With all the negative changes taking place in this world today, it’s getting more and more difficult for all true believers to wait patiently for the “Rapture Call” from our Savior.
A true believer is not someone that is saved because they belong to some organized “religious group,” but are the ones that have been “baptized” with the Holy Spirit when they accepted Jesus as their Savior. I realize there are groups that believe one can only be saved through water baptism, but that is just not so. Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 taken from Joel 2:32 say, “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Emphasis is mine)
Being baptized by water is an outward profession that someone has already been saved through the Holy Spirit. I belonged to a church when I was a youth that declared that anyone who was not water baptized was “hell-bound,” no “ands,” “ifs,” or “buts.” In Luke 3:16, John the Baptist proclaimed, “…I baptize with water, but He who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
John 14:15-17, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments, and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Holy Spirit), to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive (all unbelievers), because it neither sees Him, nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you.” This is a promise for all who receive and accept Jesus as their Savior.
We have to remember, when John was baptizing people, they were professing that they were sorry for their sinful ways, and desired to change and live for the Lord God Jehovah. At this time, the “Covenant of the Cross” was not there as Jesus had not yet been crucified. Jesus Himself did not baptize anyone (John 4:2), but only His disciples did.
The true baptism took place after Jesus ascended to Heaven. Before He left earth, He repeated what John the Baptist had said. Acts 1:5, “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Even His disciples had to be “Covenant Baptized” which took place at Pentecost when “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4).
From the very beginning, when man first began to call on the name of the Lord (Genesis 4:26), people began to turn away and worship worldly things. It got so bad that in Genesis 6 and 7 we have the story of Noah and the Great Flood. Even after God “purged” the world of the evil at that time, sin found its way back into the lives of His chosen. Satan is very persistent and knows all the ploys to draw someone away from the Father.
God disciplining His children is repeated over and over – Egyptian bondage, Babylonian Captivity, the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 with the dispersal of the Jews to nations all over the world, etc. The nation of “Israel” was almost non-existent until May 14, 1948. People had begun to make their “Aliyah” (move into or return) to the Land promised by Jehovah, and once again declared themselves to be a nation. The land they claimed was nowhere near the size that was first given to the Israelites by God, but that will come later when the Millennial Reign of Jesus takes place. At the present time, they possess an area about the size of New Jersey.
The main point of this declaration in 1948 was to fulfill some major prophecies about the Jews being back in their own land after more than 2,000 years. No nation on earth had ever done this before.
Their return became obvious that it is in God’s will for them to be there. They received His protection right from the start. They were immediately attacked from all sides, but were victorious over their enemies, even with limited armament. Since 1948, they have been attacked at least three times by overwhelming forces, only to put them down each time. The only explanation for this is God is keeping His promise that they would never again be taken out of their land.
Amos 9:14-15, “I will restore the fortunes of My people, Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine; and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them, says the Lord your God.”
Remember, when God says, “I Will,” it’s a covenant that will not be broken by Him.
Looking at Israel today compared to pre-1948, they have turned wasteland into fertile soil and not only grow their own fruits and vegetables, they export their products to other nations. They have vineyards that produce the grapes to make numerous types of wines, which they also export. In the past few years, massive natural gas and oil deposits have been found that have made Israel a very prosperous nation. So much so that the Ezekiel 38 coalition is looking at them with serious growing envy.
From 1948, starting with a very limited but very determined and courageous military force, Israel today is as powerful as most of the nations on earth.
There are several places in the Bible that tell us we do not know the day or hour of the Lord’s return. Some of these statements refer to Jesus’ actual touch-earth return, and some are about the call to meet Him in the air (Rapture). The main ones about the Rapture are 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:52.
First, from 1 Thessalonians: “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then, we who are alive who are left, will be caught up together with them (the risen dead) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, so we will always be with the Lord.”
Then 1 Corinthians: Paul explains, “in a moment, in the “twinkling of an eye,” at the last trumpet (not a judgment trumpet found in Revelation). For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
Everyone who had died in Christ and those currently alive will be given new, immortal, imperishable forever bodies, designed to live forever with our Lord and Savior.
The question that comes up is, where is He? Almost all of the signs that we were told of have been fulfilled. The biggest one was May 14, 1948 that started the “end-time clock” counting down. The attitudes that we were told about that this world would shift to in 2 Timothy 3 are becoming more prevalent by the day. Believers are seeing all the evil and asking, “How much more, Father, can you tolerate before removing us?” Satan is definitely out in the open like never before, as he knows the time is drawing near where he will be put down.
True believers have to remember God’s timing isn’t ours, and we need to ignore the scoffers who say, “Where is the promise of His coming”? (2 Peter 3:4). We know God is giving us all the chances He can for us to call out to Jesus, repent of our sins, and be saved (2 Peter 3:9). However, as He did all through Biblical history, and right up to now, when whatever “fullness” He’s waiting for takes place, believers will be taken (Romans 11:25).
After this will be the worst 7-year period of time this earth has ever seen. God didn’t give us the way to come to Him (John 14:6) to just waste His time. When He offers us an eternal home in paradise, we need to believe His word is true and complete. He didn’t say Heaven or Hell or……; there is no third way.
Where is He? Right where He’s been all along, and always will be. If we seriously choose, we will be with Him also. Anyone who ends up in the hell fires will be there by their own choices made while here. Today would not be too early to call out to Him. All believers could be gone by tomorrow. We are just that close, and we just don’t know the actual minute it will happen.
Come Lord Jesus!