Predictions Of The Rapture
A message received by Bible Bulletin Board on 10-08-88 at
I was amazed at all of the predictions of the Rapture of late.
What do you think about theologians and other Bible scholars
making public comments such as these? I’m sure many feel that
such “revelations” might motivate some lost persons to make a
quick profession of faith or at least to cease procrastinating as
making a public profession, however I think that such predictions
bait the media and have an adverse effect on the church at large
as many skeptics use such bold statements as grounds to “pooh-
pooh” evangelicals and charismatic leaders.
The following is my answer to the above questions…………….
I am in agreement with you in the fact that the making of
predictions about the coming events, to the point of trying to
establish dates does more harm to the “cause of Christ” than any
I believe that Jesus forbids us to “set times or dates” about the
coming events when He declared, “No one knows about that day or
hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the
Father (Matthew 24:36).” “It is not for you to know the times or
dates the Father has set by his own authority (Acts 1:7).”
I was given a book to review that claimed that the rapture would
occur in September 1988. Without even reading it I knew that the
author had no clue about the date because he was in direct
violation of Scripture by setting a date. He gave many arguments
for the date including justification for setting a date in that,
Jesus only said we could not know the “day or hour” but did not
restrict us from knowing the month or year! How foolish an
argument. Jesus used the term “day or hour” to include the week,
month, year, decade, century, etc.
God does not want us setting dates because:
1. We cannot know the date, therefore will always appear foolish
to the world when the time comes and passes.
2. It “sidetracks” the work of the Gospel. Christians focus so
much on the coming event that they pollute the message with the
event rather than the fact of sin and judgment and the need of
repentance and submission. It is wrong to convince an unbeliever
that the rapture will occur in two weeks and that they would be
“left behind” in a world of chaos, unless they “believe in
Jesus.” We need to tell the truth….that the rapture maybe
2,000 years away and let the unbeliever make a decision based on
the work of the Spirit of God rather than the manipulation of
3. Some Christians will believe that the rapture or some other
event will occur on a particular date and then change their life
patterns as a result of it. For example, the Christian who
believed the September 1988 date and took all his money and
bought hundreds of Bibles. He even took out loans to get more
money for Bibles. Now when the Rapture did not occur his faith
was weakened and his family now had an impossible debt to pay!
I believe that the persons who set the dates are committing sin
because they go against the very words of the Savior, and believe
there a various reasons why they do it:
1. They are Christians simply deceived. They have not “done
their homework” and have overlooked the prohibitions of Scripture
about the setting of dates.
2. They are trying to accomplish the work of God by using
“things of the flesh” which is the sensationalism of “setting the
date of the Rapture” and other events like that.
3. They are out to make money. The man who wrote the book on
the September 1988 Rapture sold thousands of books for the years
leading up to the date.
4. That many of these preachers and writers who set dates are not
really “saved” and are really deceived “pawns” of Satan being
used to discredit the Gospel and Christianity.
God wants us, His children, to live holy lives in order to be
able to witness to a lost world as we walk holy before them.
Preachers and Teachers have one purpose and that is to “Equip the
Saints” to live holy lives. All the intimidation and
manipulation that is found in “Altar Calls and the Setting of
Dates” is wrong. May we as Christians oppose such actions by not
supporting these activities.