Watch this brief video introduction to get you started. Rapture: Why Do Most Fear?
Many, maybe even most professing Jesus followers, fear the rapture, that moment when we will all be caught up in the air to be with Jesus. If you feel fearful, it’s okay to acknowledge that to the Lord. Your honest-with-yourself answer might well lead you to a place of freedom in an area that’s been holding you hostage. The rapture is our glorious hope (Titus 2:13), so if you feel anything other than hope and excitement, please take the time to read Rapture: Why Are You Excited? I hope someday that you will be counted among those of us who are excited.
While there are possibly dozens of reasons why individuals may fear the rapture, from childhood trauma to denominational lack of teaching or teaching in error, I will narrow the scope of the topic to just a few possibilities: not knowing the promise, not knowing what’s waiting, not knowing Who’s coming.
Not Knowing the Promise
Believers who lack understanding of the rapture are more common than those who do have a solid, Biblical grasp of what our future holds. With all the viewpoints out there — pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib — it’s difficult to know what to believe and who to believe. You can hardly do as Paul suggests and “comfort one another with these words” over the rapture (1 Thess. 4:18) if you yourself have never received comfort. You need the comfort of knowing the rapture is real, the rapture will happen pre-trib, and the rapture is your rescue.
Maybe your greater fear is that there won’t be a rapture, leaving you here through the coming seven years of tribulation. We won’t be here for the worst of what’s to come. I know you read and hear otherwise, that there’s no such thing as a rapture. I do too. While writing Daybreak and doing so much research, I ran across all the scoffers who ask, “Where is this returning we’ve been told about?” Each time I had to stop and test what I believed until all questions faded. The testing of our faith that James talks about doesn’t always mean us enduring sorrow or being led into temptation. That testing can be a good thing, something that makes us grapple with what we believe and prompts us to prove the truth of it to ourselves time and again. That builds our faith, which produces endurance. Red-letter words give us His promise.
“Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
Believers need to know the promise, that the Groom will come for His bride on time and not a minute too late.
If the topic of the rapture is new to you, and you would like to learn more, RaptureReady.com is a great place to get started. I also have links to some of the faith’s leading teachers on the rapture here at my DaybreakWithLisa site.
Not Knowing What’s Waiting
Recently, someone said to me that she’s afraid of getting to heaven after the rapture and facing judgment. She thought she would be judged and punished for all the bad things she has done in her life. That’s not true at all for those of us in Christ since our sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb. We will all face judgment; it’s just that, for believers, it will be a judgment of our works to determine our rewards. We’ve all been given time, talents, and resources, and how we have used them will be rewarded or burned up before the Lord at the Bema Seat.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).
As much as I would like to go into detail and explain more, I want to reserve the remaining article space for our final section. I could hardly do the topic of the Bema Seat of Christ justice anyway, so I will defer you to Amir Tsarfati and his teaching on the subject. If you have any confusion at all, I strongly encourage you to take the time to watch this video: Amir Tsarfati: The Bema Seat of Christ. You must know what’s waiting on you in heaven. It will not only alleviate fears you have that you will be judged for your sin, but it will encourage you to live the remainder of your life faithfully until Jesus comes for the church, making the most of your time in service to our King.
Not Knowing Who’s Coming
If you were to take a quick peek into the hearts of many believers, you would find unspoken and undue trepidation over the topic of the rapture for a surprising reason: They don’t know the coming Groom. When you know Jesus in a personal and intimate way, there’s no reason to fear and every reason to live in breathless anticipation of His coming. It’s one thing to know about Jesus, but to know Him changes everything. Can that be said of you? Do you know His heart? Do you recognize His voice? Do you long for the wedding? If you struggle with knowing Jesus, then the first step toward a closer walk with Him is admitting you need work in that area.
In the previous session (Rapture: Why Are You Excited?), I suggested that for some, their excitement over the rapture may not be due to love and longing for Jesus, but rather their excitement over getting out of here before things get worse–much worse. I referenced the (free) book You. Are. Loved. as something that may help you make that love connection if that’s what you’re in need of. One chapter in particular is relative to our topic today of knowing Jesus, “Live the Love Letter.” In it, I challenge the reader to get to know Jesus–the Word–through spending time with Him in the written Word. I relate the getting-to-know-Him process in terms of a mail-order-bride time of waiting. If you view this from a female perspective, you can imagine the importance of knowing the One who will be your Groom. From the male perspective, you can more readily place yourself in the role of a groom and consider how truly you would want to be known by your intended.
“When I think of the concept of getting to know Jesus, I think of a mail-order bride. Two people meet from afar and send letters back and forth in order to get to know one another until the time comes to meet in person.
At first, they are perfect strangers, but the more they read each other’s words on paper or talk on the phone, the closer they become. They learn to recognize their intended’s handwriting or detect certain inflections in tone. Anticipation and excitement build until both can hardly wait for the day they begin to share a life together.
Jesus is called the Groom, and us collectively as believers, the Bride. There will come a day when we will all meet him face-to-face. I don’t want to meet a stranger. I want to know Him, what He sounds like, what it feels like to be with Him. That can begin now, even when it seems impossible, as our Groom is with us only in Spirit.
Will you arrive in heaven someday and hardly know the One who laid down His life so that you could be His? If so, then you have to shift your current approach to your walk of faith. You absolutely have to invest in getting to know your Groom through His Word.”
You can read the entire chapter and takeaway or grab a PDF to download here.
Speaking of waiting brides and upcoming weddings…
After my little pup of nearly fifteen years died and our youngest son moved out, I entered a new empty-nest season. Don’t get me wrong, it has tons of advantages, but it also left me feeling as if my best days were behind me. In a bit of a funk one night, I even said as much to my husband. It’s easy once the kids are gone to look back at your life, and rather than remembering the mass chaos of parenting littles, you see it as the best of times.
Enter Wedding Bridge. The following morning after I said I felt my best days were behind me, during my quiet time with the Lord, a setting from the Daybreak book came to mind, the bridge where the main characters married. It took only a few seconds for me to realize that it was the Lord giving me a sweet reminder. For believers, our best is far from behind us; it’s ahead, a spectacular wedding in our future. I don’t know what it’ll be like, but I know that its splendor is far beyond my crazy-vivid imagination. When you belong to Jesus, the Groom, your best is yet to come. All believers have reason for excitement.
If you don’t know and trust the One who is coming for you, it makes sense that fear would rule your heart when considering the rapture. If you don’t see God in proper context, the true God the Father and the real Jesus the Son, then you are already standing on shaky ground and won’t be a very effective soldier in the King’s army. If you don’t know your King and Commander, fear will swallow you up whole and leave you shaking and shuddering on the sidelines of the battlefield. But those who “know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32). In context, this verse is addressed to those in the tribulation, but its application is timeless.
Moses knew his God and delivered a people. David knew his God and became a man after God’s own heart. Paul knew His God and followed Him to prison and death. Now, as an example to the flock who will emerge in the tribulation, let us know our God, display strength, and take action.
Fear of the rapture may merely be a symptom of a greater illness, not knowing Jesus intimately or embracing His personal love for you. If that’s you, you have no greater mission in this life than the pursuit of the next-to-you Jesus. Seek Him through His Word like a bride reading the love letter of her betrothed.
“‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will let Myself be found by you,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
Coming Crossover Topic
Another reason most fear the rapture is the same reason many dread the rapture. I won’t go into detail, but it has something to do with a hand and a cookie jar. Watch for the next in the series: Rapture: Why Do Many Dread? All series articles can be found here:
You. Are Loved., Live the Love Song – Free book PDF
“Live the Love Letter” – Free chapter
Daybreak, Last Days of Light – Free book download
How Do I Share What I Know? (Lisa’s Rapture Ready Series)
Prepare Your Heart – Rapture Ready series in process
About Daybreak with Lisa:
Daybreak is a way of life, one of exposing the rising darkness and telling of the soon-coming Light. We only have so many daybreaks remaining before that final sunset when we, as believers, are caught up in the air to meet Jesus.
As an author, Lisa Heaton is a storyteller with a heart for truth. Her greatest desire in her fiction and nonfiction work is to challenge the reader to discover the truth of who Jesus is and who they are to Him. Now, here as we wait for the any-minute arrival of Jesus for His church in the rapture, Lisa’s latest mission is to warn the lost and wake the found and to help others discover their unique voice to share the truth of our times. More at DaybreakWithLisa.com.