One of the questions I’ve been asking myself these past few months is, “What about the Revelation 12 sign is different about all of the failed “rapture” dates that have been posited in the past?
I figured that if I could come up with some commonalities, I could apply them to what we’re currently looking at, and see if anything becomes exposed.
A thought that has been in my head ever since tripping over this information is that probably every generation before us has most probably thought that their generation was “the one.” A quick search came up with many pages holding lists from history like this one. I was concerned that perhaps we were making the same mistakes. There is so much evil in the world, when you know (and trust) the promises God makes to us about the Millennium period, and our eternal life with Him, it becomes easy to “hope” for Him to return quickly. And amid that hope, there can be a tendency to try to “bend” facts and shape them to fit that hope.
Here’s some very general answers that were presented to me while asking this question:
- Personal Revelation: – many of the recent dates seem to be based on a personal revelation from God – in other words, someone says something like ‘In a dream God told me the date of the rapture” (or something similar.) There’s record of personal revelations in the bible – but for something like the end times, I just would think that after God specifically tells believers that we will NOT be surprised by the rapture (1 Thessalonians 5:1-5) – it does not seem fitting that an otherwise obscure person would have the revelation and that’s the way it’s shared with the world. Maybe wrong there, but I would think that the revelation would be made to many people, given that God says we as believers will not be surprised.
- “Rapture- is coming, buy my book”. A lot of failed dates rest in an individual having a personal revelation, or doing some very interesting prediction based on loose bible interpretation. And when a book is involved, as the date comes and goes, there’s often a revision. “I got this wrong, but I now see where, here’s the new date.” Almost as if the person is saying “I’m still the one with the magic knowledge, so here’s my recalculation.” What I’m seeing currently is that many are sharing their discoveries freely – which to me adds credibility.
- Non-Institutional “real” people: I could not think of a better name for this category. Many may find this a stretch, but it’s related to #2 above. In the past, many of the dates were offered by one person, and their “following.” Often times it is being presented by a “known entity” within Christian circles, who in most cases already have a “tribe” of followers. Yet when I look at the current information being offered, seems to come from a variety of individuals. Some of these sources disagree regarding some of the minor points, but many of them are working together, Iron sharpening iron to refine their thinking. In addition, most of these people are rather obscure, “normal” people who believe they’ve discovered something and they feel compelled to share – other than their reputation, these folks have nothing to gain from what they are sharing. My heat keeps going back to Christ’s first coming – where the very people that he arrived to “save” rejected him – they had become very religious, and really wanted a conquering king, not a servant leader. I believe that the current institutional church is so focused on growing their ministry, that it, too could miss the signs of Christ’s return (it’s way outside their “normal.” And based on history, it just seems fitting that God would use ordinary folk like you and I to bring focus to His coming.
I hope this was helpful – these next few posts I’m just going to continue to share my personal discoveries as I peel back the onion to look deeper into this. Every topic that I think may invalidate things, often ends up increasing my confidence. Seems like Jesus really really wants us to know.
p.s. “missing” the date of the rapture is a little different than missing Christ the first time. If we are already “saved” then we may be surprised to meet Christ in the clouds, but once saved is still saved. However if we know He is coming with certainty how many more friends and family would we be willing to “take the risk” in sharing the Gospel with? And to you, if you are not yet saved (or not sure) – please give God a shot – it will have dramatic implications for your (eternal) life. There will be one more chance during the Tribulation period after the rapture, but trust me, you don’t want to be around for that. And it will require you to be a martyr. Here’s a great salvation message from Robert Breaker – please watch it. There are many who believe they have salvation, that really don’t… The institutional church sometimes makes this over complicated, and very “works” based – and as you will see, works have little to do with God’s saving grace.