In case you have not heard, September 23, 2017, the Rapture is to take place and the Tribulation is to begin (as some falsely claim). It is based on interpreting Revelation 12:1, 2 as corresponding to the alignment in the constellation Virgo with the moon, sun, stars, and other planets. A rogue planet, called Nibiru or Planet X is also supposed to collide with the Earth setting off the beginning of the end of days. Some are also tying in the Biblical verses about the Feasts of Israel because it is also the beginning of the Jewish New Year that starts in September on different days based on the lunar cycle called Rosh Hashannah. It literally means “the head of the year” in Hebrew, the (it is Feast of Trumpets in the Bible). It includes a blowing of a trumpet (a rams horn/shofar), symbolizing a call to repentance and casting off of sins.
The alignment of the constellation Virgo, the moon, sun, stars along with Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Mercury in the constellation Leo is supposed to be fulfillment of the “great wonder (sign)” in Heaven spoken of in Revelation 12:1, 2, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.”
The constellation alignment will happen but instead of interpreting Revelation 12:1, 2 in terms of astronomy and astrology a more common interpretation and of all of Revelation 12 is that it is describing the activities of satan with Israel and the world during the Tribulation Period. The woman with the sun, moon and 12 stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel and are similar to the Old Testament description of Israel from Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9, “And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.” I know some may consider that dull and less exciting and will probably attract less internet traffic but it is more plausible and favors letting Scripture aid in interpreting Scripture.
The Bible does not encourage date setting in fact we are cautioned not to set dates Matt. 24:36, 42, 44; 25:13; Acts 1:7; 1 Thess. 5:1, 2. Jesus said there would be signs of the nearness of His Return (2nd Coming not the Rapture) and the physical signs point to His physical Returns not the Rapture. The signs mean nothing related to the Rapture which is a sign-less and imminent event. If it could be predicted by a date by observing signs, it would no longer be imminent or a “could happen at any moment” event.
God’s judgment is called a day of wrath in Romans 2:5.
The Tribulation is a time of God’s wrath to bring Israel back to God and because the majority of the world reject Jesus. God will pour out His wrath upon the inhabitants of the earth after the Rapture. God’s wrath will consist of several events called judgments. There will be three sets of seven judgments making a total of twenty-one events involving earthquakes, famine, pestilence, war and much, much more. They are described symbolically by 7 Scrolls (whose seals are opened), 7 Trumpets, and 7 Vials (read Revelation 6-18).
The Tribulation is a time yet to come Matt. 24:21, 27-30, as distinguished from ordinary trials and general tribulations Jn. 16:33; Rom 5:5, is primarily a time of wrath and judgment Rom. 2:2-11. It is a period unique and unparalleled in human history (Isaiah 13:6-13; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Joel 2:2; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 16:18. In the Tribulation, “There will be SIGNS in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the Earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring. Men’s hearts failing them for fear and looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (the Return or 2nd Coming of Jesus physically to the earth) Luke 21:25-27.”
The Church will be kept from the Tribulation, the time of God’s wrath and judgment (Rev. 3:10; Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9) that He has reserved for His enemies (Nahum 1:2), not His children.