Why was not Christ’s return imminent when the Apostles were alive, even though some of their writings seemed to point in that direction? We need only consider that Peter and Paul both knew and expected their own death before the Second Coming.
So when the Scriptures were canonized would Christ’s Coming then not be Imminent?
At that time the Antichrist could not be seated in the Temple, though Peter had said even when he was alive that there were many antichrists. Still there was no Temple. So how many years was the Temple known as Herod’s involved in its completion?
“The construction of all this work occupied, according to John ii. 20, forty-six years; in reality, however, it was not completed until the procuratorship of Albinus (62-64 C. E.), more than eighty years after its commencement.” -1906 Jewish Encyclopedia.
So for the Rapture to come Imminently in those days allowing 7 years for an Antichrist system it was then impossible for it to be imminent.
So what is the pre-Trib answer for this. One is that our Lords return has always been imminent, and no matter when it occurred the world would have continued right down to this time and all that is occurring today without a hitch. This is a Grant Jeffrey quote, God rest his soul. But obviously with that as a reality He may have already returned in the dark ages and we would then not be His bride. And actually then we would be slated for the Tribulation.
So what about today? Is His coming Imminent today? Israel is back in the land, and the Temple instruments are already made or created just awaiting the Temple. The technology to build will allow it to be constructed in a matter of 1 to 2 years. So surely the Lords Coming is imminent. So now we are at the meat of the question on imminence. Can the Second Coming be imminent today? The answer of course is if it can be proven from scripture that there are two Second Coming’s. Even though men constantly say that Scripture teaches this they cannot give us chapter and verse. The arguments that they use are all discussed on different posts that are on this site. The Biggest argument is Israel herself. That she being back in the land means that Jesus is coming to fulfill the promises made to her.
In fact this is true. He is coming soon, but not until after she is added back to the Olive tree into which we were ourselves ingrafted. So the problem’s for a Rapture now position are that several things must be overcome in scripture in order to separate out the Gentile church from the Jewish believer, who we are now one with. You see the Jewish Remnant was the church as well as a part of the nation before Pentecost. Hebrews speaks of the church in the wilderness. The ekklesia in Old Testament scripture spoke of them. On the day of Pentecost there were added to the church about 3000 souls.
So what is or are the problems?
First, and foremost we are now one with Israel we now belong to her commonwealth complete with a signed title to her covenants (Ephesians chapter 2) and promises. Peter says that we are a holy Nation and a royal Priesthood. The very same thing that God had promised Israel.
Second, the Jews were and are in the Olive tree before we were added. Only some of them, the unbelievers, were cut off. The rest the Remnant remained. And we were ingrafted. The only way out of this tree is through unbelief. And the tree awaits the addition of the Jewish nation following the time of her purging — the time of Jacobs trouble. The only way in is through belief. Paul says in Ephesians that that belief has made us one with the saints. So we are one in the same nation and tree with Israel. We have not replaced them we are grafted in with them. We will be here to see the final addition to that nation.
There are many other reasons written about here on this site that will refute a two part Second Coming.
I promised to inform you of when the second coming becomes imminent. The answer is when we begin to see the signs of the second coming listed in Matthew 24 we can then lift our heads and watch for our redemption draweth neigh. But not until Armageddon prepares Israel for salvation will the sky be darkened this is the final sign before the actual sign of His appearing. And this all following the Tribulation of those days. And then the sign of the Sun of Man shall appear.
29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. Matthew 24:29-30 NASB
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NASB
Brethren what we are to look for is not His coming, not until we see the signs of His coming. This is why John said even so come Lord Jesus. Even so what? He had just told us of all that would happen before His coming, and still we must say “even so come Lord Jesus”. The man who is not willing to suffer and even die for christ is living dangerously.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
Matthew 16:24-27 NASB