Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dating the rapture is unwise and unbliblical

Remember, the date of the rapture is not known because it is not a date, it's a number

It is wonderful to be eager for His call to us, and look forward to His coming. He said to be eager, and to look up when we see these signs begin to come to pass. (Luke 21:28)

Romans 11:25 Paul wrote that the church has a “full number”, and when that number is reached the Call will come for us to go up. "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in." The word 'full number' is from pleroo in the Greek, meaning 'finish (a period or task)'. The moment when we go is when the number has been reached.

So today is Tu'B'Av, a day some are looking to see as the rapture day. Tu'B'Av, of the 15th of July in the Jewish calendar was during the Second Temple period a popular holiday. It was and today still is a sort of Jewish Valentine's day. In olden days it matched up with the end of the grape harvest and the beginning of the  wheat harvest. Many are looking for the rapture Monday because of this festival day. It is well to hope that Tu'B'Av is the day, and no one more than me wants to go. So while it is worthy to research the festivals, to try and match our possible rapture to this festival or that one is fruitless, because the day is not what God is basing the rapture on, it is the number, a number no one knows.

Some thought Pentecost would be the date. It came and went and we are still here. Some thought it would be Tisha'B'Av, the Jewish date of catastrophes and lamentations. That date came and went and we are still here. 1988 came and went and we are still here. Every other date came and went and we are still here. One day will be the day, but because the number has been reached.

Now, it is true that many, including me, feel a pressure, an undeniable and almost unbearable stretching like an elastic band pulled to its limit. This earth really feels that way to us, like the tension before the climax of the movie at a drawn-out moment. I feel the rapture is close. I sometimes think I can hear the indrawn breath of the Trumpet Blower! Today, tomorrow, next month. Soon. But I do not know what day it will be, and it is un-biblical to date it. The Lord has said repeatedly not to do that. When the Jews asked Him if this was the moment for their long-promised kingdom, He replied, "So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority." (Acts 1:7) "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. (I Thessalonians 5:4).  "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." (Matthew 24:42)

So could the rapture be tomorrow? Yes. But it may be Thursday. Or Christmas. Or any other day THE NUMBER has been reached. Don't date the rapture, because Jesus said not to. And on a human level, it causes a build-up and then the inevitable let-down. He did not intend for the rapture to be a let-down, but to look for the Blessed Hope with all eagerness. So just say:

6 comments:

  1. It does "feel" like something is brewing, but it also feels like it's not quite here yet. Like fruit that's almost ripe, but not quite ripe enough to pick.

    It seems like a lot has to happen first. Israel has to come to a head, the seeds of discontent in this country (the US) have to continue to grow, odd and paranormal events have to not only become more commonplace, but also welcomed by the deceived and actually worshiped by them... we are close, again it seems like it will be in this lifetime (how much worse can things get?), but here's what will happen....When it starts, it will go very quickly, like small burning embers in a forest that seem harmless at first, but rapidly consume everything around it.

    What is amazing is the sheer number of people that have been deceived. From my vantage point, seeing the mindless be entertained by thoughtless "reality" shows, seeing the endless availability of soul crushing porn/RAP/ and other forms of "entertainment," seeing how well evil has planned the corruption of weak minds though Hollywood, drugs, the pursuit of pleasure, and the Godless press is really all an amazing study.

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  2. This resonates with me because I am one of those who feels the pressure, or the "pressing down" which is the phrase that best describes the feeling. It is increasingly difficult to live in this world with the pervasive depravity. Some moments are almost unbearable. But I do feel a tie to this world with all those still yet unsaved - so much work to be done.

    It's very much like labor pains. There are clusters of nights I wake up from sleep with an expectancy that something is about to happen. How much more can God tolerate?

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  3. Anonymous #1 and Anonymous #2, thanks for your comments. Both are well put. I grieve also over the sheer numbers of people who have been deceived...and I am feeling the pressure of the weight of sin in a fallen world to an almost unbearable degree. Good question, how much can God tolerate...if I feel so much grief in my flesh, how much MORE deeply that grief would feel to a Holy and Just God? Oh, it is too anguishing to think on. It's a wonder He doesn't get rid of all of us.

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  4. I totally agree with the number idea. THAT is biblical. I probably won't stop watching watch dates though. :)

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  5. LOL, Ma~ ! It is pretty hard not to get excited about this date or that date, I admit. The thought of seeing Jesus is the top event in human history. :)

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  6. Very well-written and explained, Elizabeth. I wonder what it will be like for the person who makes the count final? Will they say, "Lord Jesus, forgive me!" Then suddenly, whoosh, they're gone! I can't even imagine that kind of affirmation that you made the right choice!!! :)

    It's interesting, this was written months ago, and now, what the first commenter was saying had to happen is beginning to come to pass...

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