Q. A truly great site, you’re doing an excellent job in helping explain Christianity.
I was wondering what your views on how imminent the rapture is? Whilst we don’t know the hour we do have the various signs the bible talks about.
However I have read over the past 25 years many commentaries, along with appropriate bible versus that state ‘the hour is very near’.
Eg. WW3 would start between USSR and USA, until the USSR dissolved, the emerging EU was seen as a ‘marker’, until the number of EU countries went past 7, then 12, now the plan to create a EU ‘high level group’ may be the next ‘marker’, the rise of terrorism is seen as another sign, etc, etc.
Whilst I believe there will eventually be an ‘end’, what are your thoughts on the various time lines that have been discussed over the past 20 or so years, that whilst being biblically based and sounding reasonable, have all come to nought?
A. You’re right in saying that while the Rapture is a secret event, there are signs that should tell us how close we are. And you’re also right that some scholars in their enthusiasm have jumped to conclusions.
But let me hasten to add that the only thing wrong with the prophecy about the USSR is that the Bible said Russia and mankind assumed that meant the USSR. When the USSR went away, everybody took a 2nd look and realized that in mentioning Magog in Ezekiel 38, God was referring to Russia, which had been there before the USSR and was still there afterward. The prophecy of Russia starting a major war is still valid and may be on the near horizon.
The number of permanent, full fledged members of the EU has always been just 10. Everyone else is an associate or has some other kind of junior status. And the recent rise in terrorism comes from the Eastern leg of the old Roman Empire, just as the EU comes from the West. They’re both legitimate End Times signs.
I believe that in Matt. 24:34 Jesus told us that the generation of people being born when we began to see the End Times signs would still be alive when He returned. The clearest one is the re-emergence of Israel in 1948, prophecied in Ezekiel 36-37, Isaiah 11:10-11, Amos 9:11-15, and other places. Since a Biblical lifetime is about 70 years (Psalm 90:10) I believe we’ll see all the end times prophecies fulfilled with in the next 20 years or so. One of the earliest of these will be the Rapture.