When Will The Rapture Happen?
by Dan Therrien
Many today are saying that the generation that sees Israel becoming a nation in 1948 will see Christ's return and use Matt 24:32-34 as their rational and state the use of the words fig tree refers to Israel but this is taking what Christ said totally out of context.
Nowhere in scripture does it state Israel becoming a nation has anything to do with Christ's return. Christ's example of a fig tree says many things but saying the fig tree refers to Israel in this reference is not one of them as I will explain.
Many also state that the rapture will come before the antichrist comes onto the scene and makes the assumption that Christians would be in the way and wouldn't allow the antichrist to have total control they they must be gone. They also use Matt 24:22 which states, "If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." This does not say Christians won't go through the tribulation. Throughout history God hasn't taken people out of situations but saw them through it. This is no different.
Jesus warns in Matt. 24:4-11 to, "Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars..but the end is still not come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will will appear and deceive may people."
We are seeing today a movement to make this reality by calling Christians hate mongers for not being inclusive and by not going along with the anything goes philosopy.
Not to get political but we've seen these so-called democratic values being pushed durig this election but thank God Christians stood upon and voted against this deception. I believe God's grace is giving us a temporary reprieve. As we just read, persecution will get worse with Christians being put to death as we see ISIS doing now in their quest for world domination.
Matt. 24:14 is crucial. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." We are close but not there yet and other prophesies must come to pass first.
A time is coming when (Matt. 24: 21) there will be great distress unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equalled again. (Verse 22) - If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of those days will be shortened. At that time...false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive...Do not believe it. (Verse 27) - For as the lightning that comes from the east is visible in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Now read this carefully if you believe the rapture will take us home before the antichrist is revealed.
Matt. 24:29 - Immediately AFTER the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. (Verse 30) - THEN will apper the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And THEN all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send His ANGELS with a loud trumpet call, and they WILL GATHER His Elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. This is the rapture! These events are also mentioned in Rev.6:12-14 with the opening of the 6th Seal, Mark 13: 24-27; and Luke 21:25-27.
Matt. 24: 33-34 - When you see all these things, you will know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. (Verse 36) - Only the Father in heaven knows the days and hour of His return so we must be ready as verse 44 states, "the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him."
So to wrap this up, Christ did not teach that the generation that witnessed the creation of the state of Israel be be the last generation before His coming. God always referred to that land of Israel whether or not man recognized it as a state or not.
Christ did teach that His coming would be imminent when the heavenly signs on Earth He described occur.
The parable of the Fig Tree is simply an analogy to help people understand that certain developments can alert someone about the proximity of an upcoming event. Therefore, the parable of the fig tree does not support teaching that supports a 2018 rapture.
The generation that will not pass away is the generation that goes through the seven years of tribulation which God will cut short at the Battle of Armageddon and will rapture His people, Jews and Gentile believers, so they won't all be destroyed.
Keep in mind also that some teach Christians will be taken up before the antichrist is revealed and the Jews will be taken up during the final battle. This is false. Christ clearly desribed only one rapture for all believers.