In a moment, in the mere twinkling of an eye, the event that is commonly referred to as the "Rapture" will be an earthly fact of living reality.
This article is not an attempt to mimic the Left Behind series, but rather, it is intended to be a brief essay conveying the immediate sense of urgency with regards to the Biblical Doctrine of Imminency which is relative to the Rapture event.
One of the most basic exhortations of the Bible is the New Testament instructive given by Jesus on the occasion when he ascended back up into Heaven amidst the clouds of glory on the Mt. of Olives nearly two millennia ago.
Watch; for in such an hour as ye think not, the son of man cometh.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only.
What day, exactly and what hour is being referred to in these verses? And also too, why should we watch for something if you can't know the day nor the hour of the event for which you are commanded to watch for?
Most Christians today live with precisely such an attitude or perspective toward the Rapture being an imminent event, completely incognizant of any alarm bells that may even be ringing resolutely inside their immediate range of hearing or spiritual discernment.
The day and the hour of subject in these verses is of course that tremendous earth-shattering event when Jesus shall return to this world. His return has been the over-riding theme behind the command to urgently deliver the Gospel message out to every ear that will listen, comprehend, and apply it to their need. In reality, that message beckons to all the plain fact of this particular matter, "The King came once to offer himself on a cross for our benefit; and to those who appropriate that benefit to their need; he shall return to escort them into his "Huppa", or his ( canopy-heaven ) roof of protection.
This return of the King is customarily known as the "Nissuin" in old Hebrew culture. It was a secret abduction by a bridegroom of the one he loved. So it is with Jesus and his church. The Church is the beloved of Jesus, and our Bridegroom shall quickly and dramatically appear in the distant clouds within the arc of this earth’s dimension, accompanied by a band of heavenly angels. At a signal from the Lord, an archangel shall sound forth a blast on the trump of God; and immediately all the saints; from every era of time shall assemble together as one great vast throng, to participate in and assist the Lord in the ushering into Heaven his blood-bought bride.
I Thessalonians 5:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the Trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Notice those unbelievable, yet profound words in verse 17. Then We, “who remain alive” unto that day shall be "Caught Up"..............
Many commentators on prophecy will argue that the event known as the Rapture cannot be found in the Bible anyplace. But, to the contrary, the Rapture is indeed found in the verse that I just quoted from I Thessalonians. The phrase "caught up", is precisely the english definition for the Greek word originally utilized in this description. The Greek word Harpazo means to, seize, or remove away, or take up by force. The force that catches away all Christians on that day will be the shout of the Lord! "Come up hither" was the exhortation made unto John the Revelator when he was granted a supersonic extra-dimensional escort into God's heavenly throne in Revelation chapter 4. The very same shout shall be heard by all those who indeed remain alive unto the Rapture Zone!
The Rapture Zone should offer hope, comfort, and encouragement to all those that love his appearing. In reality, the fact that the signs of time portend that the second coming of Jesus is getting ever nearer, should function as an encouragement for all Christians to be living with an increase of faith and purity.
The word imminent, when utilized in connection to an evil event might be accurately conveyed as an event that is impending, or as an event that seems to always be threatening to come to pass. An imminent event is an occasion that seems to hang out ahead in time, as if in suspension for an indefinite period of time; yet the occurrence of the event is absolutely certain!
As applied to the subject of the imminent return of Jesus, the imminency of the Rapture zone consists of the following things:
1. The certainty that Jesus may come at any moment.
The purpose of imminency for the Church, is that the individual Christian may be in a state of constant expectancy, always looking for the coming of the Lord. That imminent event is a blessed occasion, a day that will result in the catching away of the bride of Christ, but such is not the case for Israel. Israel will of necessity endure a day of evil. It is a terrible time, that is just kind of suspended out ahead, yet it is certain to become reality. Thus it stands as reasonable that the Rapture event surely has a zone of probable occurrence in relation to Israel's enraging and building dilemma with the whole world in these very present days!
The imminency factor of Christ’s return has been a beacon of a hope eternal within the heart of every believer in Christ since the first century. Every new Christian has lived with that blessed hope because the Lord taught us to live in a watchful state, with an eye on our eternal destiny. Jesus imparted many exhortations for us to watch, lest his coming should catch us unknowingly, as would a thief’s unexpected incursion into our zone of comfort.
Jesus exhortations for Christians to be watching, occupying, expecting, and working, always while in a state of readiness demonstrates the imminency of that sudden epic hour when he shall catch us away. It is only when the believer realizes the urgency of the coming of Christ, that it may be very soon, and is connected to the miraculous restoration of Israel and the unveiling by the restrainer of the evil one; that the Christian can express a sense of emergency and also unbridled hope in anticipation of meeting Jesus in the clouds of glory, at any moment!
I am waiting for the dawning of the bright and blessed
For the Christian in this age, even more than any other age of Church history, the coming of Christ is indeed a "blessed hope", a comforting hope, and a purifying and exciting hope! The blessed imminent event of Jesus return would not be a thing to yearn for if the revealing of the Antichrist were to precede the sudden and swift catching away of the Bride! If the Antichrist comes first, then the blessed hope is false, and not a blessed event at all for the Church.
And that brings me now to the point for this particular article. There are already an innumerable amount of signs exposing the fact that the logistical underpinings for the exaltation of the Antichrist to world supremacy by the ten kings of a Global union is near, even on the very threshold of reality.