One of my most cherished aspects of the Lord’s bringing me into prophetic ministry is the tremendous teachers, broadcasters, preachers, and Bible scholars I’ve been blessed to know over these many years. None is more beloved, profoundly memorable, or respected in every way than the late Dr. David Breese.
Dave was one of the most brilliant thinkers, writers, and speakers, with that golden voice possessed by only a few of God’s men. He was as intellectually gifted as any—secular or Christian—yet possessed humor and warmth that made him instantly someone you knew was genuine and transparent in relationship.
In thinking on Dave, the thought of Samuel the prophet came to mind. Samuel was brought back from his eternal rest to deliver a message of condemnation to King Saul. In my prompt from, I believe, the Holy Spirit, Dr. Dave Breese needed to be brought back in the spiritual memory sense in order to deliver a message of edification to those of us who long for Jesus to call us in the Rapture.
Dave presented a series of thoughts on the Rapture in a book of mine many years ago, for which he wrote a powerful chapter. The following are those questions and answers presented in that chapter. They are as solid and encouraging as when I first received them from my great friend.
Questions and Answers
There are hundreds of prophetic questions that live in the minds of people. Many of them are asked openly at prophetic conferences, on radio programs, and certainly in private conversations. We do well to deal with some of the frequently asked questions, believing that the answers will be helpful to us all.
What qualifies a person to be caught up in the rapture of the Church? The Word of God teaches that Christ will return again for the delivering of His Church. Everyone who is among those called “brethren” (1 Thess. 5:10) is a member of the body of Christ and will be the object of the deliverance that will come at the Rapture. The single qualification, therefore, is that an individual be a Christian. A Christian is one who has believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and knows God’s Son as his personal Saviour.
What prophetic events must be fulfilled before the Rapture? There are no prophetic events that must precede the Rapture. The predicted events of prophecy have to do with the period of time following the Rapture leading up to the glorious return of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Rapture could take place at any given moment. It is well for the believer to regularly tell himself, “Perhaps today!”
How shall I prepare for the Rapture? Surely the greatest experience in life will be to be brought into the presence of God as a good soldier, a faithful servant. The essential preparation for the Rapture is that I be a Christian. Then, the fact that I could be taken to heaven at any given moment should motivate me to exemplary Christian service. Earnest prayer, faithful witnessing, godly living – all of these will be a part of the approval that can come in heaven. We all must so live so as to hear Jesus say in that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
When the Rapture comes, what will happen to the children of Christians? All children who have not yet reached the age of accountability are counted as “believers” under the doctrine of prevenient grace. We, therefore, conclude that the children of unbelievers will also be included with the children of believers and taken home to be with the Lord. As one person said, “All the children of the world will be taken to heaven and all the unborn children of the world as well.”
What impression will the Rapture make on the world? The answer, of course, depends upon the preoccupations and involvements in which the world finds itself at the time of the Rapture. Still, we must conclude that the disappearance of the Christians of the world and the children of the world will leave a stunning impression upon the minds of people. The Antichrist will be hard-put to come up with an explanation. In lieu of this, the dismay at the teaching of Scripture now being so well proved by the Rapture may well cause minions to come to faith in Christ during the Tribulation. They, as Tribulation saints, will face a time of fearful persecution.
Can we take anyone with us at the Rapture? Certainly not by holding on to them, as much as we might desire this. But, we can take all of our loved ones and friends with us to heaven if we will have led them to Christ so that they themselves have become Christians before the time of the taking away of the Church. When the Rapture comes, it will be too late to do any additional things in this world for Christ. The record of each person’s life will stand as indelible forever after that instant of translation.
How can heaven receive and process so many millions of individuals all arriving at the same time? This is no problem to God. The arrival of the Church, the body of Christ, at heaven will be a time of great reunion and rejoicing. A home in heaven will have long since been prepared for every individual by Christ himself (John 14:3). A place at the feast of welcome, of betrothal, called “the marriage supper of the Lamb,” will have been set for each one. No one will arrive at heaven as a stranger; rather, as a brother beloved.
Isn’t it cowardly to wish for the Rapture to deliver us from the problems of life? Anyone who does not particularly wish to be beheaded during the days of the Tribulation can certainly be expected to anticipate with a welcoming sentiment the rapture of the Church and the deliverance from the wrath to come. To want to go into the Tribulation is not courage; it is mere foolish bravado. The doctrine of the Rapture is true, unrelated to human attitudes. Especially remember that we are to love His appearing (2 Tim. 4:8).
Didn’t the doctrine of the Rapture come from a strange source? The doctrine of the Rapture comes from the Word of God. It is the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who presents this marvelous truth. It is best to avoid silly stories, from whatever source, related by people who would draw our attention away from any doctrine of the Word of God.
What is the difference between the Rapture and the second coming of Christ? The Rapture is a very special mission by the Lord to deliver the Church from the awful scenes of the Tribulation. The Rapture, therefore, comes before the Tribulation and takes Christians out of this world before that seven-year period of the wrath of God. Notice that, in the Rapture, Christ does not come all of the way to this world. Rather, Christians are caught up to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:17).
At the second coming of Christ, His glorious return, He comes with His saints. In fact, He returns with an army from heaven for the conquest of the world (Rev. 19:11-16). Remember, since this is an army of His saints (Jude 14), you and I will be a part of that glorious conquest that centers on the return of Christ in power.
You see from the above that Dave was a powerful messenger for the Lord’s service. His voice lives on in the marvelous teaching and biblical exposition he left with us. I’m looking forward to seeing Dave again in glory.
Next week we continue with God’s answers to prophetic questions through Dave’s recorded words that bless us all still today.