Question: I enjoyed your article, “The Spirit of Antichrist”....I do have a few questions...you write, “[the Antichrist] is almost certainly alive right now.” Why do you believe this? Later...you write, “We believe that the Rapture...is the next event on the prophetic calendar, and that it must occur very soon.” Again...why do you believe this is true?
Response: If Antichrist “is not alive right now,” then he must yet be born and grow to maturity, which would put the Rapture at least 20 and more likely 40 or more years into the future. He takes power almost immediately after the Rapture. Daniel:9:27 says he confirms the covenant for a week. That week is clearly the 70th week of Daniel, at the end of 69 of which Christ rode into Jerusalem and was killed and Jerusalem and the temple subsequently destroyed, as verses 25 and 26 declare. So verse 27 must refer to the only week which is left—the 70th. That week has been held in abeyance since Christ was rejected by His people Israel and the church was formed; and it cannot begin to run its course until the church is removed by the Rapture.
Secondly, I don’t believe the Rapture can be held off much longer because it marks the beginning of the Day of Christ, or of the Lord. Otherwise, the Thessalonian believers would not have been upset to learn that the Day of the Lord had already come (2 Thes:2:2). If so, they had missed the Rapture; but of course it had not come and Paul goes on to explain why. The apostasy had to ripen before that day dawned and immediately in that day the Antichrist would be revealed (2 Thes:2:3-4). And that day comes “as a thief” during a time of “peace and safety” when no one expects it (1 Thes:5:2-3; 2 Pt 3:10).
Christ said He would come at a time of peace, prosperity, ease, partying, no thought of God’s judgment—as in the days of Noah and Lot (Lk 17:26-30)—indeed, at a time when few if any would even suspect He would come (Mt 24:44) and when not just the foolish but the whole church would be asleep (Mt 25:5). I don’t see how today’s pseudopeace and false prosperity, which is built upon impossible debt, can last much longer—or how the world could ever get back to this point after the inevitable crash and nuclear war. As for the Rapture being the next event on the prophetic calendar, I know of nothing prophesied which must come before the Rapture.