It sounds presumptuous to think that we could possibly have anything to do with changing the time of the Rapture. Let’s take a look at that.
A radio program by a ministry I listen to begins with the statement, “God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things.” Prayer does change things. But it’s God using the prayers of His people to do things that He wills, like a circuit being completed between us and Him. There are many instances in Scripture where believers prayed, and then witnessed a change in the timing of circumstances that had been decreed by God to happen. Believers prayed, and God changed His mind about the matter. In 2 Kings 19:19-20, King Hezekiah had prayed about deliverance from the Assyrians and had seen God deliver Jerusalem.
God wanted to deliver Jerusalem, and He answered a prayer of one of His children to bring it to pass. Again, in 2 Kings 20, when God told King Hezekiah that he was going to die soon, Hezekiah prayed for healing. God told Isaiah that He had heard the king’s prayer.
Verse 5, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, ‘I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD.’”
Verse 6, “I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”
These are just a couple examples from one place in Scripture where God heard the prayer of His child and changed the timing of a matter.
We are instructed by The Lord in His model prayer to pray for His Kingdom to come, which means praying for His return.
Matthew 6:10, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
After Jesus says that He’s coming quickly, the Bible ends with John praying for His return.
Revelation 22:20, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
So, praying for The Lord to return is scriptural. We are told to do it. And, what could be better than to have our prayers for The Lord’s return included with the Apostle John’s?
This is not a study on prayer, but just some verses that we should all be aware of when we pray about anything.
Psalm 66:18, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”
1 Peter 3:7, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Look at something else that can influence the time of the Rapture. Romans 11:25-26 says:
Verse 25, “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;”
Verse 26, “and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION,
HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.’”
You may be saying, “So what.”
Well, God has a number in mind that will make up His Church, called “the fullness of the Gentiles.” The Rapture will occur when that number of souls has been saved, Jew or Gentile. Look also where James confirms this and puts everything in an order, with the pretrib Rapture coming first, in Acts 15:13-16.
Verse 13, “After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, ‘Brethren, listen to me.’”
Verse 14, “Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name.”
Verse 15-16, “With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, ‘AFTER THESE THINGS, I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT.’”
James, by The Spirit’s direction, gives a sequence to what is going to happen. He confirms what Simeon (Peter) had said. First, there would be a taking out of a people from the Gentiles. Then, James quotes the Septuagint from Amos 9:11, but he says “After these things” instead of “IN that day.” After what things? After the fullness of the Gentiles (when the partial hardening of Israel is over that Paul mentions in Roman 11:25). After the Rapture, The Lord will work toward saving and rebuilding Israel. So, notice the order of events laid out from Paul and James together:
The full number of people in God’s mind are saved (the fullness of the Gentiles has come in).
The Rapture happens at the same time.
Then, after the fullness, the partial hardening of Israel is lifted for her salvation and rebuilding, which begins with the Tribulation.
Here’s the implication from all this: by winning others to Christ, we can be used of God to bring that full number into the Church, and thereby influencing the time. It can come sooner if we win more people. It could come later if we don’t. Do you pray for The Lord’s return like John did? It’s a great example to follow. And, how long has it been since God was able to use you to add to that full number by winning someone to Christ? Well, that’s too long.
Romans 10:13: “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”