Prior To The Rapture For Non-Christians – Part II :: by Grant Phillips

In “Part 1” we considered the question, “If I miss the Rapture, is there hope for me?” This was of course from the viewpoint of the non-Christian.

In “Part 2” let us ask from the Christian perspective, “What shall I do while I wait for His return?”

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-16 we see that the Church of Thessalonica was concerned that they had missed the Rapture. Persecution had gotten so bad they felt that they must be in the Tribulation and they all missed the Rapture of the Church. This wasn’t the case, and Paul explained why.

Even today, some think we must be entering the Tribulation because everything around us is falling apart. Is there apostasy today, a rebellion against God, as Paul mentioned in verse three? Oh yes, there certainly is, but the Antichrist has not been revealed. No, Obama is not the Antichrist. He is smart, but not that smart. He is evil, but not that evil. He is only a precursor to the real thing. As devilish as he is, he is still a cream puff when it comes to the true Antichrist of the Tribulation period. Also, he is not a Roman.

So … we are still clearly waiting on Jesus to return and remove His Church from this earth just prior to the start of the Tribulation period.  This is an event we commonly call the Rapture. This promise is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. But you say, “I don’t see that word anywhere in that verse.” Do you see “caught up?” The Greek word is “harpazo” and it means; (1) to seize, carry off by force, (2) to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly, and (3) to snatch out or away. This
Greek word, “harpazo” was translated “rapere” in the Latin Vulgate, and this is where we get the term “Rapture.”

In the following verses, taken from the same chapter and book, Paul answers our question, “What shall I do while I wait for His return?”

13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.

14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope,

17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

(2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 NLT)

Just as the Thessalonians were among the first to be chosen by God, since they were at the beginning of the Church era, we are now in the last days of the Church age, or Age of Grace. I don’t believe it will be long until we get to see our Thessalonian brothers and sisters of the first century, and all others in each century thereafter. What a reunion that will be, while millions upon millions of us, who have accepted the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ bow before our Savior King.

But in the meantime, we wait. What should we do while we wait? Paul says to “stand firm and keep a strong grip” on the teaching of God’s Word, the Bible.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Far, far too many Christians are about as knowledgeable with God’s Word as a two-year old child would be with higher math. Could this be why some Christians are ashamed to witness? If so, get in the Word and grow up. Could it be that some Christians will be ashamed before Jesus, that they did not think His Word important enough to study it? If so, then get in the Word and learn about Him.

We also need to be well grounded in God’s Word for other obvious reasons. The world is coming unraveled. If we know His Word, which includes prophecy, we will be more driven to witness. We will be secure in our hearts, while the hearts of others melt from fear. We will know the time is short. We will recognize the numerous signs swarming all around us, practically screaming that the end is near. We will not be drawn in by Satan’s enticements that he throws at us by society’s living standards. We will recognize a lie when we hear it, and we will know the Truth, which cannot fail.

What shall I do while I wait for His return? Stand firm upon the Word of God. Stand firm in the faith and keep a strong grip upon what God says, and thus avoid the pitfalls that others fall into.

What shall I do while I wait for His return? Remember this:

“Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” (Luke 12:37)

Grant Phillips