Could the Rapture Happen at any Moment?
Dr. Ed Hindson: Well, in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he talks about this and says in a moment, in a flash, in a twinkling of an eye. So something related to the coming of Christ has to happen quickly, suddenly, instantly. And throughout the book of Revelation seven times you have that phrase, “I’ll come quickly,” “I’ll come quickly.” It says, though, He comes and snatches away the church, and that could potentially happen at any moment.
Dr. Mark Hitchcock: Well, when we use the word imminent, we’re not meaning that it’s immediate necessarily. What we’re saying is there’s nothing else that has to happen before the rapture takes place. So, the rapture is an event that is certain to take place, but it’s uncertain when it will happen. It’s kind of like “the big one” that everyone’s waiting for out in California; you know, this big earthquake that’s going to come. Everybody knows it’s coming, but no one knows when it’s going to happen. So it’s an imminent event, it’s an event that can take place at any time.
And this is really born out in the Scriptures in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10. Paul is writing to the church at Thessalonica. He says, “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven… who delivers us from the wrath to come.” And the word that’s used there, to wait, literally means to wait up for. We’re to wait up for His Son from heaven. And if you’re waiting up for someone, then the idea is that they could come at any point in time.
And it says there too that He’s coming to deliver us from this coming wrath, from this time of wrath that’s coming in the tribulation. So this also supports the idea that His coming will be before this time of wrath that’s coming on the earth.