Friday, February 4, 2011
Throughout our lifetimes we have most likely heard of someone setting a date for the rapture or the "end of the world"--the latest example being Harold Camping of Family Radio--May 21, 2011.
On May 21st, Judgment Day will begin and the rapture (the taking up into heaven of God’s elect people) will occur at the end of the 23-year great tribulation. On October 21st, the world will be destroyed by fire (7000 years from the flood; 13,023 years from creation). http://www.ebiblefellowship.com/may21/
Will this be the way it happens? Absolutely not! How do we know? Because of what scripture says. God clearly tells us that no one knows the day or hour of the rapture. God also clearly tells us that before Christ returns at Armageddon the antichrist will reign for 3.5 years, and the trumpet and bowl judgments will occur. So therefore according to scripture the rapture will not occur on May 21, 2011 and the world will not end on October 21, 2011 or for that matter any time before the antichrist begins to reign. This is what a literal interpretation of scripture demands. The only way people can support erroroneous theories such as the one above is to forsake a literal interpretation of scripture and spiritualize everything.
Some may accuse me of being a "date setter" because I have suggested that we may see Christ return in 2016 and the rapture in the time frame of 2013 - 2015. I feel led to address this issue...
First off let me plainly state I do not know when Christ will return and I do not know when the rapture will occur. What I have pointed out in my writings is that there is a lot of evidence suggesting that the antichrist may arise near the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. There is also a lot of evidence pointing to Jesus returning to earth at Armageddon in 2016. If the antichrist does indeed arise and take over the world in 2013 with Christ returning to earth in 2016 then we would see the rapture in the 2013 to 2015 time range. If the antichrsit arises in 2014 then Christ would return in 2017 with the rapture in the 2014 to 2016 time range, etc.
How do I know that? Well scripture is clear that the antichrist is only given 3.5 years to reign.
3. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9. If any man have an ear, let him hear. Rev 13:3-9
His reign begins after the abomination of desolation and continues for forty two months--3.5 years until he is thrown in the bottomless pit at the return of Christ. We also know that after his reign begins he will start to persecute Jews and Christians--seal 5.
1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 2 Thes 2:1-4
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. Rev 13:7
After the persecution of seal 5 Christians will be rescued at the rapture which occurs after the sixth seal is opened, God's wrath is then poured out upon the world.
12. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Rev 6:12-17
So it will be possible to set a date for the return of Christ after we see the abomination of desolation and the antichrist take over the world. It will be 42 months or 1260 days after that and the rapture would occur at an unknown time between those two events.
Again In my writings I am not predicting when Christ will return. I do not know when it will be, but I have theorized that there is a lot of evidence pointing to 2016 as the year of the second coming with the antichrist arising in 2013. If that will be the case then the rapture would have to be between 2013 and 2015. When will we know for sure? When we either know for sure that a seal has occurred or see the antichrist arise.
BTW I have come across another piece of information pointing to a 2016 return of Christ that I will try to post in the near future. For a further discussion and explanation of these matters I suggest reading The Coming Epiphany.