What Is the Purpose of Rapture Ready, Really? :: By Ron Ferguson

I received an email from a reader more or less chastising me for the fact that I write on prophetic issues, some of them related to the Tribulation, and said I should keep to the blessed hope. I was told all that was trivial as we will be in heaven, and the Revelation prophecies are not for our time or for us, so we don’t need to bother with them. Here is the email, but the name is withheld.

“U seem to like to spin your wheels spending a ton of time on topics that have no bearing on the time period (tribulation) that true born-again believers will (thankfully…praise the Lord !!) avoid. True believers will be spending time with Jesus at the marriage supper of the Lamb, not concerning themselves with trivia you spend so much time on. Most who read Rapture Ready articles (I hope) would prefer articles pointing us to the Blessed Hope of the Rapture, not wasting time on topics they will avoid.”

I replied, asking that person if he has read all the articles of mine on Rapture Ready that I have written. A good number of those articles focus on the Rapture, such as the 4-part series, poems, and other articles. It does not upset me in the least. We need a range of subjects, and I try to do that. I can understand the thoughts of a person who loves the concept of the Rapture but thinks too much emphasis is on non-Rapture prophetic events. I think it is a valid point that we ought to be balanced in the whole consideration of what we write. Actually, I am grateful to that person, for it made me examine the Purpose of Rapture Ready.

What that person raised is an interesting concept, and I know it is a position shared by some people in the wider, professing Christian community. It is a thought that has not escaped me in the past, so I have had many years to think about it. If I had to write one pivotal statement about the whole issue, it is this: “The fact that in the Christian community, there is so much ignorance of prophetic issues, along with corresponding confusion, is an abysmal reflection on the Christian church that professes to preach the Bible, but it does not.”

Putting all this aside, why have I given time to Rapture Ready along with other writers who are sincere about what they do? The answer is not difficult. I hope this is the driving force for all writers, but I (we) believe the Holy Spirit is guiding in the desire to write. Sometimes I am amazed at what God gives and feel this is not of myself. I think others can say the same thing. Nevertheless, why do we consider the ministry through Rapture Ready so important? Because of the email I received, I have tried to list some reasons why I think the ministry of Rapture Ready is significantly important. There would be others, no doubt, and I’d be interested in knowing if you have any more.

Let us get to the reasons.

1. WRITING OF MATERIAL TO BE FULFILLED BEYOND ONE’S TIME. Sometimes I have tried to put myself in the position of the Old Testament writers and try to imagine what it was like for them to write under inspiration when they often did not understand what they were writing under known inspiration, except in a dark shadow. I am impressed with what Peter wrote.  1Peter 1:10-11, “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.” Peter understood the problem the prophets faced as they tried to tease all this out. They tried really hard to understand the times ahead and who was the person (Person) they were writing about.

Now the cynic could have accused the prophets of wasting their time as what they wrote was not pertaining to their time. No! That was not the case. Peter commends them for searching and trying to understand better. The verse says “careful search and inquiry,” and this is the way we should all treat scripture. God does not honor a careless, rushed approach to His word.

We are the same as the prophets in regard to searching out these things like we do. Some researchers come to different conclusions, but careful searching is important (not the regurgitation of others, but careful, personal inquiry). As the prophets did not understand what it was they were seeking, and knowing it was not for their age or times, that did not stop them from carefully seeking and searching scripture, and no doubt comparing scripture with scripture; so we too do the same thing, and that is commendable to God.

For that reason, it is correct to do so, even though events we write about are not always for our time.

Just before I close this first reason for what I see as the existence of Rapture Ready, AND its relevance that was under question, I want to add the next verse in what Peter wrote. 1Peter 1:12, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things into which angels long to look.”

I hope no writer on Rapture Ready writes to glorify himself/herself or writes for some individual benefit. The Peter verse gives the reason we should write – serving others. If we have joy in the blessed hope, then we desire that for others. In that way, we serve others.

2. PROPHECY LEADS TOWARD GODLY CONDUCT IN EXPECTATION. We come to the second reason. This reason is very important. Let me quote Peter again. 2Peter 3:10-11, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…?

What is so strikingly important here is that what Peter wrote, both he and his readers knew it did not apply to their time. It was way out in the future; YET, there were consequences from that. Look at what is underlined. The fact that prophecy waits to be fulfilled is the goal for holy conduct and godliness. The spur for godly living is the fact that the Lord may return at any time. No preaching about the Rapture is wasted and ought to be encouraged. So too, teaching beyond the Rapture is also important, even as far distant as the New Jerusalem.

I found an article that I really liked, and I want to quote one paragraph from it. It is entitled “Is Jesus Coming Soon?” and comes from The Cornerstone Christian Fellowship.

“Questions can reveal a lot about what is on a person’s mind, what is important to them, or what fuels their motivations. The question, “Is Jesus coming soon?” could reveal that a person wants to know if they should start getting serious about their relationship with the Lord. If He is coming soon, then there would be added motivation to get their spiritual life in order and start doing what God says they should be doing. If He’s not coming soon, then presumably, some see no urgency and take it easy and do their own thing. Pastors, preachers, and evangelists have at times used the imminent return of Christ as the torch to ignite the fires of lukewarm Christians.”

Conclusion – in the light of prophecy, even if it is not for our times, the certainty that God’s promises will be fulfilled means that our lives must be ordered and controlled by that fact. That’s how it was in the Apostolic church, so what’s wrong with us today?

3. BE AWAKE, INFORMED, AND SEE WHAT’S AHEAD. I am going to quote from Matthew 24, and though this chapter has nothing at all to do with the Rapture, we can make an application from it. Matthew 24:15-16, “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

About halfway through the Tribulation, the World Ruler (Antichrist) has his image set up in a revived Jewish temple in Jerusalem. All must worship it. All must receive the mark of the beast. In Matthew, Jesus is speaking to his Disciples but actually past them to the disciples in the Tribulation we know as the Jewish saints. They are told to flee from Jerusalem immediately. Jesus tells these believers, “when you see,” which means they are to be awake and alert.”

I underlined three words, very important ones. When you see! It is important for all God’s people, including us of our age, to be alert and watchful, not asleep in sin or slumber and laziness or ignorance as too many are. The Bible speaks of The Signs of the Times, and it is encumbered on us to be conscious of the signs of our times. Many writers on Rapture Ready write on the signs that mark our generation and the unfolding of world events. These articles address the signs of the times. In fact, the signs are increasing daily, AND WE MUST BE OF THE ATTITUDE “WHEN YOU SEE.” Don’t neglect what is happening, for the signs are an encouragement for us even though they be bad and are increasingly worse, for the encouragement is the coming of the Lord for His saints and the execution of God’s will on this earth.

A bit further down the chapter, we have another verse about seeing. Matthew 24:33, “Even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” These future believers will see the things the Lord warns about and gives them the most wonderful promise – their Lord is near and right at the door (ready to open it and come in). That refers, of course, to the Second Coming when the Lord returns to Jerusalem to set up the Millennial Kingdom.

Now the application for us. 2 Timothy 3 contains some signs for us leading to the Rapture, but most of the biblical prophetic signs relate to the Tribulation and what comes after the Rapture. Can we see some of that taking shape now even though we won’t be here in the Tribulation? Well, the answer is “Yes.” We may see it darkly, but the outline is appearing – things like a one-world government; what a pestilence will look like (corona); where the powerbase for Antichrist will come from (EU, WEF, WHO, UN); the adherence of the world to a strong delusion (Climate Change); and there are more.

There used to be a saying, “All roads lead to Rome.” Well, today, all roads are leading to the WEF with its Great Reset and to the WHO, which now will tell nations what to do.

4. AN ENCOURAGEMENT FOR US. All of God’s word is an encouragement. We rejoice in the blessings and take note of the warnings and instructions. When we remember that one-quarter of the Bible is connected with prophecy, then we do not neglect that quarter of the Bible. If a person is not encouraged by scripture, then there is no hope. When I read of the Lord reigning over the whole earth from such passages as Zechariah 14, then I take joy in that. The word encourages me.

Then we come to this very well-known verse. 2Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

From that, we note ALL SCRIPTURE (which includes those parts dealing with prophecy). When Paul wrote that, he was referring to ALL the Old Testament scriptures, for they were the scriptures of the church. That included all the prophetic books speaking of the Day of the LORD and the Restoration of Israel and so many things that will happen in the Tribulation.

It is encouraging to see what God is going to do. Let not anyone tell me we have to neglect these scriptures because we won’t be here. Let no one hack away at God’s word.

The writers on Rapture Ready spell out what the state of the world is right now with the blessed hope of the Rapture on the horizon and the events that follow the Rapture. All are legitimate; all are biblical, and all are necessary.

I think we are justified in teaching the corollary here. If we neglect the ALL SCRIPTURE and just concentrate on pet passages, and dismiss the prophetic scriptures, then the man of God will not be adequate and equipped. We are encouraged by prophetic scriptures and by what the Lord will do.

5. AND WHAT OF THE TRIVIA? I was told that I am spending my time on trivia. I think that is a misplaced statement, and I will say so. The Bible is not trivial. Every single part of it is for instruction, and one-quarter cannot be neglected. I delight in writing about the things coming. The book of Revelation promises blessing for those who read and those who hear.

So, when I teach on Revelation (even though I won’t be on earth after chapter 3), am I occupying myself with trivia? I think not! It is God’s word we handle, and all of us who teach and write on prophecy are sharing in the blessing such study gives.

It is always good for all of us to continue to update ourselves and rethink our position on things.

6. CONCLUDING REASON – ULTIMATE PROOF – THE THESSALONIANS. This last one should stop all nonsense about not investigating prophecy because we don’t live in a certain time, and why it is not trivia.

In his missionary journeys, Paul came to Thessalonica and stayed there three weeks, as this scripture confirms: Acts 17:1-3, “Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica where there was a synagogue of the Jews, and according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.'”

Some years had passed, and Paul wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians in which he set out the teaching straight from God about the Rapture. Then in the next couple of years, a few of their number had died, and they thought they had missed the Rapture. As well, the Thessalonians were being deceived by a false letter supposedly from Paul to the effect that the Day of the LORD had arrived, and they remembered that Paul told them they would not be part of the Tribulation and its wrath. Paul then had to write his second letter to them to explain all this. This is the relevant section:

2Thessalonians 2:1-4, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

In the above verses, Paul explained AGAIN to the church that they would not be part of the Day of the LORD. We now come to the critical verse, which is verse 5. “Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?” There we have it. In the three weeks among them, he had not only taught these new converts all about Christian living, but he had taught them prophecy also! And that prophecy covered the events of the Tribulation but also included the Antichrist as well. People say prophecy is not important, but Paul taught it to the new converts from paganism.

Paul continued in Thessalonians. 2Thessalonians 2:7-9, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way, and then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming, that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders.”

Earlier in his letter, he wrote this: 1Thessalonians 5:1-2, “Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you for you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” They “knew full well” because they learned it from Paul in his three weeks among them. We need no other proof of the importance of teaching prophecy, even of the times of the Tribulation, even though we will not be in the Tribulation. Paul did it, and that is good enough for me.

LASTLY. To all the Rapture Ready writers who write on world events, the Rapture, and Things to come: may God bless you, and through what you say, may others find blessing as well.

And more importantly, God bless all who search for the truth, find Rapture Ready, and read what is written. I have met some wonderful people through Rapture Ready.