When Will the End of the World
A reader asked: "How
long do you REALLY think we, the New Testament 'church which is His
body' (Ephesians 1:22-23) has left before the Rapture? I'm
not asking if you are Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, or Post-Trib, and I'm not
asking you for a 'day and a hour,' and I'm not asking if you believe in
imminency, but for your best guess estimate
as to how much longer we have to wait for our Lord's coming for us in
by Owen Weber
I do believe that the rapture is imminent, and I will give you a direct
answer to your question as to when I believe the rapture will
occur. However, I would first like to give you some
background on my thoughts.
Over the years I have done a lot of thinking about when the rapture
will occur. However, I have had mixed feelings about
discussing it, for several reasons:
- The Bible does tell us that nobody knows the day or the hour when
Christ will return (His Second Coming).
- Many foolish people have spent way too much time on this when their
time would have been better spent in other pursuits. This
includes the many people who have predicted the end of the world, only
to have been proven wrong when the time of their prophecy came and went
without incident (so they usually just established
another date in the future.
- Regardless of when we believe the rapture will occur, I believe that
this should have no impact upon how we live our daily lives.
We should live our lives today for Christ, no matter if the rapture
occurs today or in a thousand years. This is especially true
considering the fact that we could be wrong in our expectations, just
like so many others already have been.
I have a B.S. degree in Mathematics, and I have always been intrigued
by numbers, dates, etc. When combined with my desire to know
God's Word, this has resulted in my spending quite a bit of time in
thinking about when the rapture (the next prophecy of Scripture) would
occur. However, like many before me, I have had to be careful
about staying intellectually honest about this subject, without letting
my emotions interfere. After all, it's only natural that a
believer would hope that the rapture would occur soon, and sometimes
our hope (wishes) can sway our sound judgment. At one time, I
felt quite certain that the rapture would occur in the year 1988,
primarily because that would have been 40 years ("one generation";
i.e., Matthew 24:34) after Israel was re-established as a nation on May
14th, 1948. When 1988 passed and the rapture did not occur, I
went back to the drawing board.
So, during the past few years, I have developed a new "prediction"
about the rapture, based on several different trains of thought, and
I'll know share those with you here:
1) In 1987, I published a book entitled, "Believe: A Synopsis
of the Entire Bible." (This book is available free on my
doing the research for that book, I decided to construct a timeline of
Biblical events by using the Bible as my only source. I went
through the painstaking process of recording every event in the Bible
that had a timeframe associated with it. This included every place
where the Bible noted a certain number of years between events,
etc. Then I had to sort of backtracked in order to determine
the historical perspective for all of these events, including the date
(in B.C. years) as well as the number of years after
Creation. As a result, I included some timeline charts in the
appendices at the end of my book. (You can view these charts
at the web page noted above.)
When I had completed my timeline, my results showed that God created
the earth in the year 4,241 B.C. My extra-biblical research
indicated that this did not agree exactly with anyone else's
timeline. The most widely accepted date for Creation was/is
4,004 B.C. I decided that I could still accept my date with a
fairly high level of confidence, based upon the fact that others
included extra-biblical sources for their timelines, while my timeline
used only the Bible.
Then one day I happened to be at the library (back in the days before
the Internet), and I decided to do some more research to see if I could
find any reference to the date 4,241 B.C. What I discovered
was that this is the first date recorded in the ancient Egyptian
calendar. Although all sources do not agree on that fact
either, I decided that it was good enough for me. I chose to
interpret this as direct confirmation from God that my calculations
were correct, so I suddenly had an extremely high level of confidence
in my timelines.
2) There is an extra-biblical book called The Book of Barnabas which
was not included in our New Testament Canon. I think that
there is the possibility that it does indeed belong in our New
Testament. However, regardless of whether or not it was truly
inspired by the Holy Spirit, I believe that we can learn much from many
of these ancient extra-biblical books.
The Book of Barnabas 13:3-5 says, "And even in the beginning of
creation He makes mention of the Sabbath. And God made in six
days the works of His hands; and He finished them on the seventh day,
and He rested on the seventh day, and sanctified it.
Consider, my children, what that signifies, He finished them in six
days. The meaning of it is this: that in six thousand years
the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with him
one day is a thousand years; as Himself testifieth, saying, Behold this
day shall be as a thousand years (Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8).
Therefore, children, in six days,
that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be
accomplished." It just makes sense to me that God would
follow this pattern: 6,000 years of toil (six days of creation),
and then 1,000 years of the earthly kingdom (the sabbath day).
3) I am a dispensationalist, so I believe that God grants stewardship
to certain groups of people throughout certain eras of time.
This included the Age of the Gentiles, the Age of the Jews, and the
(current) Age of the Church. Now, I also believe in the
rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18) at the end of the Church Age. Based
upon the above, it makes sense that the same amount of time will be
granted to the Age of the Gentiles, the Age of the Jews, and the Age of
the Church. The charts mentioned above can be summarized as
The Age of the Gentiles
From Creation through the call of Abram
4241 B.C through 2218 B.C.
The Age of the Jews
From the call of Abram through the death, burial,
and resurrection of Christ
2218 B.C. through 29 A.D.
The Age of the Church
From the death burial, and resurrection of Christ
through the rapture
29 A.D. through the rapture (see below)
Now, you can see that these first two time periods are not equal in
length, but there's a caveat: There are many places during
the Age of the Jews when the Bible says that "God forsook
Israel." Most of these ocurrences are during the times of the
Judges, and they're all denoted in my charts. I believe that
God is not counting the time when He forsook Israel; i.e., He didn't
count those years when He decided how long to extend time.
So, here's how the numbers work out when this is considered:
The Age of the Gentiles
The Age of the Jews
2247 years; less the 224 years when God forsook
Israel; This results in 2023 years.
The Age of the Church
If this is also 2023 years, then this is from 29
A.D. through 2052 A.D.
this is when I believe the rapture will occur: 2052 A.D.
4) I received some unexpected confirmation on this as well.
It turns out that Sir Isaac Newton was also a mathematician, as well as
a theologian. Some of his notes have indicated that he
expected the world to end in the year 2060 A.D. Now, I don't
know how he came to this number, but it seems to coincide with my
calculations. If the rapture occurs in 2052 A.D., as I
expect, and this is followed by the seven-year tribulation period, then Christ's
second coming (the end of time, as we know it--as well as the beginning
of the Millennium) would occur in 2059 A.D. This
is a difference of only one year from Newton's date, and this could
easily be due to a rounding error or a different reconciliation for the
Now, I know that 2023 years for each dispensation results in 6069 years
instead of exactly 6000 years, like Barnabas indicated. I
can't explain this for sure, but the difference could be due to
something like the way that years were represented in the ancient
calendars. There is, however, an interesting coincidence here. If we
considered that the 2023 years was given in terms of a 360-day
Jewish calendar, then we can calculate that this would be 1993 years in terms
of our 365.25-day calendar. If this period of time actually
corresponds to 1993 years, and we added that to the year 29 A.D., we
get the year 2023 B.C.. So, again, the number 2023 shows
up--this time as a date instead of a number of years. So, I
guess the year 2023 A.D. could be an alternate date for the
5) While speaking of the end times in Matthew 24:34-36, Jesus said,
"Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until
all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass
away, but my words will never pass away. But about that day
or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but
only the Father." I believe that Jesus was referring to the
generation during which Israel would once again become a
In Matthew 24:32, He said, “Now learn this lesson from the
fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you
know that summer is near." He seems to be telling us that
when we begin to see historical changes concerning Israel, He is
prepraing the world for the end times. Well, after more than
2,000 years of the Jews roaming the world, Israel got its nation back
in the modern day. On May 14, 1948, the British Mandate for
Palestine ended and David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of a
Jewish state in Israel. In order to fulfil Jesus' prophecy
then (if my prediction is correct), in the year 2052 there would have
to still be some people living who were living in 1948. This
means someone would have to be the age of 104 in 2052. This
is entirely possible, because currently the oldest living person is 117
So, of course, I could be wrong, but I believe that the rapture will
occur in about 35 more years. What about you? When
do you think the rapture will occur. Do you think that my
argument above is worth considering? I'll tell you
what: If we're still here in the year 2053, send me another
e-mail, and we can discuss how I need to modify my
prediction! However, I'll probably be long gone by then!
Owen Weber 2017