Is the Rapture Nigh?
This pandemic has propelled some Christians into apocalyptic hyperdrive. George Soros is thought to be constructing a global government, Bitcoin (or the like) will be the global currency, and the COVID-19 vaccine will be the “Mark of the Beast” from Rev 13:18. Sincere believers think this way.
The purpose of my article is not to say whether these insights are true or not. They might be. My purpose is different. I would like to point out that it is inconsistent to hold to what our doctrinal statement teaches regarding end times and to also believe that contemporary events are signs of Jesus’ second coming. Allow me to explain.
This is what our doctrinal statement teaches regarding the end times,
We believe in the personal, imminent return of Jesus Christ for the church. This event (the Rapture), along with the Tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ to earth, and the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth, will precede entrance into the Eternal State.
Notice that our statement says that Jesus’ return is “imminent.” What does that mean? It means the rapture of the church could happen at any time. The Bible says that Jesus will return “when you do not expect it” (Matt 24:44). He will come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thess 5:2). Do thieves announce their coming? Of course not. They come suddenly, unexpectedly, and without warning. That’s how the rapture will be. There will be no indications that it is about to occur.
Could our doctrinal statement be wrong about the rapture? Absolutely. But that’s not my point. My point concerns consistency. It is inconsistent to affirm our doctrinal statement regarding the end times and to believe that current events indicate anything about the timing of the rapture. It’s one or the other. It cannot be both.