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Rapture and Sudden Destruction

Every week I find in my email inbox a number of predictions for this or for that concerning Bible prophecy. Many involve the writer’s prediction of the time of the Rapture, based upon a specific formula he or she has figured out, or has adopted from someone else’s `thoughts.

Some, such as the particular writer I’m thinking about in writing this commentary, send out each year a dozen or more predictions of the time of the Rapture to various forums, including mine. His predictions usually revolve around traditional Jewish holy days. Although every prediction has thus far failed to come to pass, the writer is persistent, becoming more adamant about the validity of his date-setting with each succeeding “forth telling.”

I must admit that I’ve come to sort of look forward to unwrapping these missives to peek at what we might have, kind of like opening a surprise package. One thing sure…it’s never a disappointing exercise. He always has something new and unusual to spring upon the recipient. If he remains so persistent–based upon the way world events are shaping up–he is bound to be at least nearly right about the timing of the Rapture at some point. One week in particular, his email offering was a little less absolute in its predictive tenor, but nonetheless given with confidence, as usual. At any rate, this one struck a chord, and prompted me to think again on the words of Jesus that have burned in my spirit since I wrote a ten-part series to which I gave the title, “Scanning a Fearful Future.”

–More about that momentarily.

The emailer wrote:

DOES THE BIBLE GIVE US THE DAY OF THE YEAR FOR WWIII (EZEKIEL 38–39)? I have written much over the past 3 years about my Biblical studies that show World War 3 (the Sudden Destruction) and the Rapture to be the very same day. If the start of the Great Tribulation is going to take place in the next 5 months, and I am totally convinced that it is, then we need to take a very close look at this BIBLICAL day (it is in the very near future… In light of current events all around the world, especially involving a very possible imminent attack, involving Israel and Iran and/or Syria, this rapidly-approaching BIBLICAL day takes on a very urgent and ominous meaning for this year. The Bride of Christ may have already celebrated its last Christmas on this earth.

Yes, well…I guess he was a bit more adamant about things than I remembered at first reading. Still, the prognostication was mild in comparison to many of his previous declarations about the Rapture and its timing. The date he predicted was April 11, 2012… So, another date-setter missed the mark.

I give this article the title “Rapture and Sudden Destruction” because I believe although he was obviously wrong on the date, the persistent emailer is, at the same time, right in this instance without even realizing it. He was not correct on the date, of course.  He was not correct in that his figuring was based upon Jewish traditional holy days. All such figurings have failed to produce the Rapture. Besides, no man knows the day, we are told by the Lord. There is no relationship anyone has been able to show, so far as I can tell, between any Jewish traditional holy day and that “twinkling-of-an-eye” moment prophesied in 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4, and, I believe, by Jesus Himself as recorded in John 14:1-3, and given by John in Revelation 4:1-2. The Rapture of the church will be sudden, unannounced, and unanticipated by most of the world’s population.

Paul the apostle, who, of course, was chosen by God to prophesy the Rapture, foretells much about that coming time when millions of believers will go to be with Christ in one atomos of time (an increment of time so brief that it cannot be divided). Paul writes further about the time immediately surrounding the moment of the Rapture:

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, 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. 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. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6)

Paul tells Christians to be ever alert to the times that surround them. He exhorts them to “watch.” Jesus said the same thing as recorded in Mark 13: 37: “What I say unto one, I say unto all; watch.”

Jesus and Paul were referring to watching the events and issues of the times in which they will be living. There is no specific sign that signals the Rapture, but all of the signs of societal conditions will signal that the time of Christ’s coming in the Rapture is very near, even at the door. The day of God’s judgment beginning to fall upon rebellious mankind, the apostle Paul wrote, would begin like a “thief in the night” breaking into a home. Jesus had likened His coming to a thief in the night as recorded in Matthew 24.

While writing that series of articles I called “Scanning a Fearful Future,” I sensed the Lord impressing upon my spirit that Jesus’ words were all important in foretelling exactly when all of His impending judgment would suddenly break loose upon a world that has shown its hatred for His Son, who came to die for the sins of mankind. There will be no world-rending things, like all-out war or total economic collapse at that time. Even though portentious signs of the times will be prevalent, it will still be, relatively speaking, business as usual when Christ breaks in upon a world ripe for judgment. The persistent emailer was on the right prophetic page in this instance. It will be the Rapture that brings the awesome judgment of God upon this fallen planet.

Again, Jesus foretold:

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)




  1. Andrea Bowman says:

    Thank you for your articles. They always help me!
    I have wondered…do you think the rapture reveals Jesus to the world? It seems like they won’t see Him, but maybe it will prove to them that He is real? I know God is going to show the world who He is through Isreal during the Ez. 38 war. Do you think the rapture will also play a part in helping those left behind to be able to believe? Thank you!

    • Terry James says:

      Jesus is talking about the Rapture of the Church when He refers to the “days of Noah” and “days of Lot” prophecy as recorded in Matthew 24: 36-42 and Luke 17: 26-30.

      He said that it will be just like it was in those days when He next intervenes into the affairs of mankind. He foretells that He will be “revealed” at that moment of intervention.

      Here is the scripture:

      Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17: 28-30)

      So, yes. The world will come to know that it was Jesus who “intervened.” Many will accept Him –millions upon millions, as a matter-of-fact. Billions, of course, won’t believe, but will believe the lie Paul forewarns as recorded in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2.

      • Charles Bain says:

        I liked your article, but would like to know where in the Bible is it written about the rapture. Where is the biblical basis for this belief that only surfaced in the 1830’s

      • Terry James says:

        Jesus first gives the Promise of Rapture as recorded in John 14: 1-3. Paul reveals the “mystery” wrapped up in that promise in both 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55.

        The “caught up” in those passages is “harpazo” in the Greek language. Later that word is given in the Latin vulgate as “Raptura,” from which the term “Rapture” comes through the English language into our time.

        Those who can’t or won’t see this want to make John 14: 1-3 Jesus coming to receive Christians, individually, at death to take us to our heavenly home. However, studied in total context, it is made clear that the Lord was referring to a special coming to receive His Body –His Church in its totality.

        John Darby gave this study in eschatology an orderly form, but he didn’t invent the Rapture. Neither did he get the concept from Margaret McDonald, as Rapture detractors invariably claim.

        There exists numerous writings by early church fathers that support the Bible teaching a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

      • Terry James says:

        Many want to debate endlessly the issues of Bible prophecy, and particularly issues surrounding the Rapture of the Church –the Bride of Christ.

        I have considered most every conceivable view of the topic of the Rapture over the decades and have found that it isn’t productive to continue the practice of endless debate. I now simply put forward what I believe God’s Word tells us in these matters.

        Brief statements of contrary opinion will be posted if civil in presentation. However, long dissertations and/or lengthy debate will no longer be posted on Prophecy Line.


      • Pete says:

        If the rapture is not a secret but the world knows all about it, then why do you have a whole chapter dedicated to delusions and aliens in your book?

      • Terry James says:

        Paul called the Rapture “a mystery” –not a “secret.”

        How can the Rapture be “a secret” when, for example, more than 40 million copies of the Left Behind series –devoted to the subject of Rapture—have been sold?

        The people have had plenty of forewarning that the Rapture will happen. Most who are left behind will choose to believe otherwise, according to Paul’s prophecy in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. They will be sent “strong delusion” for their unbelief in the Truth of God’s Holy Word, according to the KJV language.

        This is why the chapter was written.

    • Terri Horn says:

      There will be others that will not believe it is the rapture that is talked about. There will be well known end times who say they are Christian and they were not taken cause they would be gone as well. part of the great deception

  2. Craig Hanson says:

    This posting has touched me in ways I cant understand. My Spirit leaped
    as I read it.

  3. If you were a true bible scholar you would know what Jesus meant when he said “no one knows tha day or the hour”, He was telling us when the season of his retur would be.

    • Christy Benoist says:

      Do not be so rude to Terry! Yes they call Rosh ha shaman ” no one knows the day nor hour” but JESUS made His words very clear..regardless. And…Terry IS a true Bible scholar! You are just being arrogant.

      • No please do not misunderstand me, I do not mean to sound arrogant, what concerns me is that so many Christians seem to be using that one statement as an excuse not to look for the rapture of the Church and I don’t think they need religious commentators confirming that statement when Jesus didn’t mean in the co text that is presented. Love in Christ HAROLD A. LINDSEY, WATCHMAN

  4. Linda Eden says:

    This is very concise, bringing the main scriptures into clear focus, truth revealed and made simple so any lover of the Lord can understand. Thank you and Maranatha.

  5. Helene says:

    Yes there will be a Rapture of believers in Jesus, but not a secret Rapture, for the Bible says, “Every eye shall see him come.”
    First the dead believers in Jesus will rise to meet Him in the air. Then the living believers in Jesus are caught up with them, to forever be with the Lord. Blessed are those in the first resurrection.

    • Terri Horn says:

      There will be others that will not believe it is the rapture that is talked about. There will be well known end times who say they are Christian and they were not taken cause they would be gone as well. part of the great deception

    • Terri Horn says:

      The rapture is NOT the 2nd the coming. He meets his bride in the clouds.
      Jesus only comes to earth twice. Once was his birth, death and resurrection. The 2nd will occur at the end of the tribulation when he goes after Satan and that is when everyone will see him and every knee will bow. No one knows the date or the hour HOWEVER in Matthew 24 we are given signs to watch for and when these signs come to pass we are told to cast our eyes on high for our redemption draws nigh. by looking at the convergence of these signs it looks like the rapture and the end of the days is coming closer and closer. The bride of Christ should be working harder and harder to lead people to Christ. The tribulation will be horrific. In the first two judgments over three billion will be killed and that is before the GREAT tribulation.

  6. Ron Bjorhus says:

    I agree completely with the conclusion you have of what happens right after the rapture, judgment. I just finished reading Luke. And in chapter 17 I read where Jesus was speaking about the the days of Noah, and the days of Lot. That the DAY that Noah entered the ark the flood came, and the DAY Lot left Sodom destruction came. Before that life was going on like always. But as I was reading those verses, I felt like the Lord highlighted the word day, the same day. I got excited about it and text my former pastor about it, saying I believed that judgment would follow the rapture immediately. Now reading your article about it I am more convinced that that’s exactly what is going to happen.
    I find it interesting that Russia has been running sheltering drills with as many as 40 million people just a couple weeks ago, and has told their people to know where the shelters are in their area. They also have just released video of their newest ballistic missile called satan 2. that is hypersonic and able to destroy an area the size of Frane or Texas the article said. Enough said, I believe you know what I am getting at, Ezekiel 38 – 39.

  7. shirley bucci says:

    Don’t these people who believe they know the date of our Lords return inadvertently calling our Lord a liar? For if He said ‘no one knows,’ what is it about this verse they don’t understand? It’s not rocket science, it’s not Chinese algebra, it’s just the spirit of Satan leading these people In the wrong direction.

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