Could Jesus Return At Any Moment?


By: Dr. Renald Showers; ©2004

Does the Bible indicate that it’s possible for the Lord Jesus to return even today to rapture His Bride the Church out of the world? I’m convinced that it does indicate that. The New Testa­ment teaches the imminency of the Lord’s return, and that means that Christ could return at any moment. Even back in New Testament times He could have returned at any moment. Now, He hasn’t yet, but it was possible back then. And the imminency concept carries with it the idea that there may be many things that WOULD happen before Christ comes, but biblically there’s nothing that HAS to happen before the Lord Jesus would come to rapture the Church out of the world to be with Him in the Father’s house in Heaven. Could Jesus return at any moment?

Now, where do we get this concept that the Lord could come at any moment, maybe even today?

Well, there are a number of passages in the New Testament that really convey that concept and I’d like to deal perhaps with just three of them for our study today. First, in 1 Corinthians 16:22, the Apostle Paul said to the Corinthian Christians, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.” And then Paul interjected at the end of this verse, interesting expression, “Maranatha!” Now, what does that term mean?

Well, it’s very interesting to note that that word was derived from the Aramaic language. Let me explain. The Aramaic language was the language that was spoken in the land of Israel during Jesus’ day. From all we can discern, that was even the language the Jesus spoke while He was here in the world. It was kind of a mixture of Hebrew and importing things from other languages where the Jews had lived over the centuries.

This was an Aramaic expression. In fact, “Maranatha” is made up of three Aramaic words: the first one is the word MAR which meant “Lord,” and then the next one is ANA which means “Our,” and the third was THA which means “Come.” So putting it together, Maranatha means “Our Lord, come.” The interesting thing is, this was in the form of a petition so that when Christians would make that statement, as Paul did here, he was actually petitioning the Lord to come.

Now, the question is, “Why petition the Lord to come if He can’t come at any moment?” If you know that He can’t come until a year from now, or ten years from now, or a hundred or a thou­sand years from now, it would really be useless to be petitioning the Lord as if He could come right now.

Another intriguing thing about this is that, although this is an Aramaic expression which ap­parently began with Jewish believers in the Lord Jesus in the land of Israel during the first cen­tury, here Paul uses this word to Greek speaking people at a Greek Church in the city of Corinth. And he’s writing it in a letter that he wrote in the Greek language.

So scholars have asked the question: “Why would Paul throw out an Aramaic term at people who knew the Greek language and in a Greek book that he’s writing?” Scholars have concluded that the reason for that is that this expression had become a widespread expression by Chris­tians all over the ancient world. Even though they may not have known any other expression in the Aramaic language, they learned what this one meant, so they used it as a byword. Some feel they even used it as a greeting when they would see each other to identify themselves as believers. They would say, “Maranatha” (Our Lord, come.) But again, it’s conveying a concept that the Lord could come at any moment, otherwise, why petition Him to come? It’s imminency that’s being conveyed here.

A second significant passage out of many others in the New Testament on the imminency of the Lord’s return is 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Here the Apostle Paul is in this context is talking about commendable attitudes or deeds which were characteristic of the Thessalonians Chris­tians of this time. And one of those commendable attitudes or actions was this: they were “wait­ing for God’s Son from Heaven.”

Now, some fascinating things about the verb form translated “wait.” That word literally meant “to wait up for,” and it was used back in the ancient world for people who were waiting up for the arrival of a person whom they were expecting to come. Now, the idea behind that is, they were waiting up for this arrival. It’s the idea that they didn’t go to bed at their normal time. And the reason they wouldn’t go to bed at their normal time was because they were expecting this person could arrive at any moment.

If they knew that this person couldn’t arrive, say, for another four, five, six hours, the normal thing for them would not be to wait up but to go to bed for the four, five or six hours, set the alarm clock (if they had alarm clocks at that time), and then wake up at the time that they knew the person would arrive. So the very fact that Paul says that the Thessalonian Christians had the attitude of waiting up for God’s Son to come from Heaven tells us that they were expecting Him to come from Heaven at any moment.

Another interesting thing about this term, and scholars point this out, is that this indicates patience and confidence. And in addition, it’s in the present tense and normally in the original language of the New Testament the present tense, unless the context tells us otherwise, has the idea of a continuous action. So Paul was teaching here that the Thessalonian Christians were “continuously” and “patiently” awaiting the Lord’s coming, waiting up for Him to come, because they were confident that He could come at any moment. Again, the idea is, they believed in the imminent return of the Lord Jesus.

Now, a question we could ask at this point was this: Where did they get this idea from, that the Lord could return at any moment? Well, when you read the book of Acts, which records what Paul did when he went to the city of Thessalonica on one of his missionary journeys, we find that Paul is the one who taught them what they knew about the Scriptures and the truth of God.

When you read 1 Thessalonians there are several indications. Paul reminds them of things that he had taught them when he was with them. So if the Apostle Paul had been their major teacher of God’s truth, to my way of thinking, that implies that Paul was the one who had taught them of the imminent coming of Christ, that He could come from Heaven at any moment for His believers to take them home to glory to be with Him. It’s very intriguing to notice as well that Paul did not rebuke them or correct them for having this expectation and this attitude and there’s no indication that he rebuked them or corrected them at all. In fact, when you read the context, he seems to be commending them for having this attitude. So I get the distinct impres­sion that Paul was fully convinced himself that the Lord come return at any moment, and there­fore they were right in having this expectancy.

Then, a third passage that I’d like to focus our attention upon for the imminency of the Lord’s return is in James 5. We want to begin with verse 7: “Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord; behold the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has long patience for it until he receive the early and latter rain. Be you also patient; establish you hearts, for the coming of the Lord draws nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge stands before the door.”

I’d like to draw your attention to two verb forms that James uses here. At the end of verse 8he says, “the coming of the Lord draws nigh” and then in verse 9, “the judge stands before the door.” A very important thing to note here is that, in the original language that James wrote, both of those verbs are in what the Greeks called the perfect tense. And the significance of the Greek perfect tense was that it is referring to an action that was completed in the past, but then there is a resultant state that continues on from that action. It just continues on indefinitely.

What James is indicating there is this: that the Lord’s coming had already drawn near before James wrote this letter and the Lord’s coming continues to be near at hand, even while James wrote the letter and it would continue thereafter.

And as well, “the judge stands before the door”; he was saying that there’s a sense in which Jesus Christ as the Judge of believers took His position of the door of Heaven and was standing there; He even took that position and began to stand there before James wrote this epistle and He continues to stand at the door of Heaven.

Could Jesus return at any moment? A number of scholars that I researched on this said James is trying to emphasize to his readers the imminency of the Lord’s return. The idea is, the Lord could come as the Judge of Heaven through that door of Heaven at any moment and then immediately, Christians would stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ. They have their works as believers evaluated by the Lord. It’s imminency that he’s talking about here. And I’m convinced that just as it was imminent back then, the Lord could have stepped through the door of Heaven at any time.

The same is true today—Christ could step through the door of Heaven at any moment, and we who are believers in Jesus Christ would be ushered into His presence and then would stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ to have our works evaluated by the Lord.

Go Deeper


  1. David Fairfield on January 19, 2016 at 7:50 am

    amen & amen

  2. Kathy Meyer on January 19, 2016 at 9:01 am

    What about 2Thess 2:1-9?

  3. BMC on January 19, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Read this website for some insight into The Second Coming.

  4. J. William Howerton on January 19, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Dear Dr. Ankerberg, I watched your shows these past two weeks and your interviews with Jimmy DeYoung. While Jesus will return, and can return at His time, which could be anytime, I remain unconvinced that any rapture will come prior to the bad times. (pretrib) The dead in Christ will rise first, but those alive on earth will not be “raptured” until after the identification of the Anti-Christ. (Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians) Although Paul claims there will be a rapture of the “Church,” at least that which is not apostate, he does not specifically say when.
    Looking at the totality of the evidence, including the Old and New Testament writings, I have concluded that while a rapture could come 3 1/2 years into the “tribulation,” it may not happen until the end of the 7 years, when Jesus Himself will certainly return. All Jesus said was that the followers would not suffer through all of the terrible times.
    I have written a book, which should be in print around the end of January, or early February. The title is “Understanding God’s Contracts with Mankind” and it can speak for itself. However, I did devote a bit to the idea of the rapture and the timing. I will certainly send you a copy for your review and comments, and perhaps a good report for the overall content. Few people agree on everything, and indeed I do challenge several traditions and concepts, but most, or none, actually change anything needed for salvation.
    The book is intended to tell everyone what Christianity is all about, to bring in new believers and converts, and to strengthen the faith of the “marginal believers.” If God is in it, it will reach many, but spreading the word about it is a real concern. It will need some meaningful and widespread endorsements.
    You can tell Alan Weathers that the Foundation will meet this Friday, the 22nd, and act upon the grant applications for 2016. We will be notifying him sometime during the following week, perhaps Monday.
    Blessings, J. William Howerton

  5. George Stefan on January 19, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Is it possible this could be referring to a christian”s death? Jesus
    will be there to welcome into GLORY? This could happen at any moment.

  6. Charles Best, Jr. on January 19, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I enjoy your teaching on the rapture. Great job!!!!. JESUS, could take us home at any time. Can’t wait to see my LORD and SAVIOR.

    • Jeff on January 20, 2016 at 5:15 am

      Jesus can not comeback at any time. Please explain Rev. 20:4-6. If Jesus can come back anytime, including today, then Rev. 20:4-6 is a lie. The First resurrection is after the mark of the beast at the end of the final seven years, not before. Please do your homework, and stop listening to false teachers teach a false prophecy.

  7. Linda Fuller on January 19, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I loved reading this! All I know is that if we could say that the Rapture wouldn’t happen until a long time off, (mid or post-trib), then people would be discouraged and perhaps not keep their hearts focusing on the importance of staying close to Christ daily..? Since Jesus is our Blessed “Hope”, then I think he wants us to be excited and looking for him every day. I like what it speaks of in Matthew Chapter 25 of the ten virgins , when 5 had oil in their lamps and were watching for the Bridegroom and the other 5 did not and the door was closed to them….

  8. Daniel on January 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    It is not true, this could not happen at any moment! Read Matthew 24 from 15 to 31!

    ”Immediately after the tribulation… the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: … And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

    Then, who are ”his elect”?? ”HIS ELECT” are the Church! See Timothy 2:10. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul addresses to the church: ”God hath from the beginning CHOSEN you to saluation”

    Do not understand that Lord Jesus, in Matthew 24:31, was speaking about they who ”were sealed” (see Revelation 7:4)!

    ”His elect” or ”Chosen” are not the some thing with ”an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel” from the book of Revelation!

    First must come the antichrist… Christians will be persecuted by antichrist! It will be a general slaughter! That is the great tribulation… Christians will be beheaded! See Revelation 7:14!
    The church will be raptured after the great tribulation! (See Matthew 24:15-31)

    But, ”the GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH is come, and who shall be able to stand?” (see Revelation 6:17) comes afther the GREAT TRIBULATION!

    The church will be raptured after the great tribulation!

    After the Rapture of the church comes the wrath of God against the Antichrist and against those who had received his mark, 666!

    God Jesus bless you all!

    • Chris on January 20, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Hi Daniel you state “It is not true, this could not happen at any moment! Read Matthew 24 from 15 to 31!”

      Matthew 24 has nothing to do with the church. The context is not about the church it is about the nation of Israel. The church is not the subject or the context of Matthew.

      Matthew chapter 24 is about Israel, see v.15, 16. See also “Sabbath day” 24:20. The church is already gone during this time of “great tribulation”. The context of these verses is the Second Coming, when Jesus comes back with His saints. c.f. Matthew 24:30 goes with revelation 19:11-21

      So yes it can be “in a moment in a twinkling of an eye” 1 Cor 15:51, 52


      • Daniel on January 20, 2016 at 10:53 am

        Hi Chris!

        You have just made an allegory! Be careful!

        Because of this unscriptural doctrine, a lot of christians will not recognized the antichrist, when he will come!! A lot of christians will be perished because of this lie! Simply, you cant recognized the antichrist because you think that the great tribulation will come after the tribulation! So, in this maner, a lot of christians will be deceived to believe that the next world president shall be a man like the other, just a simply politician!

  9. Daniel on January 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm


    I do not for what reason my biblical references are linked to NIV? I didn’t mean that! I have cited from King James AV! 🙂

  10. Daniel on January 19, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I do not understand why my biblical references are linked to NIV? I didn’t mean that! I have cited only from King James AV Bible!

  11. John David on January 19, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    The Lord can come at any time there we who are in the Lord should be ready or get ready

  12. Chris on January 20, 2016 at 1:04 am

    The Old Testament also shows the principle that Saints do not go through the judgement of God and of the rapture of the saint’s.

    Enoch -Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
    Elijah was raptured.
    Noah was saved before the Jugement of God
    Lot was saved before the judgement of God

    Jude 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

  13. Kelley on January 20, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Those who believe the rapture will happen either mid-trib or post -trib are ignoring what the angel Gabriel told the prophet Daniel in Daniel 9:24-27. The 70 weeks are determined upon Daniel’s people which is Israel. 69 of those weeks have already happened. The 70th which is a 7 year period is still determined upon Israel. No where does scripture indicated the church will be involved in this.
    According to the book of Hosea and other scriptures, Israel, metaphorically is the unfaithful wife of God. During the Great Tribulation she will be restored back to God.

    Joseph and Moses are types of Christ
    Pre-Trib rapture harmonizes with the wife of Joseph and her sons being in the King’s house during the 7 years of famine.
    Pre-Trib rapture harmonizes with the wife of Moses being send with her two sons to her father’s before the judgments fell on Egypt. Israel was kept through them but the bride of Moses was saved from it by being taken away

    • Micah Ben-Yehudah on January 20, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Kelly – If Gabriel specically stated an order and time of a Pre-Trib Rapture, then you can ascribe a Pre-Trib Rapture. But Gabriel does not ascribe a Pre-Trib to his statements. If you would read the references I gave which specifically tell when the “resurrection of the dead in Christ” is, then it is foolish to believe in Pre or Mid Trib raptures. If one recalls the order of resurrection Shaul of Tarsus gives in I Thess. 4.16, at the sound of the trump, the dead in Christ shall rise FIRST [I reiterate FIRST]. That verse matches Rev. 20.6. It specifically states that that resurrection is the FIRST resurrection. It follows the Angel throwing Satan into the pit, post Trib and wrath of G-d. I’m sorry Kelly and any Pre-Trib believers; there can only be ONE FIRST RESURRECTION. Verse six gives the specific time frame – post Tribulation of that FIRST resurrection. For ANY research resulting in any statement by me, I use no references outside of scripture, scripture ONLY. That is what I have done here. Any caps I use are not meant to be yelling or as an insult; only to stress the stated point. Blessings of the L-rd to you, Kelly. Regardless of whether you accept the scriptures I have quoted or not, keep up your studies. Micah.

      • Kelley on January 21, 2016 at 7:54 pm

        Gabriel was not speaking about the rapture. The rapture only applies to the church. Gabriel was speaking about Israel. If Rev 20:5-6 is the only part of the First resurrection, how does the resurrection of Jesus and also the two witnesses in Rev 11 fit into this? They were resurrected before this. Do they have to be resurrected again at the time of Rev 20:4-6? Rev. 20:5-6 is not giving the timing of the resurrection but the end results of it. The First Resurrection is not limited to a one time event, but rather it is the quality of the one being resurrected. Also when Paul used the term sound of the trumpet in I Thessalonians 4:16 he was not referring to the trumpet judgments of the Great Tribulation. They were not revealed until many years latter. Who are the ones in Revelation 19:14 that come with Jesus from Heaven to the earth when he destroys the Antichrist and False Prophet before Satan is cast into the bottomless pit? This happens before Rev 20:4-6. Revelation 19:7-8 discribes the wife of Jesus the Lamb as being dressed in the same attire as the group that comes from Heaven with Rev 19:14 Many confuse the second coming of Christ in Rev 19 with rapture of the bride of Christ. The word rapture means a catching away. How could the bride be caught away at the same time she returns with him?

        • Micah Ben-Yehudah on January 21, 2016 at 10:36 pm

          Kelly – I don’t know where you learned English, but “first means first”, not second, third or anything but FIRST”

          • Kelley on January 22, 2016 at 11:08 am

            Micah, first means first in the context it is used, like first generation, or first production model. There could be many units in this context but first one produced in this context would be number one. But after number one would not each one produced after still be the “first” model
            So if as you say first means first not second or third, then you must be saying that all who are part of the first resurrection will be resurrected at the same time. So how does Jesus and the two witnesses Rev 11 fiit this scenerio? You haven’t answered that question. Maybe you should consider the Bible says about the harvest. There was first fruits, the harvest and then the gleaners.
            I am a farmer and we do the first planting of the crop. This takes several days sometimes several weeks. But after many fields and many days it is finished. It is all the first planting but not every field is the first field. Only if any field that has been planted doesn’t come up then we will do a second planting.
            Again first has to be understood inn the context it is used.

            The bottom line is not matter when , where or how Jesus comes back we can be with him if we are looking for him. Hope to see you then.

  14. Mkcah Ben-Yehudah on January 20, 2016 at 8:31 am

    This set of theories was posited by me back in the mid eighties as witnessed by John Loeffler of the Steel on Steel radio program in Denver, Colorado, along with his other guest Donald McElvaney. The language in the part of the article I send in this quote is identical to that which I relayed to the public that day. Another indication of Mr. Mark Littleton, Sr.’, plagiarism is my statement of being Jewish (see his/my “tidbit on my faith). I do not know where Mr. Littleton obtained my material as I have posted in a number of internet locations; and, I do not intend to accuse him of plagiarism as my goal is to distribute the information to as many believers in Yeshuah as possible.
    As to the identification of Gog, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah, it is extremely inaccurate. “Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togormah are all within the boundaries
    of modern Turkey. Many people go to the copy of the Christian Bible. The best reference for Ezekiel 38 and 39, is the Tanach, the Jewish version of the Old Testament. Many people call Gomer Germany, Togarmah another country, not in Turkey, Meshech supposedly Moscow, and Tubal is supposedly the city of Tbilisi. None of these so called analogues names are as claimed. In addition, one or more Bibles, including notes in the King James Version, state that Rosh is a reference to Russia. It is not. Its translation means “…chief prince of…”. If you try to translate it as it is, if it is mentioned separately, it would be redundant – chief prince of chief prince. None of these names are those implied. They are mistranslations of the scripture and the language of Hebrew.
    Mystery Babylon and the Harlot of Revelation may very well be the United States. The U.S. is thoroughly described in Jeremiah, Chapters 50 and 51 – “a golden cup” in the hand of the Lord. Thanks to the “…falling away…” here in the US, we are losing the blessing of the Lord. We will be cursed for Obama’s cursing of Yisrael, by word and actions.
    As for “…seven hills…”, if one is truly interested in the identification of that city, you have to look no further than Washington, D.C. If you look at what are claimed to be the original plans for the Capital, the location of the Capital was chosen with a number of criteria, one of which was that it rested on seven hills. I personally saw this criteria listed back in the mid to late 1970’s, in an article printed in a religious newspaper dedicated to prophecy.
    Tidbit: I am a Jew born under the Law, saved by Grace of Adonai’s Resurrection. I still follow the Law as required by Yeshuah (see explanation below). As for Paul’s claim that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, he was never privy to the Revelation of the Mashiach, Yeshuah, as given to Yochanan, where there are numerous distinctions made by His revelation to Yochanan on the Isle of Patmos.
    The religion and faith of the Orthodoxy is not a satanic religion at all. As a matter of fact, it is the closest belief to what Yeshuah wanted, and is still in its purity, the religion He established at Har (Mt.) Sinai. In Mattiyahu 19.17, Yeshuah states, “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”; and, in Yochanan 14.15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” He makes these statements to all those present as believers, not just Jewish believers. Yeshuah demands that we obey the Commandments. He does not say, just the Ten. By the way, if you look at Shemos (Exodus) 32.15 and .16. The ENTIRE Law (613 Laws) was written by God on both sides of the Tablets. Not just Ten Commandments. In addition, to these facts about the Tablets, the Lord never once abrogated the Law. It is obvious that we as believers no longer must participate in sacrificial laws, as He was the ultimate sacrifice. All other laws will not be fulfilled until heaven and earth disappear and ALL that which is to be fulfilled IS fulfilled (Mattityahu 5.17 through .19). Yeshuah also states that ANY who teach otherwise, will be considered LEAST IN THE KINGDOM. The Christian faith as we know it today, is satanic in origin, as it teaches against the Law. It should honestly be called “PAULIANITY”, as it was established by Shaul of Tarsus (Paul). Yeshuah NEVER once spoke of a new faith, nor did He establish a new religion. As for the Jewish people, especially the Patriarchs and Prophets, they will be placed in positions of authority, according to the Revelation. As for Shaul, one additional FACT, the Book of Revelation does not recognize Paul in the naming of the Apostles, who, too, will be given special crowns and positions of authority. At best, Shaul is a disciple as are we all – NOT an Apostle.

    • Mkcah Ben-Yehudah on January 20, 2016 at 9:18 am

      “…Chapter 20, of Revelation states when those who have been murdered/beheaded because of the Word of HaShem/Yeshuah, WILL rise FIRST; BUT, unlike the following sentence, believers who live through the Tribulation WILL ALSO live through the Wrath of HaShem/Yeshuah.
      Though, not necessarily IN His wrath. They, as well as my fellow Jewish believers, might very well be under His protection as are my fellow Jews, in the Rocks (most likely, like or in PETRA). This paragraph falls completely in line with 1 Thess 4.16 thru .18. The correlation of the two prove the Resurrection (and the so called rapture) is post Tribulation AND post Wrath of HaShem/Yeshuah Ha-Mashiach.

  15. Saleem Mathew on January 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Dear Dr John
    I try to regular watch and read your articles. Thanks for enlightening us on this very important subject which is our greatest hope. All I can say is Maranatha and God bless you and your team.
    AMCF Vice President ( S Asia)

  16. Ronald Maddox on January 20, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I made a mistake and cancelled my discipleship training . Please continue to send me my emails.

  17. Micah Ben-Yehudah on January 20, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    The two big messages above should read correctly with yhe first name of Micah, noy Mkcah.

  18. Karl Wagner on January 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    What about
    2 Thessalonians 2:3

    Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    Jesus’ coming may be soon, but imminent?

    Again, the Bible doesn’t speak of two different comings. The rapture and the glorious coming of the saints are the same event. The end of Chapter 6 in Revelation asks the question “Who is able to stand?” The answer is in chapter 7, the 144,000. The army of God (John takes this imagery from Joel). John hears the number, 144,000. but he sees a multitude he can’t number. He hears ethnic, but sees multi-ethnic. The two groups are the same group. John uses the same literary device in chapter 5. John hears of the lion from the tribe of Judah who has overcome and is able to open the scroll. He then sees a lamb, slain. They are the same thing, in this case they are representations of Jesus. See also Rev 1:10ff, John “hears” trumpets but “sees” Jesus.

  19. Ralph Filicchia on January 20, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    This whole thread is pathetic. The arguments used for Jesus imminency are childish and an insult to anyone’s intelligence.The pre-trib rapture is one of the great hoaxes of our time, and those who push this lie are doing great harm to many believers

  20. Frank Chisholm on January 20, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Although there are many places where the impression of imminence may be implied (as a may have looked longingly over the horizon for her beloved, prior to the expected day) IT IS NOT SO EXPLICITLY STATED. Further, Christ’s returning is always accompanied by great commotion (as in 1 Thes. 4:16). Thirdly, Christ explicitly stated that the destruction of Jerusalem, and diaspora, would take place first (as in Luke 21:28-28) where he returns in a cloud, exactly as the angel said He would in Acts 1:11, and is described in Zech. 14:1-3 . . . and is in the process of being fulfilled this very day as per Zech. 12:1ff.
    It feels good, to think we will escape great tribulation . . . so long as we live in the West. What about those in “closed countries”? The biggest problem with this teaching is that it allows Christians in the West to engage in wishful thinking–while doing little to prepare for serious persecution. Be blessed in your continued endeavors to search out the truth in the Word of God!

    • Frank Chisholm on January 20, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Sorry, that first comment is supposed to be on a bride looking longingly across the sea for her beloved!

  21. Curtis gill on January 20, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Greetings Dr. Ankerberg! I am so excited about the rapture! My heart is so full of joy,and i know Christ return is imminent. I am tremendously blessed by the first two articles and i eagerly anticiparte the folowing three. I love you..MARANATHA!!!!

  22. Frank on January 21, 2016 at 7:44 am

    John what your saying is veary true , I study a lot on this subject , what you and Jimmy DE Young teach it line up with the Word of God I am convinced that the Lord could at any time , I am a pretrib believer , many I know are saying mid or post I don’t believe that, Revelations say in chapter 3:10 that he Jesus will make away of escape from the hour of testing.

  23. James on January 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I believed in the “any moment” rapture position for the 1st 15 years of my Christian life. But my understanding of the doctrine was changed by the actual words of the text of Scripture. Both the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught that our gathering together unto Him (the rapture) cannot occur until after the man of sin is revealed (Matt. 24:15, 29-31; 2 Thess. 2:1-4). The vast majority of Bible teachers and interpreters are forced to misrepresent the plain words of these text to hold to a pre-tribulation viewpoint. Jesus NEVER mentioned an “any moment” rapture nor did Paul. No single verse of Scripture teaches the 2nd coming that way. It must be imposed on the text. Jesus said, “immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days” (Matt. 24:31) that there will be a GATHERING in the Clouds (heaven, sky) of His Elect (the Church, the Saints)–not before .

  24. Tim on January 21, 2016 at 9:09 am

    don’t waist your time reading this post..people are ignorant and could care less. When Christ returns he comes in flaming fire taking vengeance upon them that know not God. The pretrib view is a lie even with a man with DR.before his name. He is a false teacher. Read Rev.20:4 2 Thes.2:1-4 The body of Christ is in spiritual captivity and they don’t even know it!

  25. James on January 21, 2016 at 9:20 am

    John A. should invite me–an ordinary Christian– to his show so that I might prove Scripturally to the professing Christian world that pre-tribulationism (any moment rapture) is make-believe–a fable, a myth, a fairy-tale. So sorry to say it like that but it’s true. We will CERTAINLY be “raptured”–caught up to meet the Lord in the air at His coming, but not until the moment that He has stated–immediately after the tribulation (Matt. 24:29-31). The awful confusion surrounding this doctrine prevails because people–some good and some bad–refuse to pay attention to the actual words of Scripture. We would rather believe what is written in “books,” commentaries, articles, charts, and movies, rather than the simple, plain words of the only inspired BOOK!

  26. steven on January 21, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Thank you for the good article above.
    My understanding on this subject of rapture is on several Bible references.
    1. The parable of the fig tree. (Matt. 24:32-35) … this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.
    2. Psalm 90:10 The days of our lives are 70 years; and if by reason of strength they are 80 years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
    3. II Peter 3:8 … that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
    4. Hosea 6:2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.
    5. The Israel has become a nation again in 14 May 1948.
    If we understand the above scripture references and just add 70 years to 1948, it’ll bring it up to year 2018. So, our long waited rapture can occur between now and the spring of year 2018. If, I am wrong about this, please, just add another 10 more years to it. But seeing what the world is today, I like to stick with the year 2018. May the Lord bless you and keep on passing the salvation messages to others!

    • James on January 21, 2016 at 11:19 am

      NO date setting my friend–that kind of talk cannot be trusted–contradicts the Scriptures. Sorry

  27. Richard J. Woerner on January 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I believe in a pre-trib rapture regardless of what these so-called self-imposed theologians say. However, since this IS NOT an essential doctrine, all the bashing for yea and nay is rather unscriptual (read Romans 14 about how we should deal with each other’s differences.) If folks believe it, secured in their hearts by the Holy Spirit, who are you to to say otherwise. I like the quip about the supposed false teachers from other great men and women that have written on God’s word. Usually those that deny certain things biblically are those that like to trash folks such as Spurgeon, Calvin, Moody, Hodges, Vincent, Robertson, etc. Get a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate in Theology and present your work, otherwise you have squat to say.

    As for Christ’s return, explain the parable of the Ten Virgins for example or how Matthew 24 begins;

    Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

    Uh, this is pretty plain and straight forward here… The sign of what??? Thy coming. Which means He will return.

    But the best approach to all of this is why not worry about just being ready when He does come and quit the squabbling over something so non-essential. All those i have encountered that deny any theory on the rapture are about the most prideful individuals proving knowledge truly puffs up.

    Here is pride to the core; “John A. should invite me–an ordinary Christian– to his show so that I might prove Scripturally to the professing Christian world that pre-tribulationism (any moment rapture) is make-believe–a fable, a myth, a fairy-tale. So sorry to say it like that but it’s true.” Like he has something to prove…PRIDE.

    So you don’t believe in a pre-trib rapture, good for you. Some of us do. But is bashing and thumping your brothers and sisters who do believe different glorifying God or self?

  28. Rachel on January 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    I believe in pre trib. rapture, looking at the world situation now, that can happen any moment. we all should should be ready and keep watching!

  29. EDDIE CAIRNS on January 25, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Before Jesus returns Egypt attacks Syria, Syria invades Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia and Israel. Three and a half years after Israel is overrun by Syria Jesus returns.

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