EVERY YEAR it seems someone is setting a false pre-tribulation rapture date that comes and goes. Isn’t it about time that we start questioning this “rapture madness” and answer the question from the scriptures, “can Jesus return tonight“?
We’ve had many high-profile TV evangelists tell us time after time that Jesus can return and rapture the church tonight. We’ve had annual false rapture dates from these very same evangelists for years now.
Harold Camping, Lester Sumerall, Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey and others have proclaimed dates for the rapture of the church which have not come to pass.
You would think that after hundreds of false date settings, we would have become a bit wiser and stopped proclaiming false dates. As a matter of fact, we have another false rapture date set for this year on April 23, 2018. When will we learn and what is the truth?
KNOW THIS: The biblical truth is that Jesus really is returning as He said. But it’s important to know what He said about His return!
This is News2morrow’s ongoing study of the biblical timeline of events leading to the return of Jesus Christ, as outlined in our book, “Escape the Coming Antichrist — When the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Fails (and it will!).” Jesus constantly warned His people about being deceived in the last days, and much of what we believe about Christ’s return is not what Jesus or His word says.
Case in point is the belief that Jesus can come at anytime!
- Why pursue a higher education since Christ can come at anytime?
- Why pursue a better job since Christ can come at anytime?
- Why try to change society since Christ can come at anytime?
- Why speak out against unrighteousness in the land since we’re outta here soon?
Can Jesus return at anytime?
Can He return tonight to secretly snatch up His saints before He actually returns in glory at His Second Coming? Most evangelical leaders will thunder in the affirmative. But most only use half of the scriptures available on the topic to come to that conclusion. In essence, some scriptures have been Left Behind!
Knowing only half of available information can only lead to trouble and error. There’s a funny moment in an old comedy movie where someone is leaning against a bathroom wall in front of a sign reading, “MEN.” Another man walks in and is soundly booted out by a woman inside. The first man walks away from the sign he was partially obscuring, and now we see that it reads, “WOMEN.”
It’s just as important to have all the available information to understand any doctrine in scripture. God’s Word says, The SUM of your word is truth! (Ps 119:160, Revised Standard Version), sum meaning all.
One needs to connect all the scriptures together in order to fully understand any topic outlined in the Bible. And, when you find a pattern where scripture does not conflict with one another, then you’ll have the full, true picture.
To suggest that Jesus can come at ANY moment in time – tonight, in fact! — many teachers cite various scriptures to try to prove that point:
- Behold, I come as a thief (Rev 16:15)
- For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2)
- I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee (Rev 3:3)
Well, that sounds quite convincing, until we include the sum of God’s words and then we get a better, and different, understanding.
Notice what Paul says here: But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief (1 Thess 5:4). On the one hand the Word says that Jesus will come as a thief, then it says – to His faithful followers – that His return will not surprise them as a thief would.
Can we see the pattern and discern what He’s saying?
The only people who will see Christ’s return as a thief in the night are going to be those who do not believe in, nor prepare themselves for, His return.
Let’s break down and explain what Paul says in the above verse.
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. [That’s because they are already knowledgeable about the ‘times and seasons’ for His return!] For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. [The Day of the Lord is the actual return of Christ, and it’s going to come as a ‘thief in the night,’ but to whom?] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; [Who says ‘peace and safety’? Why this is when the Antichrist system shall have so overtaken the world that there’s no one to fight against them!] then sudden destruction cometh upon them, [By Christ’s judgments upon His return!] as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [See the comparison? Christ’s return will come as a ‘thief’ to those in the world, but not to His true followers, who understand the ‘times and seasons.’] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation (1 Thess 5:1-8).
Jesus explains here what it means to be watchful:
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. [a watch was a designation of time within the night hours; similar, in a way, to the phrase, times and seasons.] Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh (Mt 24:42-44).
IN OTHER WORDS: If you as a Christian are expecting Christ’s return, how can His return come upon you as a “thief in the night”? — You’re expecting Him!
Luke’s account makes it plain that those who are watching for His return are not going to be surprised because their whole heart is in doing the work of the Lord, i.e., occupying till He returns (Lk 19:13):
But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers (Lk 12:45-46).
Conversely, Jesus chides the Sardis church for not watching:
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee (Rev 3:2-3).
So, all in all, the thief in the night analogy refers to one’s non-readiness rather than to Christ’s imminency. That’s why Jesus can’t come tonight.
But you’ve been taught otherwise.
This is only the beginning of a comprehensive study, sifting truth from error from popular eschatology teachings of our day. The Apostle Paul also lays out reasons why Jesus can’t come at anytime (See 2 Thess 2:1-4). We have other teachings that lay out the timing of the rapture (News2morrow YouTube channel). We hope you come back regularly for more updates, that you can share the truth of our Lord’s return, that we may be a people accounted worthy to escape all that shall come upon the earth and to stand before our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Every rapture date set has failed, thereby giving pre-tribulation rapture date setting a 100% failure rate.
[Please watch the video presentation above where Lou Comunale lays out reasons why Imminency is not in the scriptures.]
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