Skeptics argue that the early Christians and even the Apostles, as well as countless others down through the centuries, all thought they were living in the last days, and that the term is therefore meaningless. It is true that in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts:2:17), Peter seemed to apply an Old Testament prophecy about the “last days” (Joel:2:28-32) to the outpouring of the Spirit at that time upon the disciples. However, carefully reading the context in Joel, along with Peter’s words, makes it clear that Peter was not declaring that what was happening at that moment was the fulfillment of Joel’s promise. Rather, it was a sample of what could have occurred if Israel had repented of her rejection of Christ: She could have experienced the millennial reign of her Messiah, which Joel went on to describe. It was an offer that Israel refused (as it had been prophesied she would) but one that she will accept at a future time, after God’s judgment has been fully visited upon her.
The apostle John, writing in about a.d. 95, declared: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John:2:18). Yet John was by no means asserting that the “last days” had fully come, as some claim. He made it clear that although there were already many antichrists, the Antichrist was to appear at a future time.
Let us be reminded that the Rapture could have occurred at any moment. Indeed, then as now, the early church watched and waited in eager anticipation of being taken to heaven in that glorious event. There are no explicit signs to indicate that the Rapture is about to occur. The “last-days signs” are not for the church but for an unbelieving Israel; not for the Rapture, but for the Second Coming. Nothing stands between the church and that “blessed hope” (Titus:2:13) of being caught up to meet her Bridegroom in the air.