This is a love story, one about a love so intense that the Holy Trinity wanted to share it. Therefore, man was created and the initial connection was indeed a close relationship. Unfortunately, mankind acquiesced to the great deceiver and was estranged from God. At some point, God acknowledged the depth of the sins of mankind. Lovingly, He sent His Son to take upon Himself all the sins of mankind (1 John 4:14). By accepting His Son, mankind could individually renew a relationship with God (1 John 4:13). While the Church Age was established at Pentecost, the eventual downturn was prophesied (Matthew 24). This time, the fall was to be every aspect of culture.
Jesus foretold the horrors about to befall mankind in the End Times as a tribulation that mankind has never seen or imagined. But what about the followers of Christ? Would they have to endure the coming wars, pestilence, famine and nature’s revenge as well as the loathsome terrors of the new world dictator? The answer is no! Jesus will receive his living and dead followers in the clouds and then bring them to heaven. It is the Rapture of the church, and the newly raptured heavenly host will be with the Lord eternally (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Now let’s examine the people completely involved, those kind of involved, as well as those completely oblivious. The first discussion is the prime example.
The Rapture is the main hope for all Evangelical Christians. Living in Arizona where beautiful skies are bountiful, I am always curious about the cloud formations, and especially the cirrus clouds. One day I noted two huge, bubbly ones separated but connected by a flat cloud. I called my wife and said, “Wow, that flat one is perfect for Jesus to stand on and call everyone for the liftoff.”
The Rapture does not mean sitting still and waiting for Jesus to come in the clouds. The reason is that we are called to increase our wholesomeness approaching the righteousness of Christ. Improving our work in the Kingdom will pay dividends after we are Raptured and in heaven. Everyone is saved, redeemed, and loved as a heavenly resident. We will also be shown how we could have done more for the Kingdom.
After the conflict with Satan, and living in Capernaum, the first public pronouncement by our Lord was, “Reform your lives. The Kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17). Therefore, it encourages us for extra involvement with the Kingdom. After the Rapture, all believers will attend the Judgment Seat of Christ which is also called the Bema Seat. Rather than fearing any personal judgment, this is actually an award gathering. Everyone is saved, redeemed, and loved as a heavenly resident. This is the occasion where Jesus will present crowns for Kingdom work. While not everyone will receive a crown (we have already been forgiven), scripture encourages us to receive more praise from Christ and less mention of what we could have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). Yes, this is a scriptural quid pro quo!
THE RAPTURE; REALLY?
Some of this group believe church is enough. It is difficult to get them to read the Bible and realize what it means to be saved. They are not aware that they could become Tribulation saints due to the rigors of this ungodly era. This group could also include so-called “Christian” Occultists (the occult has no place in true Christianity), as well as philanthropists. They may know or not about the Rapture or are unconcerned as they are living a very mundane life, concerned with things of this world.
The American 2020 election contains everyday examples of scriptural sin. The cause celebre of the forthcoming election elements are infanticide; partnership couples; gender fallacy; heightened immorality; increased occultism; socialism; and deception.
The additional problem is the nonsense that some supposed Christian voters in this category say: “Oh, we just vote for the party we like; we are not involved with those items.” The reality is, support for the worldly party platform as well as tacit approval for non-Christian ideals or sin itself.
While deception is the catalyst for all sins, lying is the most obvious in the 2020 election due to enhanced media coverage. In addition, it has created a new genre called Fake News. Ancient scriptures show God’s feeling about lying and false witnesses. He called such people detestable (Proverbs 6:16). A very straight command was, “Do not lie; do not deceive one another” (Leviticus 19:11). “Do not lie to each other” (Colossians 3:9). “Let these lying lips be silenced for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteousness” (Psalm 31:18-NIV).
There will be a great judgment of unbelievers before Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation. The convicted ones will be banished to the lake of fire for eternity. Since salvation after death is not possible, you can avoid Hell by accepting the salvation Jesus offers during your lifetime.
The Average Joe and Jane
When mentioning the absolute love of God for those He created, this group asks, “What is the Rapture? Never heard about it.” This could be the major grouping of individuals – anyone who doesn’t have time for God – sadly, even some family and friends. Some may know about Jesus or of Jesus, but He is not part of their life. This is because the next life is not a burning issue, and they are not cognizant that they are playing with fire. They do not comprehend that Hell is a reality and that God has revealed that He has some requirements for all those He has created.
The problem for some in this grouping is their maximum attention on worldly items and the supposedly secret coup d’état happening in America in 2019. Remember all the funds spent on inclusion/conclusion, and now on impeachment. All of these committees are just a reduction ad absurdum. With so much time spent on worldly endeavors and news, it is difficult to think about your place in eternity. Fortunately, God is all knowing and all seeing.
Another aspect of God’s love is that He wants us to know the future: “But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves; lovers of money; boastful; proud; abusive; disobedient to their parents; ungrateful; unholy; without love; unforgiving, slanderous; conceited; lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Speaking of sinners, Jesus reminded the disciples of the prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10: “Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them” (Matthew 13:13-15).
The first pronouncement of Jesus is just as important today as the day He delivered it saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17). He also summarized these last days for us: “Outside are the dogs [I.E. the Gentiles], those who practice black magic arts; the sexually immoral; the murderers; the idolaters; and everyone who practices falsehood” (Revelation 22:15).
Since we have listed the major adversaries of God’s righteousness, everyone needs to examine the list very carefully. Should you find yourself guilty of any one or more, repentance is mandatory along with contrition and salvation to be included in the Rapture. Because of God’s omnipotent love for us, He had His Son accept all our sins on Himself and actually die for us. All we as sinners must do is to accept Him as Savior and Lord and commit to changing our lifestyle.
Contrition is to be sorry for our sins. Repentance is a change of mind: acknowledging that we’re sinners; asking for forgiveness, and surrendering ourselves to Him. See “How Do I Become Saved,” Rapture Ready FAQ section. “The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us, and it is by His power and strength we are able to leave behind the ways of the world and live more godly lives.”
Regardless of your background or religious endeavors, you should be aware of the radical changes coming after the Rapture to those individuals who have not accepted Christ as their Savior. The era is called the Tribulation. It starts when the one-world ruler called the anti-Christ confirms a peace treaty with Israel (that is broken later). He then kills everyone who does not accept his mark or sign. This amounts to one third to one fourth of earth’s population.
In addition, the wrath of God is poured forth on a world that did not accept the death of the sinless one, His Son. Your chances of living through the Tribulation are slim. However, as we have seen, Jesus Christ came to save us, and He is coming again in the Rapture to bring believers to heaven. As children, we played a game called Hide and Seek which was started with a shout. Imagine our Lord with the same shout: “Ready or not, here I come!”
Are you ready?
Books by the author: A Gilded Walk; Gifted; Choices for Eternal Life; Together-Never Alone