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Rapture Delayed

We have looked a number of times in this column at those who mock the end-times message and the Rapture in particular. Because those who scoff have been of the abrasive, unbelieving variety for the most part, there is a standard Bible verse reply I’ve usually employed in response.

The scriptural reply has most often been intended to let those mocking know that they are, in actuality, fulfilling Bible prophecy.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3:3-4)

As of late, however, such a reply doesn’t quite fit that which should compose an appropriate response. That is because the questions are coming weekly from genuine believers in the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church. These Christians are worried–some very worried.

These look around them and on every side they see and feel the satanic pressures from this fallen sphere closing in. Issues and events –the very ambience in which they find their lives engulfed–generate thoughts that their circumstance is beginning to look much like the Bible’s description of the Tribulation itself.

To illustrate the growing angst, I’ve chosen the email of one such Christian brother who wrote this past week. His words pretty much get right to the point of the many other emails expressing like emotion. Here it is in its entirety:

Why is the Lord delaying the rapture? It should have happened years ago. We would be in the millennium now enjoying true peace and prosperity without the suffering. I don’t get it. It’s God call of course but 58 million aborted babies in the US since 1973, Christians tortured and murdered worldwide, people who believe in Jesus longing for his return suffering immensely. I don’t get it where is our Lord and Savior?

The emailer  didn’t use any soft nuances of greetings or any other niceties. He just laid his spirit-distressed emotions right out there.

You don’t answer such gut-wrenching concern with the apostle Peter’s prophecy as given above. This child of God is worried. He is puzzled; he is perplexed. It’s the kind of questioning I’ve heard in my own kid’s  anxieties when they were young and felt disappointed for one of my failures or the other to keep a promise. “Dad should never let me down like that” is the tone.

Only, this perceived unkept promise isn’t from an imperfect, human father. I say “perceived unkept promise” because the promise isn’t unbroken whatsoever. The error is in the question of the imperfect child asking it. His Perfect Father will, as always, be one hundred percent faithful to keep every promise made.

The Lord Jesus, Himself, in His ascended position, said the following to John the Revelator:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

Jesus said it, and that means the Heavenly Father said it–promised it! Jesus said that He and the Father are One. They are inseparable–one and the same–the first and second Persons of the Godhead–the Trinity.

God cannot lie, the Scripture tells us. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. God keeps His promises. So, this brother in Christ, like all the other believers who look to the “blessed hope” of Titus 2: 13, who are in fear and worry while watching this fallen world closing in, need an answer from the Word of God.

The Heavenly Father gave the answer to Peter to pass along to us, just a bit farther on in Scripture. The answer to why the Rapture hasn’t occurred as soon as almost all of us wish it would occur is, at least in part, wrapped up in  the following:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

The Tribulation that will follow this Age of Grace will be filled with horrors that even John, under divine inspiration, had trouble describing. The Lord wants to provide every moment possible during this present dispensation for those lost in their sin to come safely into the shelter who is His beloved Son Jesus Christ. God wants this for the lost, because, following the Rapture, making the decision to accept Christ for salvation will be more difficult by a multiple of factors. Facing beheading is but one of those factors!

That is the reason–or at least a primary reason–the Rapture hasn’t yet occurred in this generation, according to God’s Word.     

That said, I must take notable exception with the emailer’s contention that God is “delaying” the Rapture. You can take this to the bank–well, to the banks the way they used to be–God is not delaying the Rapture. It will happen precisely in the twinkling of the eye at the moment the Father has determined.

Jesus said:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)

God knows exactly the instant He will send His Son to get His Bride, make no mistake. There is no delay.

On that note, issues and events closing in on us show that we are almost certainly very near that exhilarating moment of instantaneously finding ourselves face to face with the Lord Jesus. Just how near we are to the Rapture–if we could indeed know–would likely allay all fears.

I’m excited to tell you that my new book, Rapture Ready … Or Not: 15 Reasons This Is the Generation That Will Be Left Behind, is at present being prepared within the publishing process. Because of the lateness of the prophetic hour, I sense to a degree never experienced before that this is a book I’ve been commissioned to write. We will be able to tell you more soon, Lord willing.


  1. Susan says:

    What a great article, Terry! I’ve been wondering the same thing….the timing of this commentary is perfect! I figured the the Lord knows when it’s going to happen – probably has it marked on his heavenly calendar. I wonder if those already in heaven with him know the date? A guideline that I use to figure out the general time frame is that, as you know, Jesus said that a generation will not pass since the rebirth of Israel in 1948 before the 2nd coming…Since the Bible describes a lifespan as being 70 – 80 years, I figured that it has to be before 2028 at the latest. Subtract 7 years and you have Rapture date somewhere around 2021 if I figured correctly (math not being my strong suit). Does this sound reasonable to you? Of course the Lord could tarry but at some point, He has to pull the cord so to speak because there’s always going to be those who will come to salvation….he must have a certain number in mind which you’ve discussed in prior commentaries. It’s all very exciting. Certainly a more narrowed time frame would be encouraging for the reasons you said in that it would alleviate a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. Let’s say for example that we knew that the Rapture was going to happen sometime in 2016, I would be so spurred on even more to get out the message. I do this but not with as much urgency as I would if we had clearer certainty of the approximate date. There is always the sense that there is more time….Thank you for writing this! Can’t wait until your book comes out. Please let us know and I will purchase it.

  2. Lyndon Weggery says:

    Of course the basic reason the Rapture is “delayed” is found in Romans 11:25.”Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in”.Or in other words God as the Father of the Bridegroom is still sending out the wedding invitations and will only tell Jesus to go and get His Bride when the last “RSVP” has come in!!!

  3. Scott says:

    Rapture happens on last day. John tells us 4 times. Jesus (Hebrew aka real name Yahushua) comes back one time. It’ll be loud, thunderous. Scripture is clear on this. Unless you force and ignore it to fit what you want.

    • Why do you HR people continue to mix what Jesus was saying to the Jews, for the Jews, because he was describing the Second Coming, for his chosen of Israel; with the BLESSED HOPE, which is for the Bride of Christ ( the CHURCH…)

      • Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

  4. Christians should keep in In mind that theThessalonians thought they had missed the rapture too until Paul addressed their concerns in II Thessalonians : 2

  5. Lambert, C. (Caron) says:

    Dear Terry James

    Your article spoke to my heart today .

    It’s been almost 30 years since I first heard about the rapture and end time prophesy from Barry Smith , who is now gone to be with Jesus. God has been very faithful and connected me to another watcher named Smit , who inspired me when this bride gets weary.

    I am one of those very impatient watchers and every day there is some article , post or news item that shatters my belief in humanities ability to change and seek Gods face , the latest being the beheading of a 4 year old by her nanny.

    The persecution , rape, torture and abuse of woman, children and men breaks my heart and literally bring me to tears , apart from praying for them and donating to charities like open doors , I ask the Lord what else can I do ?

    I am desperately heart sore.

    Today driving into the office , I asked the Lord to help me to strike a balance between living the abundant life that Jesus promised and living heartbroken for the things that break God’s heart.

    I do believe that God is compassionate and long suffering as stated in 2 Peter 3:9, however there have also been many good people throughout the ages that may have gone to a lost eternity because there have never heard of the Lord. Like the beautiful young Indian lady who was literally raped to death a few years ago, my teenage daughter (and I) had a lot of difficulty trying to understand where she would spend eternity. My personal explanation on this is that Jesus is all his compassion and mercy will ministers to people who don’t know him when they are gravely ill or in a coma.

    Every day I know that we are one day closer but I am so uncomfortable in this world and don’t enjoy anything that this world has to offer.

    I attend a word based church, but with practically no teachings on end times or the rapture. On Wednesdays I attend a church meeting with a very prophetic pastor, who sometimes prophesies far into the future , I know he is a faithful servant of God, but it leaves me confused, after 30 years of watching I have never seen the signs of the times escalate as rapidly as they are now , and while I acknowledge that we have to occupy until he comes, but ….

    I will be waiting for your book.

    Until we hear the trumpet


    • Steve says:

      Hey Caron

      I first learned about the rapture back in January 1991 at the time of my own conversion along with two friends who are Greek brothers. One has since gone with the Lord. Had a powerful dream about the rapture during the next month in February 1991.

      We use to read Barry Smith’s books cover-to-cover and watch all his vids. I later met and became friends with one of his nephews on Barry’s wife side. I lived in South West Sydney at the time before moving to Canberra. Anyway like you have been watching for the rapture now for a little over 25 years. In my case though its been on and off… except for the past 5 years my eyes have glued to watching and waiting as the signs of the closing of this current age look to be increasing and accelerating. The day has got to be drawing very near.

      Remember everyone what Jesus said in Luke 21:28: “:And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.”

  6. Mel says:

    The Rapture will take place Exactly when God has already predetermined it to be. It’s foolish to wonder why not yet. While we are here on earth we are to do what God calls us to do. Share the Gospel with those around you and pray for their salvation. It’s ALL in His hands.

  7. Charles says:

    I am the person who sent the email via Rapture Ready. I am a Born Again Christian for decades but I did not repent of my sins and God called me on it. I am suffering for it to say the least. Death of loved ones, failing health, etc. I am responsible for all of these maladies and suffering greatly. To your readers, yes obey Jesus Christ…you must be Born Again to see the Kingdom of God then repent of your sins or perish. I apologize to the Lord for my frustration…God has His own timetable and we must be patient and faithful.

    • Julie Liles says:

      I believe God led you to write this letter to minister to all of the beloved who have been watching and waiting for our blessed hope.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts as many feel the same. We love God and long for him.
      We also feel frustrated with this fallen world.
      If we were comfortable here among this chaos I think we may be in more spirtual trouble. Thanks again brother. Looking forward to meeting you in that glorious time.
      Praying for you
      Pray for me

      • Charles says:

        Thank You for your beautiful words. Through all of this difficult time one positive has occurred. My mother, an atheist, became a Born Again Christian. Now I look forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with my parents sitting right next to me and Jesus sitting in front of us. Looking forward to meeting you also and I am praying for you. The most important aspect of my life is soul winning. I know time is very short and I believe the rapture was delayed to win more souls to Christ and that is what I am doing. The event that turned me was the revelation that people are profiting from the abortion of babies subsidized by the taxpayers. This is the most ungodly thing I ever heard of and brought grief and sadness. That’s why I wrote the email above. My father told me when you hold a baby and look at their face you can see the face of God and he was right. God is great and He is returning our redemption is nigh.

      • Julie Liles says:

        What a blessing to you and your mom.
        Thank God he is faithful! My mom came to christ recently as well. Such a relief!
        On the days I despair I remember the words of Jesus a time when you think not.
        We are the generation that parallels Noah.
        God bless

      • Charles says:

        I won’t live to see the rapture but I do hope it is this year. I go in peace and look forward to meeting God face to face and a joyful reunion with my biological father.

    • Anthony says:

      When one dies in the Lord, that person’s rapture has come. Only repent quickly and stay from all sins as you know not when your rapture will come.

    • Terri Horn says:

      i am confused. According to Jesus to you MUST ask him into your heart and repent of your sins so a True born again Christian MUST have repented of his sins in order to be born again. Just my thoughts. Accepted Christ in 1971. Hope did not offend anyone.

      Repent from sins, and change your mind about going your old ways. That means turn away from sin at a heart level and trust and follow Jesus. On the day of Pentecost, Peter stated, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

  8. blynn12014 says:

    God’s ways are not our ways. He is doing a mighty thing in our day and we have been born to show faith in such a day as this.

    Habakkuk faced similar question in his day… perhaps these words would have been exchanged had we seen “Habakkuk 2016″:

    The saint complains:
    “LORD, how long will I call for help and you not listen? I cry out to you, “Violence!” but you don’t deliver us. Why do you show me injustice and look at anguish so that devastation and violence are before me? There is strife, and conflict abounds. Laws are ineffective. Justice does not endure because the wicked surround the righteous. Justice becomes warped.”

    The LORD responds:
    “Look among the nations and watch! Be astonished and stare because something is happening in your days that you wouldn’t believe even if told. I am about to rouse the “Moslem Caliphate”, that bitter and impetuous nation, which travels throughout the earth to possess dwelling places it does not own. The “Caliphate” is dreadful and fearful. He makes his own justice and dignity. His movements are faster than leopards; they are quicker than wolves of the evening. His men charge forward; his men come from far away. They fly in to devour, swiftly, like an eagle. They come for violence, the horde with all their faces set toward the desert. He takes captives like sand. He makes fun of kings; rulers are ridiculous to him. He laughs at every fortress, then he piles up dirt and takes it. He passes through like the wind and invades; but he will be held guilty, the one whose strength is his god.”

    The saint questions the LORD:
    “ LORD, aren’t you ancient, my God, my holy one? Don’t let us die. LORD, you put the “Caliphate” here for judgment. Rock, you established him as a rebuke. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you are unable to look at disaster. Why would you look at the treacherous or keep silent when the wicked swallows one who is more righteous? You made humans like the fish of the sea, like creeping things with no one to rule over them. The “Caliphate” brings all of them up with a fishhook. He drags them away with a net; he collects them in his fishing net, then he rejoices and celebrates. Therefore, he sacrifices to his net; he burns incense to his fishing nets, because due to them his portion grows fat and his food becomes luxurious. Should he continue to empty his net and continue to slay nations without sparing them? I will take my post; I will position myself on the fortress. I will keep watch to see what the Lord says to me and how he will respond to my complaint.”

    The LORD responds:
    “Write a vision, and make it plain upon a tablet so that a runner can read it. There is still a vision for the appointed time; it testifies to the end; it does not deceive. If it delays, wait for it; for it is surely coming; it will not be late.”


    Stand in the day of evil; cinch up your armor and STAND.

  9. jenita says:

    And Charles Jesus forgives you. I pray for your peace and joy that Jesus has given us as believers. I pray for your healing in you body and spirit, may the Holy Spirit bring comfort to you. Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding. Just keep saying I trust you Lord Jesus. He is faithful, abounding in mercy and loving kindness, He is so….very faithful! Amen


  11. Lorri McCain says:

    The First and the last. The beginning and the end. Surely I come quickly. A-men.

  12. Kyle Brasch says:

    I can’t understand why people continue to think the rapture was delayed. God already knew the date and time of the rapture well before we were even born. He knew the date and time thousands of years ago. That date and time has not come to pass yet it. The rapture has not been delayed.

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