Within the Church, there has always been a certain segment of believers who have been resistant to all attempts at predicting the time that Jesus will come back to the earth to Rapture His Bride, the Church. This event is commonly believed to take place before the initiation of the 7-year Tribulation Period, also known as Daniel’s 70th week. The scriptural verse that is typically cited to justify having no concern about knowing the time of the Rapture of the Church is taken from the 24th Chapter of the Book of Matthew, where we read:
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my
Father only.” Matthew 24:36
These believers insist that because God’s Word states that only God the Father knows the exact date of Jesus’ invisible return to the earth at the time of the Rapture, that the Body of Christ should not concern itself with attempting to predict or know the time of His coming.
To this, many believers claim that there are numerous arguments presented within Scripture that refute taking such a stance, including:
- In the Book of Titus, Scripture directly exhorts the believer to be looking for the return of Jesus: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
- When Jesus stated that no man knoweth the day or the hour, He did not say a word about the week or the year.
- That Jesus desires that we would be aware of the approximate time of the Rapture, for Scripture lists many signs that would immediately precede both the Rapture and Jesus’ physical 2nd Coming back to the earth. “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand” (Luke 21:31).
- In the “Parable of the Ten Virgins”, Scripture admonishes one and all to be on the watch for Jesus’ return to receive His Bride, the Church, in order that we might be ready for our marriage to Him, which will occur soon after the Rapture of the Church (Matthew 25: 1-13).
- If God’s Word states that Jesus was saddened by the failure of the Jewish people to recognize the signs of His 1st Coming (Luke 19:41,42), does it not stand to reason that He would feel the same way about believers who cared not about knowing the time of His 2nd Coming?
- Scripture also states that there will be special rewards given to those believers who are actively looking for and seeking the Lord’s return (II Timothy 4:8). How then could one possibly argue that it is wrong to want to search out the time of His return?
To these arguments, one might also add the fact that Scripture holds in high regard those individuals who were actively looking for Jesus’ arrival at His 1st Coming to the earth. This statement requires some explanation:
It is of interest to note that while there are many Heroes of the Faith to be found within God’s Word (Hebrews 11:17-32), almost all of these so called, “Heroes” had numerous faults within their characters, faults which Scripture is quick to point out. Abraham, the “father of our faith”, was often faithless (Genesis 12:19, 20:11). Moses, the giver of the Law, was also a violator of the Law, being himself guilty of both murder (Exodus 2:12) and of deliberately misrepresenting God to the Hebrew people (Numbers 20:11). David, who was called the man “after God’s own heart”, was also an adulterer (II Samuel 11:4), and a murderer (II Samuel 11:15).
On the contrary, when we consider the individuals who were expectantly seeking the 1st appearance of Jesus to the earth, the 3 Wise Men (Matthew 2:11), the shepherds who were watching their flocks outside of Bethlehem (Luke 2:15), the devout Simeon (Luke 2:25), and a host of others (Luke 2:36, John 12:20), it is of interest to note that Scripture makes no mention of any individual character flaws that these people may have possessed. In so doing, this puts these individuals, those who were actively looking for the coming Messiah, in a special place of honor within the pages of God’s Word. By not listing any shortcomings of character or sins of any of these people, it could logically be interpreted as being God’s way of giving His special “stamp of approval” on the actions of these individuals, and of honoring them for their longing to see the coming Messiah.
It is therefore perfectly logical to assume that the LORD at this present time is also well pleased with those who are looking forward and actively seeking to know the time of His return to the earth at the time of His invisible 2nd Coming, the Rapture of the Church.