When will Jesus return to catch away His followers? He said we could not know the exact details of his return, but as J. Danson Smith reminds us in his classic poem, “Perhaps Today,” it could be any day. It could be today!
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish spiritual New Year, begins at sundown today, Sept. 28, 2011, and lasts for two days. We don’t believe in setting dates for the Lord’s return, but it has been our practice for many years to observe this festival by conducting our personal “Rapture Drill.”
Rosh Hashanah is also known as “The Feast of Trumpets.” The sounding of the trumpet is a key element of the prophecy of the Rapture of the Church in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and 1 Corinthians 15:52. It is also noteworthy that the Feasts of Israel are symbolic of major future events in Christianity.
The first of the seven holidays prescribed in Leviticus is Passover, the observance of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The Last Supper was actually the observance of Passover, and Jesus’ death is associated with this event because He is our sacrificial lamb.
Another holiday, three days after Passover, is the Feast of Firstfruits, and Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day. He is the firstfruits of the Resurrection.
Then comes The Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot. It is also called “Pentecost.” The Holy Spirit was first given to the Church on this holiday.
Rosh Hashanah is the first of three annual fall holidays that remain. It is the beginning of 10 days of self examination. It features the blowing of the shofar, the trumpet made of a rams’ horn. Since the next big event in Christianity will be the Rapture of the Church, Pentecost is a good symbolic possibility for this great event.
Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement” comes at the end of the 10 days of self examination. It could very well be symbolic of the Tribulation Period that Christians expect after the Rapture of the Church.
Finally, Sukkot, The “Feast of Tabernacles” is observed. This event reminds people that God dwells with them. This would be especially appropriate as a symbol of Christ’s Return to the Earth as King of Kings at the end of the Tribulation Period.
So, will the Rapture take place on Rosh Hashanah? Jesus said plainly that we could not know exactly when He will return, and that it will be at a time that we don’t think it will happen. (Matthew 24:42-44, Matthew 25:13.)
Again, we simply do not set dates! But we should expect Jesus’ return every day, shouldn’t we? So what would be a better reminder than this Jewish holiday to consciously do the things we would want to be doing just before the Rapture?
What would we do during this exercise? We would be spiritually ready and active – living for the Lord instead of for our own selfish interests. We would share the Gospel with everyone in our family and close circle of friends, neighbors and associates. And we would leave behind some helpful information so that those who would be left behind would know how to accept Christ. If you decide to do your own “Rapture Drill,” you will surely think of other things that should be done before you suddenly leave this earth.