Another Thousand Years before the Rapture? :: by Lynette Schaefer

There is a very popular opinion among some Christians today that the Rapture may not happen for another 1,000 years, so they don’t care. Is there any truth to this statement, or is it clearly unbiblical in its concept? Why is it that Christians have so many diverse opinions on Eschatology and they can’t seem to agree on anything? Well, I believe it stems from a couple of things: (1) it is not taught in seminaries so it is not preached from the pulpit; therefore, Christians are “anemic” in their understanding of prophecy; (2) too many Christians don’t make the effort to study their Bibles as much as they should or could, so there is a lack of self-education and a resulting lack of enthusiasm on this subject.In these last days, however, a knowledge of prophecy and how to interpret prophetic passages correctly is extremely important. In fact, a correct understanding of prophecy is just as important and valuable as a correct understanding of the Biblical Gospel or any other part of the Bible.

People need to realize that the “1,000 years to one day” concept (2 Pet. 3:8), when it comes to end-times Eschatology, is a misapplication. With God, being in Eternity, everything is the same to Him; however, according to His timetable, He has a definite Plan and Purpose with the earth and with mankind and will no longer allow mankind to continue to spiral downwards. In determining the accuracy of prophetic interpretation, we need to act like the Bereans and simply compare current events to see how they line up with the prophetic passages to know where we are on the timeline of history. We see all the things now going on in the EU, RFID, the Middle East, Israel, and global nuclear weapons capabilities. We also see things like Tsunamis (Luke 21:25), volcanoes now becoming active or “waking up” again, earthquakes all over the world, floods, wars, strange diseases, etc. The fact that Israel became a nation again after over 2,500 years is a very significant “end times” event. Not too long ago, terrorist strikes happened on 9/11. Now we have a “road map” peace plan being implemented with “disengagement” of territories taking place, including Gaza. (Zeph. 2:4) It used to be that the United States was considered a “friend of Israel”, but with this “road map” being worked out with (and probably for) the Palestinians, that is no longer the case. Therefore, the United States is ripe for judgment and it will be severely judged in the not-too-distant future! The Bible explicitly states that WOE TO THEM who take away God’s covenant land that belongs to His people (Micah 2:1,2; Joel 3:2,3); the book of Obadiah is about God judging Esau (Edom or the modern day Palestinians) for going against Israel, and also promises that Israel will win. Pay attention to vs. 15-18. End-time apostasy and compromise, even among Christians, is very prevalent today. (2 Pet. 3:4; 2 Ti. 4:3) The list is too long to even begin to scratch the surface. You can also study on your own the following passages that speak of end time events and characters: Dan. 9:27; Dan. 11:36-45; Dan. 12; Matt. 24; Luke 21:28-32. These all point to things that would be happening in the end times. Let’s face it: we are not living in the 1930’s, 1940’s or 1950’s any more, this is now the 21st century where everyone is running to and fro, with knowledge being increased. (Dan. 12:4)

The point is, we as Christians need to GET REAL about what is currently happening on our planet. Although we can never know the exact day and hour, we certainly know we are in the season of His return by the things we see going on. (1 Thess. 5:1) In fact, we could be the final generation to witness what seems to be prophecies being fulfilled on a daily basis! Does anyone really think that this world and civilization as we know it, is not now on a collision course with self-destruction? It is because of the weight of SIN that mankind cannot continue on without God’s soon intervention in his affairs.

This is not the time to be unaware or unconcerned concerning these things, because the Lord does not want us sleepwalking through our Christian life; and He certainly does not want us to slam, shout down, or scoff at fellow Christians over His return! This just doesn’t make any sense at all, and it even seems like a mockery of the Bible to me. But maybe that’s also a sign of the times we’re in.

Lastly, the Rapture is our Blessed Hope, and Jesus is our Bridegroom. The Church is His Bride. How can any bride not want to look for her bridegroom? We can scoff all we want to or deny that the Rapture will happen any time soon, but it WILL HAPPEN whether we like it or not; and we will find ourselves very surprised to stand before Him face to face and have Him ask us why we didn’t bother to look for Him when the signs were all around us. So the sobering truth is, if we are not looking for Him, we are not ready to meet him, either. It’s time to change the way we look at prophecy, folks!