are to be ready for Jesus' return at any moment.]
With all the hype surrounding 2012, it seems like everyone has an opinion of when the Rapture will take place and Tribulation will begin.
Theories abound. Some are plausible and Biblically well thought out; and others are simply not worth exploring.
[NOTE: Just so that we are clear at the outset, this writer is unashamedly premillennial and pretrib in doctrine.]
No one seems to understand that the rapture is signless.
As a result there is not one single sign that is be given whereby we can predict to the day and the hour when the Rapture will happen.
(Except perhaps for the sounding of a trumpet.)
Check it out for yourself. Nowhere in Scripture are we given any hint as to when the Rapture will take place. Any speculation as to the timing of the rapture can only be worked backwards seven years or so from when the Second Coming event.
If we can guestimate the timing of the Second Coming by current historic events and by what the Bible teaches us, then we may be able to come up with a ‘year time period’ for the Rapture. Once we have the Second Coming pegged, we can work backwards seven years at least to the Rapture event.
I see someone nodding in agreement because they have read in
Matthew 24: 36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
The problem with this verse is that Jesus was not talking about His Second Coming.
Jesus had just said in the previous verse Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” He was emphasizing or reinforcing what He had just said in Matthew 24:33 which says: “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
Why would Jesus confuse us by saying that we CAN KNOW the season of His return in verse 33 and then tell us “that no man knoweth, no not even the angels…?”
In verse 36. If you read the passage carefully, you will see that the “No man knoweth” verse has to do with Heaven and earth passing away, not the Second Coming because He had already told us in verse 33 that we can indeed know.
Anyone can work out 3.5 years from the time that the Antichrist declares himself as God in the Holy of Holies. A 1260 day count is not difficult for most of us.
Ok ok, Jesus did not tell us the exact day and hour. What He did tell us is that there would be certain signs for us to see that His return is imminent.
On what we call Palm Sunday Jesus entered into Jerusalem as the Jewish Messiah. They missed it, and paid a high price for doing so.
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! “
38 ”Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
Jesus expected the children of Israel to know that He was Messiah and that this was the time prophesied by the Prophet Daniel that their Saviour would make His appearance on the earth.
39 “And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.”
40 “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
41 “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying,”
42 “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.”
43 “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,”
44 “And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
The suggestion here is that the Jews should have known that He was the Messiah. His Arrival was prophesied to the very day by Daniel.
Before that day, whenever His disciples tried to make Him King, He rejected the idea saying “My time is not yet come.”
But on this day He arranged it. He sent for the donkey.
Why this particular day? What made Him change His mind on this day?
Because that precise day was prophesied by Gabriel to Daniel
Daniel 9: 25 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
This includes a mathematical prophecy. The Jewish (and Babylonian) calendars used a 360 day year; 69 weeks of 360 day years equals 173,880 days.
This decree was given in 445BC (Nehamiah 2: 5–8 & Nehamiah 17,18)
In effect, Gabriel told Daniel that the interval between the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until the presentation of the Messiah as King would be exactly 173,880 days.
God gave Israel the precise day on which their Saviour would come through the Golden Gate of Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 44:1–3)
The precision of this prophecy has been the focus of many an attack by Bible Haters on the authenticity of the Book of Daniel.
We have not answered the question of when will the Rapture occur; but we must first lay more evidence on the table.
If we accept as most scholars do that the budding of the Fig Tree in Matthew 24 is the rebirth of Israel in 1948. And if we accept that a generation is 70 years (80 at the most) then in 2018, Israel will be 70 years old. This generation must see all those things spoken of by Jesus at the Olivet Discourse.
Paul believed that the Rapture could happen in his lifetime. He says so in:
1Thessalonians 4: 15–17
15 “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.”
16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”
17 “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
The “we” spoken of here includes the writer of the passage. Paul held to the doctrine of imminence.
Paul however did not have the benefit of the history we have today. In particular the fact that Israel was reborn as a nation after nearly 2000 years of global dispersion.
In 2018 Israel will be 70 years old. The final generation of the world as we know it is already grey and teetering on the edge of eternity.
Truly the Rapture is close at hand. Are you prepared? Are you still playing Churchianity?
I am sure that you have seen a list of “Signs of the Second Coming.”
I would like to put forward my own list and extract the emotion and hype from it, giving you the bare bones of what is happening right now as you read this.
Biblical Signs of the last days
- It is not generally known that the great apostasy of the church is the single most spoken of sign of the end times in the Bible. Apostasy is mentioned in more books of the Bible and more times than any other sign. (2 Timothy 4:3-5)
- Re-establishment of Israel in May 14th 1948. (Isaiah 66:7-8)
- Reclamation of the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 36:34-35)
- Revival of Biblical Hebrew. (Zephaniah 3:9; Jeremiah 31:23) After centuries of slumber where it was strictly a liturgical and written language, Hebrew was nearly a century ago in its original birthplace. Eliezar Ben Yehuda led the rebirth of Hebrew as a spoken language.
- The opening up of the Bible and the understanding of Bible prophecy. (Daniel 12:8-9) Very important.
- Regathering of the Jews. (Isaiah 11:10-12)
- Re-occupation of Jerusalem. (Luke 21:24)
- Resurgence of the Israeli military. (Zechariah 12:6)
- Re-focusing of world politics on Israel. (Zechariah 12:3)
- Arab threat to Israel. (Ezekiel 35 and 36)
- Increasing instability of nature. Weather patterns are changing rapidly. (Matthew 24:7 & Luke 21:11)
- Increasing lawlessness and violence. (Matthew 24:12)
- Increasing immorality. (Matthew 24:37)
- Increasing materialism. (2 Timothy 3:2)
- Increasing Hedonism. (2 Timothy 3:4)
- Increasing influence of Humanism. (2 Timothy 3:2)
- Depraved entertainment. (2 Timothy 3:4)
- Calling evil good and good evil. (2 Timothy 3:3 & Isaiah 5:20)
- Increasing use of drugs. (2 Timothy 3:3)
- Increasing blasphemy. (2 Timothy 3:2)
- Increasing paganism. (Wicca etc.) (2 Timothy 3:1-4)
- Increasing despair. (2 Timothy 3:1)
- Signs in the heavens. (Luke 21:11,25)
- Increasing knowledge, internet etc. (Daniel 12:4)
- Computer technology. (Revelation 13:7)
- Increasing travel. (Daniel 12:4)
- The explosion of cults. (Matthew 24:11)
- Increasing occultism. (1 Timothy 4:1)
- The proliferation of false christs. (Matthew 24:5)
- Increasing attacks on Jesus the Bible and Christianity. (Romans 1:18-19)
- Increasing persecution of Christians particularly in the east and middle east. (Matthew 24:9)
- Wars and rumors of wars. (Matthew 24:6)
- Weapons of mass destruction. (Luke 21:26)
- Increasing famine. (Luke 21:11)
- Increasing pestilence and new diseases. (Luke 21:11)
- Television. (Revelation 11:8-9)
- Satellite technology. (Revelation 11:8-9)
- Unification of Europe. (Daniel 2 & 7)
- Far Eastern military powers or Kings of the East. (Revelation 9:16 & 16:12)
- Movement toward world government and one world monetary system. (Daniel 7:23-26)
- Move towards a cashless society. (Revelation 13:16-17)
- Denial of the Rapture and Second Coming. (2 Peter 3:3-4)
- Denial of creation by God. (Romans 1:18-22)
- Translation of the Bible into many languages. (Matthew 24:14)
Obviously this list could be expanded, but the examples above should be sufficient to show that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return.
The Bible clearly teaches that God never pours out His wrath without warning for He is a just and loving God who does not wish that any should perish.
2 Peter 3: 9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
That’s why He has provided so many signs to alert us to the fact that we are living on the threshold of the Rapture and for the mankind; the Tribulation.
Hopefully this will be of some comfort to those who are eagerly waiting for their Lord and Saviour to return for them.
James 5: 7-8
7 ”Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.”
8 ”Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”