So, yes, it’s now clear from the title that I believe in the Rapture of the Church – the snatching away of the people of God, according to this verse (among others):
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
I am going to write several posts about the Rapture as God leads because it is on my mind. I was born-again in 1977 and have spent a lot of time thinking about it and studying about it. I can say I haven’t really heard many sermons about it and that’s fine with me because I’d rather figure things out on my own.
I am well aware of the increasing number of Christians who call the Rapture a “false doctrine”. They tend to think I must be following after the teaching of ______________ (insert the name of a particular minister or denomination or lady who had a dream in the 1800s, or the author of the Left Behind series of books – which I never read).
I actually don’t follow other people. I have heard a few things from people that I tend to agree with, but I am not a groupie.
If I am unsure about something, I tend to read what I can about it, search the scriptures about it, ask God about it, then lay it down and stop thinking about it. And sooner or later, God brings an answer to me out of the blue.
Those “people-who-consider-belief-in-the-Rapture-to-be-false-doctrine” like to put Corrie ten Boom out as their trump card. Corrie apparently did not believe in the Rapture and supposedly warned Christians against believing in the Rapture, so if I DO, then I am disagreeing with her. You know, I think the world of Corrie ten Boom and what she went through and how she and her sister, Betsy, triumphed over gross darkness in a concentration camp, but Corrie is not my authority for what I believe or don’t believe. On this issue, I believe she was wrong, although I think I can understand why she said what she did.
I will address Corrie’s admonishment in a later post, along with other reasons why I have believed in the Rapture for years and years and after considering it all again….I still do, for many different reasons.
Q. So, for those who believe in the Rapture – who is going??
What is the criteria for being included in the Rapture?
A. The criteria is THE BLOOD OF JESUS covering your sin.
Where are you in all this? Are your sins covered by the blood of Jesus?
When God looks at you, does He see the righteousness of Christ? Then you are going. Some people want to further complicate the issue and further narrow down those going in the Rapture to be very few people, even very few Christians. They want to add particular behaviors or a particular degree of sanctification to the requirements. Not everyone has walked with Jesus for the same length of time and many Christians are fighting battles over sins that these people would scorn.
It’s not about what I have achieved in my journey of sanctification, but about what JESUS achieved FOR ME on the Cross.
It simply is a matter of “Are your sins covered by the blood of Jesus?”
Are you washed in the blood of Jesus?
When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white? Pure and white in the Blood of the Lamb?
An important addition…
It is important to keep a short account with God. If you sin, quickly repent and ask forgiveness. Examine your heart to be sure you are not harboring bitterness or unforgiveness against someone. “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14,15.
There is an Appointed TIME!
You have to be ready when the moment arrives. There is a time to get things done and then there is a time when the moment has passed. You see this everywhere in real life.
If you are a student and the test is announced for Friday…..you can’t come in a week from Friday and tell the teacher you’ll take the test then.
If you schedule an appointment with a doctor for May 31, you can’t show up on June 1st and think the doctor has a time slot for you in his busy schedule.
If you have been ordered to appear in Court tomorrow afternoon, you can’t come a month later and think it will make no difference and the Judge will overlook that you missed your Court date.
And if you are engaged to be married and you & your fiancé set the date and send out invitations, you can’t show up at the church and tell your guests to come back another Saturday instead because you aren’t ready.
YOU HAVE TO BE READY!
The time to be ready is NOW.
We do not know when the Rapture will happen, but Jesus said, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” (Luke 12:40). If He was coming at the end of the Tribulation, He would very well be expected, maybe even down to the day. Those who believe He is coming when the Tribulation is winding down will be very surprised when He comes at the beginning. They aren’t expecting that, but isn’t that quite the argument for post-Tribbers?
Don’t take the chance.
Since He is coming at the beginning of the Tribulation, we only have a few clues to ponder and consider while waiting for the Rapture which will signal the beginning of the Tribulation. It could happen at any moment. Truly unexpected.
What about the “elect” – that verse that is a major reason a lot of Christians are looking for a Rapture at the end of the Tribulation?
What about those mysterious virgins who were sleeping, woke up and wouldn’t share their oil?
Yeah, I’ve thought about all of it – and still come down to an imminent Rapture and then ~~> the Trib begins.
If you don’t believe, that’s ok. I’m not going to argue about it. You’re free to believe the way you choose.
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Whenever He comes, you still need your sins to be under the blood of Jesus. And if He comes sooner, rather than later, you need to be ready.
The criteria for going is the same as the answer to this question: Is your sin under the Blood of Jesus?
Are you washed in the Blood of the Lamb?