By Elizabeth Prata
The rapture will happen, and every day that passes makes it one day closer.*
There are some people who say that we should not say it is near, and they cite Mark 13:32, where it says ‘no one knows the day nor hour’. Or they cite 1 Thessalonians 5:1 where Paul said the day of the Lord will be as a thief in the night, a surprise. Or they cite Acts 1:7, where we are told we will not know the times or dates God has set by His own authority.
They are right.
If you meet up with anyone who knows the time, hour, or day, run, for they are false.
In Luke 12 beginning in verse 35 there is a section called “Watchfulness”. Jesus says, “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,” and later in vs. 37 He says, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.”
So when you try to relate the imminence of the times don’t let anyone brush you off from speaking of it with the old chestnut, “we do not know the day nor hour” (Unless you have just told them a day or an hour.)
Others claim that the rapture as a doctrine is made-up, won’t happen, and is a false thing to believe. People who say that use a faulty hermeneutic, and thus have arrived at a false notion of things. It’s sad, because hermeneutics is a moral issue, being that it involves how one handles scripture and how the result of that handling makes one think of the Savior’s character and promises. No, the Bride will not be enduring God’s wrath at the Tribulation and she won’t be dragged through the mud during the worst time on earth. Paul explained the rapture to his people at Thessalonica and said to be encouraged by it. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).
I feel the time is getting very close. I see the geo-political platform of the pieces coming together, the days and years passing, and I want to say WAKE UP!” “BE READY!”
I know so many people who are not ready. I have a near relative who has passed on. It seems he was never ready and likely dwells in hell now. Do I want my loved ones or friends to die apart from Jesus? No. Do I want my relatives or friends to go through the Tribulation, which will happen after the Rapture? No. I don’t want even my worst enemy to face the living hell of God’s wrath on earth, nor His wrath in eternity forever. The burden for the lost is heavy.
The world’s depravity is worsening by the day, but we knew that already. Paul told Timothy that the deception of men would wax worse and worse. (2 Timothy 3:13). Jesus said that things would get worse, and love would grow cold. (Matthew 24:12).
While the Lord may choose to defuse the situation on the earth and everything go back to something akin to normal or at least less depraved, that is His prerogative in His timing, but would He? Though God could certainly pull everything back from the brink, it is not probable, based on the verses above. Genesis 6:5 says
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
That’s how it is, the longer man goes without God, the worse his culture gets. It’s always a downward spiral. See: Judges.
In his essay What is This World Coming To? Exactly What Jesus Said it Would by Stephen Altrogge-
I would venture to say that many conservative television shows, and radio shows, and blogs, and podcasts, perpetuate the “what is this world coming to?” attitude. It’s not uncommon for talk radio hosts to spend three hours lamenting the decay of morals in the world. But we shouldn’t be shocked or dismayed. The world is coming to exactly what Jesus said it would come to, and this actually gives us a lot of hope.
We can be dismayed over a culture that is gross and depraved, as ours is in the United States, but if we are going to lament, let’s lament the destiny of those without Christ. This world is not our home. However, we can hope in Him, that all His promises are true. The world is getting worse, yes, Jesus said so. However He will return, He said so.
What this adds up to is the final decision. A person must decide if they will acknowledge their sins against Jesus and ask Him to forgive them, or not. Not doing so means they will be left behind when He comes very soon for us. The Bible says it’s imminent. Worse, the day of a person’s death is unknown to him, and if he or she should die without Christ, they will be lost forever.
There is no sin you have committed in your life that Jesus will not forgive! The only unforgivable sin is refusing His pardon for your sins. He loves you and wants to take care of you and bless you and treasure you. He wants to save you and lavish love on you and adopt you. Yes, YOU!
Though Jesus could settle the world and wait another 10-20-50 years, I truly think He will not. I really think that it’s close. I’ve been saying this for ten years and I’ll go on saying it for another 40, or as long as the Lord’s days of my life haven’t reached their number.
The good news is that, in spite of the wickedness which fills the world, the gospel of Jesus Christ will continue saving sinners! Yes, evil is powerful, but Jesus is more powerful! Yes, Satan prowls about like a roaring lion, but Jesus is the great lion slayer. Jesus encouraged Peter that the church would not be overcome, and would even stand against hell itself
Repent, for the kingdom of Jesus is at hand.
Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;e repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14b-15)
*A version of this essay appeared on The End Time in February 2012. It’s been edited and changed.