I tried so hard to avoid any posts about the Rapture before it “happened”. I knew full well that it wouldn’t. I certainly did not want to look like I was throwing myself in with the hataz. (Haters, Mom) Now that we have a brief pause before the doom and gloom of October (The REAL end, I guess), I thought I would take time to ask: Why? Why were so many mislead? I will be the first to admit, that even though I figured on snowballs in Hades before a rapture, it made me think about the REAL DEAL. THE END. YAHTZEE! and all that.
Does the idea of the Rapture strike fear and terror in our heart? Or is it one of those things we can sit back on our blessed ass-urance and welcome with open arms?
First and foremost we have to take a look at the BIBLE to know the EXACT date of the Rapture. Uh oh, is that true? Ummmm……no. NO. no. and no.
“However, no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” Matt 24:36
So, take comfort, from now on. If ANYONE tells you they know the day of the Lord, they are a charlatan, a false prophet, a boob. BUT…there are signs we can look for that show the time may be coming soon. Well, let me take it back a step. Let’s go back to this Rapture concept and explore that a bit.
The Rapture is an event that takes place before the Great Tribulation. (There are many scholars who have argued this, I will just pick the pre-trib position for an illustration.) It is the “taking up” of the Church into Heaven so they are not left on the Earth when all hell breaks loose. Literally. The Great Tribulation is not the destruction of the Earth. That comes later. If you think the world is a mess now, hold on to your saddle horn, it’s gonna be ridiculous. The Rapture is the safety net. The reward for the race well run. Our hope in this life. No death, just a straight shot into the presence of God. It’s the GOOD part of the story. NOT something to fear. UNLESS you witness it happening and your boots are still on the ground.
“Two men will be working together in a field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill: one will be taken, the other left. So be prepared because you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Know this: A homeowner who knew exactly when a burglar was coming would stay alert and not permit the house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Matt 24: 40-44
“But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die.” I Cor. 15:51-53
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with Him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words.” I Thess. 4:16-18
What I get from scripture is this: Live your life like every day is the day you will meet God. Look to the day you meet God as comforting, not terrifying.
Now I am going to have to make you a little uncomfortable. (To self professing Christians) Have you done the foot work? Are you doing the will of God? Did you get a little sprankle o water on the head as a baby? Did you accept Jesus as your Savior in Bible Camp? Did you sign a card, or get a bible and go along your way? Maybe you used to attend church regularly. Or maybe Momma done prayed enough for all of you kids. I can tell you right now…that’s not enough. That’s not salvation. Not if you are living the same way after the baptism as you did before.
“A tree is identified by its fruit. Make a tree good, and its fruit will be good. Make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart. And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak. The words you say now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them or condemned.” Matt 12: 33-37
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law” Gal 5:22-23″
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry(cars, booze, fancy house, money?), participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-21
Looking at all of that, I would say that there a quite a few people who thought they were Rapture ready. But they ain’t. Nobody is. That’s why we need Jesus. That said, I think there are LOTSA people who think they gotta whole lotta Jesus, but when they come knockin on Heavens door they are gonna get this:
“Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as “Lord” but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in Heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, “Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.” But I will reply, “I never knew you. Go away. The things you did were unauthorized” Matt 7: 21-23
So if the idea of the Rapture scares you, it may be time to check yo self. I have to do it on an hourly basis.
Now, onto the signs we can look to know that we are in the season of His return. That is a huge topic for another day. For now, lets just work out our own salvation. If you hear the still small voice…don’t ignore it. Dust off your Bible. Go back to church. Share the gospel with your unbelieving friends. Just. Do. It.