Heading Toward the Rapture?
If we look at the way things are going on in the world, we surely are heading for the last days. Times are changing drastically, in ways many of us would never have expected to see. For example, the US Supreme Court recently ruled same-sex marriage as a constitutional right in the United States. Should we be surprised with this ruling in the US? Probably not, because the moral foundation of this country crumbled decades ago, and what was one of the building blocks of this country, the “church”, has left its first love, and is well into a state of apostasy.
In other parts of the world, ISIS goes around beheading Christians. During the tribulation, those who do not accept the mark of the beast will be beheaded.
And what can we say about the future of Jerusalem, Israel? Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the time of Jacob’s trouble is still to come … your trouble is still to come … Jeremiah 30:7. God says that in the last days Jerusalem will become a stumbling block to the nations … Zechariah 12:3. Governments of the world are already trying to divide the nation of Israel right now! We know what God says about that too (if you don’t know, you can find it here … Joel 3:2)! And just before Christ returns, He plainly says there will be a time of great tribulation, such has not occurred since the beginning of the world ... Matt 24:21.
Before all of these future events come to be, born again believers will be removed just prior to the time of tribulation … called out (aka raptured)! You can find all of this in 1 Thess 4:13-18 and 1 Cor 15:50-54.
Throughout time, people have speculated when the rapture will take place, and believers and non-believers alike want to know. The Bible is very clear on this ... since no one knows the day or the hour of Christ’s second coming (Matt 24:36), we cannot know the day or the hour of the rapture, because that day will come seven years before Christ’s return to rule on this earth.
With all of this being said, there are certain verses and historical events that can help point us in the timeframe of when these events, the rapture and the second coming of Christ, could come to be.
Possible timeframe for the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ
One of our GND team members provided the following graph showing a potential timeframe for the rapture and second coming, along with the following verses and historical accounts, to provide the building blocks for the graph below:
- Christ was born between 4 and 8 BC (based on historical timeline of King Herod's death and the killing of the Jewish boys age 2 and under)
- Herod killed all the infants from 2-years old and under ... Matt 2:16
- Herod’s death is a matter of historical record, occurring in 4 BC ... Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVII 6:4 and fn 8
- The wise men went to see a small child, not a baby ... Matt 2:9-12
- Caesar August issued a decree that a census be taken of all the world ... Luke 2:1
- A census occurred while Mary was with child, prompting Joseph and Mary to return to Bethlehem for the census ... Luke 2:4-7
- The Deeds of Augustus, Section 8 show a census having occurred in 8 BC (yes, we are aware of the verse in Luke 2 stating the census having occurred when Quirinius was governor of Syria; however, who better than Caesar Augustus knowing the times he did a census within the Roman Empire)
- Christ was crucified between 25 AD and 33 AD, depending on the exact year of His birth (based on historical timeline of His birth)
- A day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day ... 2 Peter 3:8, Psalm 90:4
- Hosea, the Jewish prophet, said that after two days Christ would revive them, and on the third day they would live in His sight ... Hosea 6:2
- The church age spans 2000 years, then Christ will return to rule and reign on the earth ... good news!
Based on the above Biblical facts and historical accounts, perhaps we can know a possible timeframe for the rapture and the second coming, and this graph certainly seems to have somewhat of a foundation for the timeframe.
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To provide a summary of the graph based on the line colors, this is how it plays out:
Blue Line Summary
- If Christ was born in 8 BC, His death was 25 AD. His second coming is 2000 years later, which is 2025 AD. Backing off seven years for the tribulation places the rapture at 2018 AD.
Red Line Summary
- If Christ was born in 6 BC, His death was 27 AD. His second coming is 2000 years later, which is 2027 AD. Backing off seven years for the tribulation places the rapture at 2020 AD.
Green Line Summary
- If Christ was born in 4 BC, His death was 29 AD. His second coming is 2000 years later, which is 2029 AD. Backing off seven years for the tribulation places the rapture at 2022 AD.
Purple Line Summary
- If Christ was born in 1 BC/AD, His death was 33 AD. His second coming is 2000 years later, which is 2033 AD. Backing off seven years for the tribulation places the rapture at 2026 AD. Remember, there is no year 0 in going from 1 BC to 1 AD.