Group of people looking up (Photo by andresr)
Is the physical return of Jesus Christ and the subsequent end of world history imminent? Should Christians be looking up with eager anticipation of a mass rapture to rescue them from the impending apocalypse?
The passage where the Lord told his disciples to "look up" (Luke 21:28) was in regard to the destruction of Jerusalem and its third (Herod's) temple. This happened in 70 AD when the Romans succeeded in leaving not "one stone upon another that will not be thrown down" (Luke 21:6). Contrary to Futurist claims, Jesus was not telling Christians to keep looking up some 2,000 years later. Rather, the admonition was in regard to Jesus' divine manifestation in judgment on his first-century AD apostate Jewish enemies. The context and timeframe concerned the "days of vengeance" (Luke 21:22) when Jerusalem (Luke 21:20, 21:24) and its temple (Luke 21:6) would be destroyed. This was fulfilled in the first-century AD and has no relevancy for those alive in the twenty-first century or beyond.
Did you know that the end of the world has been predicted over 100 times within the past 1,900 years? That means, if an individual lived to be 100 years old, they would have survived 19 doomsday predictions before they died of natural causes. It seems that every generation wants to believe that they will be the lucky ones to witness the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ. Although Jesus certainly will return in bodily form sometime in the future to raise the dead and preside over the final judgment, it is futile to pretend to know when that last day will come (John 6:39-40, 6:44, 6:54, 11:24, 12:48). This has been the undoing of every doomsday-rapture alarmist ever since the first century AD. Will these End Time prognosticators never learn?
In the past two years alone, the internet was a-buzz with prospects of a mass rapture and the fulfillment of related End Time events. Doomsday bloggers as well as prominent preachers both contributed to the hysteria. Current events that shaped the doomsday climate and the expectation of a mass exodus of Christians into heaven before the end of 2015 are listed below:
Signs of doom and rapture
Ebola virus outbreak (March 2014)
Rise of ISIS and severe Christian persecution (July 2014)
Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage (June 2015)
President Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal (September 2015)
Pope Francis visits the US (September 2015)
Russia bombs Syria (September 2015)
Blood Moon tetrad (April 2014-September 2015)
Shemitah (September 2015)
Star of Bethlehem (October 2015)
The events listed above demonstrate pestilence, persecution, immorality, betrayal of Israel, war, and signs in the heavens. All of which are believed by doomsday proponents to be signs of the imminent return of Christ to destroy an evil world. Below are samples of actual statements made by some of the more popular websites on social media amid the so called signs of the times listed above. This does not include the many, but less popular, copy-cat websites. Also shown, are example posts by followers of the same doomsday websites that will illustrate the End Time hysteria prevalent during the previous two years. These statements were made amid the aforementioned circumstances listed above. Even though doomsday expectations lacked a formal date, it is clear that people were expecting the end of the world and/or rapture to occur before the end of the calendar year 2015. This culminated with the second appearing of the supposed Star of Bethlehem (i.e., the convergence of Jupiter and Venus) in late October 2015, which first shown itself at Christ's birth more than 2,000 years ago.
Paul Lalonde (Left Behind - 1.5 million fans)
This is the official site of the Left Behind movie released in October 3rd, 2014. This movie is about Christians being Raptured, or caught up into heaven, while sinners are left behind on earth. This remake of the original, which premiered in February 2, 2001, grossed $21,169,924 in world-wide box office ticket sales. Its total budget was $27,000,000 according to pro.boxoffice.com .
Compare the abysmal failure of Left Behind with the enormous success of War Room (2015), a Christian-themed movie about the power of prayer in the life of a couple struggling with their marriage. War Room costed $15,000,000 to make and grossed $68,046,447 world-wide according to pro.boxoffice.com .
If you're not saved, say goodbye now. You're ready, but do you know someone who isn't? Who needs to see this message?
July 31, 2014
No one knows when the Rapture will happen so we're not saying it will happen today, but it COULD. That's why everyone needs to ask each other, "Are you ready?"
October 7, 2014
Sample Fan Posts
You tease!!! I wish it was May already!!! If we get raptured before this is released, well, 1) I'd be ecstatic, but 2) I'd be really upset for not getting to see this movie!!!!!!!!
Marcus Whitley on November 29, 2013
I can't wait for this movie!! I hope it comes out before Jesus comes back!!!
Donna Palmer Collins on October 23, 2013
On March 3, 2016 Mr. LaLonde (a.k.a. Left Behind) stated, "As we grow closer to the day that Christ returns we will see an increase in earthquakes and famines. We already see this happening, so this is just even more proof that Christ is coming soon!" I asked him how "soon" are we to Christ's coming? I'm still waiting for him to explain the timeframe that he's referring to. I asked him again 5 minutes after another post he made on March 19, 2016 but still no answer.
Ricky Scaparo (End Time Headlines - 300 thousand fans)
This site describes itself as "News and Headlines from a Prophetic Perspective." This is a clickbait website that copy and pastes (i.e., plagiarizes) the content of established news sources onto their own webpage, then provides a link to the original article. Recently, they added an "All Access" category of news from an "Uncensored Perspective" featuring an article titled, "Super Dad Sperm Donor Has 800 Children And Becomes A Father Once A Week."
Mr. Scaparo has been claiming since 2011 the nearness of Christ's return. For example, on August 23, 2011 he writes, "The strange thing about this is I was working on finishing a message called "The Rapture" and the Earthquake connection and lo and behold an earthquake strikes in VA. Be watching for this message later tonight. It is glorious and powerful. It won't be long Saints. He's coming soon!"
Similarly, on August 6, 2011 he writes, "I am truly blown away by all the "prophetic Acceleration" that is taking place at one time. The Euphrates River is drying up, Cosmic Signs in the Heavens, Wars n Rumors of Wars, Isaiah 17 about to take place, Gog n Magog, N.W.O and the list continues! Keep looking up saints it won't be long!"
We're in the last days... guys we're coming, we're coming, we're coming... know that Jesus is on the brink of return... the world is falling around us.
Be Not Troubled!! - August 27, 2015 (time 18:00)
My God! Colorado is experiencing Flooding of Biblical Proportions, Japan has evacuated over 300 Thousand people in wake of a Cyclone hitting the Fukushima Plant resulting in Nuclear Contamination leaking into the Ocean even more than it has! Multiple Suspect Shooting in Washington resulting in 11 dead so far! If you don't know Jesus it's time to get to know him NOW! Time is running out my friends!
September 16, 2013
I believe the prophetic clock has moved a little bit closer to the 12-hand mark, to high noon or midnight... figuratively speaking maybe even the 11:59th hour... Jesus is about to come back.
The Last Pope and the Road to Peace - February 11, 2013 (time 0:10)
Signs from the Heavens and Earth emerging and accelerating the soon "Return of the Lord"!
February 24, 2013
Sample Fan Posts
We're there right now.Christ is coming back very soon.I want off this rock so badly.
Jessica Beiswenger on August 26, 2013
Got my spiritual bags packed ready to leave this world !!!
Terry Ruble on September 4, 2013
On March 5, 2016 Mr. Scaparo decried what he called Date Setters: "I am urging anyone who hears someone publicly set a date of the "Rapture of the Church" or the "Return of the Lord" to run as far as you can from them and have no fellowship with them!" Even though the posts that I have documented above stop short of setting any dates, his false alarms nonetheless lead to false expectations and false hope.
Unfortunately, I cannot ask Mr. Scaparo (a.k.a. End Time Headlines) to clarify his position on the timeframe of his "brink of return" or "11:59th hour" declarations because he banned me when I suggested that Jesus pushed Saul to the ground on the road to Damascus, not the Holy Spirit as he had claimed. He wanted to justify someone collapsing and rolling around on the ground uncontrollably as proof that the Holy Spirit had entered a person at a Pentecostal worship service. But if we read the passage carefully, Scripture does not state that anyone pushed Saul to the ground. The only person of the Trinity interacting with Saul at the time was Jesus (Acts 9:1-9). Scaparo erroneously believed he could interchange Jesus for the Holy Spirit and visa versa. His view violates the individual person-hood of the three members of the Trinity (i.e., one in essence, three in person).
Geoffrey Grider (Now The End Begins - 135 thousand fans)
This is another clickbait website that describes itself as "The magazine of record for the Last Days." It too copy and pastes (i.e., plagiarizes) the content of established news sources onto their own webpage and provides a link to the original article. This website also features a radio show where the host once explained to his listeners that the word catholic, as in the Roman Catholic Church, "is not an old Latin word for universal." He continues and says that the word actually means "somebody who's given to cats", similar to an alcoholic who's "wholly given to alcohol" or a "chocoholic who's wholly given to eating chocolate." Amid laughter from listeners in his chat room, he desperately and erroneously attempts to convince his listeners that the religion of the Roman Catholic Church originated from the ancient Babylonians where they "worshiped cats because their religion comes from ancient Babylon, and do you know what they did in ancient Babylon? They worshiped cats, they worshiped cats" (time 1:24:00).
Mr. Grider has also stated numerous times that Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) fulfills the role of the False Prophet 1 2 3 4 5 and the Vatican is the Mother of Harlots that is mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
On December 30, 2011 Mr. Grider published an image with the caption, "Maybe Today!", of people meeting Jesus in the air with a newspaper headline that read, "TODAY'S NEWS: MILLIONS MISSING!"
Soon, the Church will be raptured out of here... The "last time" that John mentions has been going on for nearly 2,000 years now, and amazingly, it is getting ready to come to it's final, prophetical conclusion. The Church Age, or the Age of Grace, is about to be done...
September 16, 2015
BE YE READY: When newspaper headlines and end times bible prophecy start matching up, that's a CLUE that time is very,very short. And as this article will clearly show you - time is really short.
February 25, 2015
America is becoming a cold, angry, unrecognizable place. The light of the Gospel is growing fainter and fainter in these last moments of the Church Age right before the Rapture. This story and these photos are just a tiny taste of what life will be like in the Tribulation. The Spirit of Antichrist. Avoid it all and get saved, time is running out.
October 30, 2014
Anyone one who is a true Christian, a bible believer, will love God's chosen people the Jews, and His holy land of Israel. Prophecy was fulfilled when Israel was regathered on May 14th, 1948, and prophecy continues to be fulfilled in the last days in which we live. Don't be afraid to tell the Jewish people that their King lives, and is coming soon.
December 18, 2014
ANOTHER PROPHECY TIME CLUE: Understanding that Matthew 24 is actually giving us the first 6 Seal Judgements from Revelation 6 is a huge clue in helping to put events within a timeframe relative to other end time events in the Bible. Another piece of the puzzle now in place. Keep looking up, brethren, the Rapture is right around the corner!
November 23, 2015
Sample Fan Posts
Bottom line, it's starting to hit the fan, pretty soon it will be spraying all over......Be right with God, keep watch, be comforted by the Blood of the Lamb....We will be going home soon...Maranatha.
Don DeLano on October 15, 2014
Keep your eyes on Israel, keep your heart set on His kingdom. Jesus is coming soon.
Shannon Fisher on July 8, 2014
On March 2, 2016 Mr. Grider (a.k.a. Now The End Begins) again stated, "The Rapture is very, very close now." I asked him how "very, very close now" is the Rapture in your opinion (i.e., a month, 5, 10, or 20, etc. years from now). Unfortunately, he did not answer.
However, in a March 15, 2016 post where he marveled as "Donald Trump continues his rise to the top... From a prophecy perspective this is off the charts. Are you ready for what comes next?", I had the opportunity to ask him the same question again. He replied, "I think we are on a day-by-day standby, that's how close I truly feel we are [until the Rapture]."
Jonathan Cahn (The Harbinger Official Site - 56 thousand fans)
This is the website of "The Harbinger Man" and the "Messianic Rabbi." Some also refer to him as "America's Prophet." His book, The Harbinger, is a fictional book that erroneously presumes that Isaiah 9:10 is now being fulfilled by America. In the months leading up to the Shemitah (September 2015), Cahn frequently posted "Emergency Preparedness Sheets" that showed people how to prepare for living life without access to food, clean water, banks, electricity, etc.
I don't believe it's a coincidence that the tipping point of apostasy [American public opinion passed the 50% mark in favor of ending the biblical definition of marriage] and the warning of The Harbinger have happened at the same time. Before judgment comes, God warns.
December 2, 2013
Sample Fan Posts
I can almost hear The trumpet....
Terry Qualls on October 16, 2013
no surprise be sure JESUS IS COMING SOON EVIL IS TRYING HARD TO SHOW IT S FACE BUT WILL BOW DOWN CANT WAIT TO SEE THAT
Connie Henry on October 21, 2013
The post below is from my personal Facebook newsfeed. I blacked-out his name to honor the author's privacy. This post is somewhat unique because it reveals the author's prediction and then failed expectation.
The world will end. Time is ticking to a close folks. The signs are all around, there isn't much time.
Tim Eakins on September 5, 2015
Well, there is the central air kicking in. The world didn't end. Though I do believe interesting things will happen for Israel. These are her signs.
Tim Eakins on September 27, 2015
In conclusion, the erroneous world-view of doomsday-rapture enthusiasts is plainly demonstrated above. Most of the signs of the times that were supposed to signal the imminency of the rapture and/or end of the world are old news today. For example, the Ebola outbreak has been contained , ISIS is releasing Christian hostages , Russia has not demolished Damascus or invaded Israel, the Blood Moon tetrad and Star of Bethlehem are a distant memory, and the Shemitah manifested itself as nothing more than monetary losses (i.e., we still have access to food, clean water, banks, electricity, etc.). Their time-dependent declarations expose their inexperience in handling passages in regard to eschatology (i.e., future things) contained in Scripture. In effect, they are merely parroting what the apostles wrote in the New Testament 2,000 years ago without considering the meaning, context, timeframe, or primary audience of those passages. The glorified, non-physical appearing of the Son of Man and related End Time events were already fulfilled by the year 70 AD. Jesus Christ will physically return to earth some day in the unknown future, but not in the manner in which doomsday-rapture enthusiasts propose. Jesus is coming to abolish death and judge the world by his Father's holy standard. Science and Bible Research invites you to see how you can pass from death into new life by faith in the risen Savior.
Sabz, S. (2016, March 5). Doomsday-rapture hysteria. Retrieved from https://scienceandbibleresearch.com/doomsday-rapture-hysteria.html