One does not look for someone who cannot possibly appear for months, much less for years. If the Rapture could not occur until after the Antichrist had first appeared, or until the end of the Great Tribulation, surely such language would not have been used. There can be no doubt that the imminent return of Christ to take them to His Father’s house of many mansions was the daily hope and expectancy of the early Christians. And so it should be for us today. These words of our Lord should both encourage and warn us:
Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord….Blessed are those servants whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching….Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke:12:35-37, 40)
“At an hour when ye think not”! That expression would suggest that the nearer the coming of the Lord, the fewer there will be who are really looking for Him. It seems odd that it should be so, yet the expectancy in the church of Christ’s return has been steadily decreasing and is now at a very low ebb. It also suggests that conditions in the world will be such when Christ returns that Christians will be so contented and at ease that they will not be longing to leave this earth for a better place. Paul’s warning, which we have quoted several times, bears repeating yet again: “When they say ‘Peace and safety’…” then the big surprise will come!