Where are we in light of God’s plan and in His time? What does today’s news say about what God previously said will happen? A lot – not in terms of marking the timing, but in terms of showing that humans are depraved and consistent in their evil deeds throughout history. The rapture could always have come at any time. Are we very far along in His plan for the Church Age? Yes, because we know that we are 2,000+ years further along than when Paul said the rapture is imminent, and thus, 2000 years closer to that amazing day.
The end time Doctrine of Imminence is explained thus:
The New Testament is consistent in its anticipation that the return of Christ might occur at any moment. That pervading perspective of imminence prompts three questions.
The first question pertains to whether the Tribulation will precede Christ’s coming for the church. The answer to that question is that it will not because the church is never asked to look forward to the tribulation, but they are asked to look forward to Christ’s coming.
The second question revolves around how the return of Christ could have been imminent in the early church. The answer here is that no one but the Father knows when the coming will occur, so that Christians including the early church must always be ready.
The third question asks why Christ’s imminent return is so important. This answer relates to the motivation it supplies for believers to purify their lives and thereby progress toward the goal of sanctification and Christlikeness. The threefold call of the imminence doctrine is to wake up and obey right now, to throw off the works of darkness, and to put on the garments of holy living.
When the rapture happens, the snatching up of all true believers, it closes the Church Age. This then opens the door to the last 7 years of time outlined for the Jews & remaining non-believers. It will be a time when Jesus brings the earth and its dwellers under His subjection by judging sin. Remember, when the Tribulation (last 7 years) is concluded, Jesus will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. New Jerusalem will have descended, and Jesus will physically and presently rule the people and they will worship Him. (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:15-16; Isaiah 45:23).
Today, the Tribulation has not begun yet, though for many who are persecuted, it may feel like it has. It certainly felt like it to the Thessalonians, who asked Paul that very question. Paul replied with an explanation that the Tribulation will not begin until certain other things happen in a certain sequence. (1 Thessalonians 5:1–9).
In fact, that time will be so distinctive that many of the people who are left behind will know that it is the time spoken of by Jesus, who prophesied, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 11:13, Revelation 16:9). If you think about that deeply for a moment, and compare it to some of the worst times we’ve ever had on earth till now: for example, Russian pogroms, Cambodian Killing Fields, the Holocaust, Gettysburg, Medieval times bubonic plague, and then roll them ALL into one, the Tribulation will make them all seem like a picnic./ That is hard to believe but it’s true.
Verses that support the doctrine of Imminence and are further explained in the above article are- James 5:8, James 5:9, 1 Peter 4:7, Hebrews 10:24–25, 2 Peter 3:11, 1 John 3:2–3). The article also goes on to explain why the rapture will precede the Tribulation, giving biblical support, of course.
Our goal each day is to pursue holiness. The Spirit’s sanctifying work goes on, whether the rapture will imminently happen in the next second of time, or in another thousand years. Our task is to be ready. One way to be ready, and to aid the Spirit in His work, is to eagerly anticipate the Lord’s return. Our eagerness prompts us to holiness, for, when He comes, do we want to be engaging in sin, or pursuing purity? His soon appearing is a catalyst for us to be doing good when He calls.
The hope of Christ’s imminent return is therefore the hinge on which a proper understanding of sanctification turns. Source
I pray you read the article Is Christ’s Return Imminent? linked above or below, study these things, pray for His return, and that you are as eagerly awaiting his return as I am and all the others who are alive or asleep. What a day that will be!