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.
Those events that Christ prophesied when He was asked for signs of His coming are intended to warn Israel of Antichrist’s appearance and that, after guaranteeing her peace, he will seek to destroy her. Those specific signs also herald the coming of Israel’s Messiah to rescue her from Antichrist’s attacking armies, an event that Christians refer to as Christ’s Second Coming in power and glory. Since the Rapture comes first, however, certain signs that indicate the nearness of the Second Coming may cast their shadows far enough in advance to tell the church that the Rapture must be soon. Nevertheless, we are always, regardless of any signs, to expect the Rapture to occur at any moment and to live in that expectancy (Matthew:24:44; Luke:12:35, 36; Philippians:3:20; 1 Thessalonians:1:9, 10; Titus:2:13; Hebrews:9:28; 1 John:3:3; Revelation:22:17, 20).
As for the Second Coming, it would have been premature for Israel to expect it when only a few of the signs were yet in evidence. Jesus declared: “When ye shall see all these things, know that it [the Second Coming] is near, even at the doors” (Matthew:24:33). Israel has been alerted so that she might know exactly when the moment of her Messiah’s intervention to save her has come. How many of these signs will cast their shadows before them at the time of the Rapture, no one can say. We do know, however, that our generation is the first for which any of these shadows have appeared, and we now have many.