How long will it be until the Rapture? That is the question we all have been asking ourselves for a very long time now. The problem is that there are so many prophetic signs out there that we can no longer see the road we are trying to follow. We over analyze each sign looking for both hidden meanings, as well as obvious meanings, and then we become disheartened when the Rapture fails to occur when we predict that it will happen. We all secretly look for possible dates for the departure of the church. Yet those who openly announce their predictions are usually viewed with, contempt by the prophetic community.
Each time a "watch date" comes and goes I feel disappointed, like the proverbial bride who is stood-up at the altar. I then work that much harder trying to find even more clues and hidden meanings in both Scripture and in current world events. To date, I have been a failure in all my efforts. It is time to take an entirely new approach. I truly have not been able to see the forest because of all the trees.
It is time to take a step back and look at the "big picture," and not get wrapped up in all of the specific details. When we step back things often come into a much clearer focus. Christians have expected the rapture to occur ever since the crucifixion. Paul wrote his second letter the Thessalonians to assure them that they had not been left behind. Is the Rapture truly "imminent" at this moment in history, or is it still way off in the future? Let's put aside our obsession with details and specifics for the moment, take a huge breath and re-evaluate what has been happening in our nation, the world, and (of course) Israel.
The overall weather is well beyond weird, and it is getting weirder and weirder by the moment. This has gone well beyond the natural fluctuations that occur at random. At first we suspected global warming was the cause, but what we are experiencing has gone well past anything like global warming can explain. It is almost like God, Himself, is trying to get the world's attention.
Earthquakes are definitely happening with greater frequency and intensity. The one we had a couple of years ago in Japan moved Japan, itself, 8 feet and knocked the earth a little off its axis and actually shortened the day by a tiny amount. At the same time dormant volcanoes all over the planet are coming back to life. Sinkholes are popping up all over the world as well. This is more than just a coincidence. Something big has to be up. Doesn't the Bible say something about the Earth longing to be free of "the curse?"
Speaking of weird things going on with the Earth, let's take a look at the strange noises being heard all around the world. I would dismiss them as wild rumors if it were not for the fact that so many people have reported hearing them. What I find really odd is that those who report them all say that it is impossible to tell the direction from which they come. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem the local religious officials told Jesus to silence the multitudes, those who were there to be a witness. Jesus replied that if He were to silence the people the very rocks would cry out. That seems like an odd response for Him to make at the time, but now it seems that the very rocks themselves are crying out to announce His imminent arrival, while at the same time the people are being silent.
While we are on the topic of weird things occurring in nature let's take a look at the animals that are dropping dead all over the world. It seemingly started back on November 2, 2010, when thousands of sea birds were found dead in Tasmania, Australia. Nobody thought much about it at the time. A couple of months later over 5,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings fell out of the sky near midnight on New Year's Eve in Beebe, Arkansas. The media picked up on this, and on a few subsequent animal die-offs.
There were lots of end-of-the-world jokes and an increase of ridicule of those who study eschatology. When the novelty wore off the ridicule subsided. Nobody noticed anymore, but the slaughter has never ceased. The website below records the carnage that continues to take place. During 2011 this website records 42 mass animal die-off events and includes links to an article on each one. I am not talking about 42 dead animals. I am talking about 42 separate events were there was a mass die-off of huge numbers of animals. In 2012 there were 464 known events where animals were killed off in mass and occurred in 67 different countries. This staggers the imagination. As of May 3, 2013, there have been 222 know mass animal die-offs occurring in 47 different countries. One can only guess as to how horrible this carnage will become by the end of the year. That is, of course, assuming that we make it to the end of 2013.
I have to apologize here. I said I wasn't going to get into specifics because it is too easy to get wrapped around the spoke and lose sight of the big picture. My point is that the Bible has something to say about God killing off animals in (presumably) the last days. Maybe He wasn't joking or using this seemingly odd wording as filler in His book.
"Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away" (Hosea 4:3).
I want to add one other thought here. While all of these animals have been dropping dead our scientific community has attempted to come up with an explanation. Much of what they offer is so ridiculous that it makes me wonder how they can believe this and still laugh at (and reject) the idea that God created the world and everything in it. My answer to these scientific scoffers is this: "So what? The Bible says nothing about whether the scientific community will understand it or not. The Bible says only that it will happen. It happened; end of discussion."
Let's get away from strange signs in nature and look elsewhere for the moment. Let's look at the advances that the homosexual agenda has made in the last few years versus the advances they have made for the 3,000 or 4,000 years prior to that. Wow. There has been an explosion of perversion. Homosexuality is one of the sins that the Bible seems to indicate is especially offensive to God. At the current rate that the homosexual agenda is accelerating and expanding, how much longer can it be before God deals with us in the same way that He did with Sodom and Gomorrah?
If there were any truth to Darwin's theory of evolution, or the theory of the survival of the fittest, homosexuality would have become extinct a great many generations ago.
Abortion is another sin, which, I am sure, is especially offensive to God. The numbers of victims, both infants and mothers, is beyond my ability to comprehend. The horror seems to be increasing geometrically. I feel physically sickened each time I read of a new revelation in the current trial of the abortionist, Dr. Gosnell. How much worse can it get? How much worse will God let it get?
Everything evil seems to be increasing geometrically these days. Each day, as I read the news on the prophetic websites, I learn of things taking place that are too horrible to write about in this article. Has the love of humanity grown this cold? Didn't the Bible say something about that happening in the last days?
At the very end of the book of Daniel, the prophet tells the angel that he does not understand what he just written. The angel tells Daniel not to worry about it and to just write it down. The angel also tells Daniel that we will understand what he wrote in the end times. Obviously there are things in the Bible not intended to be, fully understood until the last days. I have read many things in the Bible that I do not understand, and seem strange even appearing there. The following are two examples:
In the biblical account of the fall of the Tower of Babel, God says something that really seems strange to me. He said that one of His reasons for destroying the tower was that if He did not do so, mankind would be able to accomplish whatever it set out to do. Apparently there are limits to the technology, which God will allow us to possess. A few years ago science announced that we were on the very cusp of achieving singularity. Singularity is a difficult concept to define, but an overly simplistic explanation is that singularity is the point where we are actually able to build a computer that can not only think for itself, but actually becomes aware of its own existence. In other words, we would be creating a form of life.
We agonize over the morality of killing unborn children in their mother's womb who cannot speak for themselves. Imagine what it would be like to have a home computer that would beg and plead with us not to shut it off, or pull the plug, because it would kill it. What if our machines plotted to kill us out of the primordial instinct of self-preservation? Science fiction doesn't sound so much like "fiction" anymore. How much have we advanced in the years since science announced that we were on the very cusp of achieving singularity? Will God allow mankind to create life, or will He reserve this knowledge and skill exclusively for Himself?
Something else that seems really strange to me in the Bible is how Jesus compared the last days of the end-times to the "Days of Noah." Up until just recently, such a reference really seemed a bit odd. Did Jesus use an awkward analogy by accident, or did He really mean what He said? Genesis chapter 6 tells us that the world became so evil that God was actually sorry He had made mankind, and decided to destroy the Earth. Only Noah and seven members of his immediate family were allowed to survive, plus (of course) pairs of certain animals. The same chapter of Genesis goes on to tell us that the sin that angered God so much, and caused God so much sorrow, was the mingling of angels that chose to leave their estate (that's Bible-speak for rebelling against God) and had sexual relations with the daughters of men to produce hybrids. Apparently this is an extremely major sin.
Today our top scientists have hacked their way far enough through the firewalls of God's computer that they have gained access to the databanks for the very genetic code of life itself. We only understand a tiny fraction of the information we have discovered, but we are already playing around with altering the codes. We are tinkering with the mixing of DNA of animals, plants, and humans. I wonder. Is there anything else that we could think of that would provoke God any more than this? How much more will He allow?
Going back to Genesis once more, wasn't the fall from grace that Adam and Eve experienced due to their disobedience in eating from the tree of knowledge? Did the forbidden fruit they ate plant the seeds of knowledge that brought us, in part at least, to the point where our knowledge destroys us? I wonder . . .
We constantly search for any clues in the Bible for when the last days are going to be, hoping to find a clue as to when the Rapture will happen. In Matthew, chapter 24, Jesus disciples asked Him directly when the end times were going to be. Jesus started off by telling them not to be deceived by anyone. Well, there is certainly a lot of deception being put out there right now. The next thing He mentioned was the amount of wars and rumors of wars. Can anybody deny that rumors of war abound at the present time, or that the focus of these rumors center around Israel and Jerusalem. In fact, the Bible also specifically mentions Jerusalem being a "cup of trembling" and a "stumbling stone" to the world in the last days.
The Bible tells us that Israel is the "Apple of God's eye." Every time I think the situation for Israel cannot get any more, dire, something else happens. There are multiple reports in the news of Syria making chemical weapons available to Hezbollah. Israel is now conducting air strikes deep into Syria. Assad's only chance to remain in power is to attack Israel so that the nations and people who are opposing him stop their hostilities, lest they appear to be fighting on the side of the Jews. Israel's only viable option will be to attack Syria. A conventional war would be too costly and take too long. Israel could end Assad's rule overnight by dropping a nuclear weapon on Damascus and totally destroying Assad and his government. Doesn't the Bible say something about this is Isaiah in chapter 17?
In Matthew, Jesus talked about many indicators of His return. These include things like famine and pestilence, and He also talked about the persecution of Christians as a sign of the last days and His return. Just look at the rabid and prolific spread of Islam. Notice that I didn't say "radical" Islam. All of Islam is extremely anti-Christian. Some of its followers are just more vocal than others in spreading the violence and intolerance they profess. Other parts of the world are equally vicious in their persecution of anybody who dares to believe in God, or His son. I find it beyond my ability to comprehend how 70,000 people can be imprisoned in North Korea merely for believing in God or owning a Bible. Just try to imagine the horrors of living in a communist prison where there is absolutely no regard for human rights or dignity.
Is there any possible way that the current political situation in the Middle East could match the description laid out by Asaph during the time of King David and recorded in Psalm 83? The political situation of the world, and in particular the Middle East, is constantly changing. The dominos will not be in such a perfect alignment for very long. I believe that the rapture will occur before the bride of Christ can be harmed by the incredible worldwide Tribulation that is sure to erupt from such a conflict, for reasons that I will give in just a moment.
Christianity is in danger of becoming extinct in many parts of the Holy Land. Stop and think for a moment about how outrageous my last sentence is. Christianity is in danger of becoming extinct in many parts of the Holy Land. How much longer will God allow this condition to exist? Christianity is also in danger of becoming extinct in many other parts of the world.
Let's move to another area. Doesn't the Bible say something about signs in the sun, moon, and stars? Have there been signs in the sun, moon, and stars? Most definitely: yes. There have been a ton of them. The sun has been acting up with all kinds of flares. The moon has been going through a series of tetrads, and they have been falling on or near Jewish feast days. That just has to have some kind of prophetic significance just by itself. The stars have been aligning in all kinds of ways that are incredibly rare. Yes, I know that astrology is a big sin. On the other hand, God told us in the very first chapter of Genesis (verse 14) that the sun, moon, and stars were given to us specifically for "signs." I know there is a lot of arguing about how serious God was when He said this, but He did say it, so I mention it here.
Also, isn't there supposed to be one of the all-time biggest and brightest comets of all time coming our way later this year?
I believe the evidence in the Bible is overwhelming to support the idea that the Rapture of the church will occur before the Tribulation starts. Common sense seems to agree. What groom would allow His bride to be savagely beaten, especially before the wedding? Jesus told us that at the end of the last days there would be a Tribulation that was far worse than anything that has ever happened before. I believe Him.
I do not believe in the idea of government conspiracies. The main reason that I do not believe in government conspiracies is because our government is not smart enough to come up with these conspiracies, and they would not be able to keep their mouths shut about the existence of a major conspiracy. Too many people would be writing books about them. Nevertheless, Homeland Security has purchased over two billion (that is billion with a "B") rounds of hollow-point ammunition and has just applied to purchase another billion, or so. The quantity of ammunition they are stockpiling is something that my mind cannot grasp.
Why do they need a dozen rounds of ammunition for each and every man, woman, and child in the nation? Why are they buying hollow-point ammunition? Under the rules of the Geneva Convention even our military cannot use hollow-point ammunition in combat. Obviously, Homeland Security intends to use this ammunition domestically. These same people also purchased 2,700 tanks. Why does Homeland Security think they need a tank? Why does Homeland Security feel they need 2,700 tanks?
I could go on and on about so many different types of signs that we are not only in the last days, but that we are in the "last" of the "last days." For whatever reason, God wants to keep the date a secret, and we can only guess why. But if we read Revelation 3:3 and believe what it says, we are not only told─we are commanded─to watch for the return of Jesus. What's more, Jesus says that if we fail to watch, the Rapture of Christ will take us some by surprise, like a "thief in the night."
If we believe what the Revelation 3:3 says, we can at least know the season of His return. By opening our eyes to what is going on in the world around us we can see with our own eyes that we are in the very last days of that season. The Rapture of the church is going to happen and it is going to happen at any moment. If for no other reason, the Rapture is about to happen because the Tribulation spoken of in the Bible is about to happen, and the Rapture has to happen first.
Why is God sending all of these signs, and especially now?
The answer is so obvious that even a blind man can see it. God is trying to get our attention. He is also not going to violate any of His rules. We are the ones who have to make the conscious decision to accept Him, believe in Him, and believe that His Son died so we can spend our eternal lives with Him in heaven. We have to come to the point that we realize we are sinners by nature and we have to repent of those sins. That is why God does not appear in the sky or take over television broadcasts to address us more directly. We have to arrive at our decision to believe and repent on our own. The scary part is that we have to arrive at this point on our own before the door slams shut "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." At that instant it will be too late. At that moment our individual fate and our eternal destiny will be set forever and cannot be changed.
For those who believe that Jesus is returning soon and that the Rapture is imminent, no additional proof is necessary. For those who do not believe, no additional proof will ever be sufficient.
Where do you stand at this very instant?