Starting with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, Paul gives us encouragement about what awaits us at the end of this age.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the Trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then, we who are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (ESV – all emphasis is mine)
The book of 1 Thessalonians is the first book of the New Testament to be written around 49-51 A.D. Going to the book of 1 Corinthians, which will be referenced next, Paul wrote it about 53-54 A.D. In comparison, the Gospels are dated as Matthew after 70 A.D.; Mark 65-75 A.D.; Luke 85 A.D.; and John being completed between 90-110 A.D., but possibly started as early as 70 A.D.
Looking at 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, we have more information about the event known as Harpazo, the Taking Up, or more commonly known as the Rapture.
“Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the Trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”
One note here: the Trumpet mentioned in these two books has nothing to do with the trumpet judgments given in Revelation 8-11.
There are numerous signs of what will be taking place on earth just before the end of this age. Without going through the entire list as given in Matthew 24; Luke 21; 2 Timothy 3; 1 John 2-5; 2 Peter 3, and numerous other places in the Bible, we can take each and every sign and show it’s here today – and all at once for the first time ever.
Jesus said in Luke 21:28, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
What has prophecy experts, and even a prophecy novice like me excited, is that the signs began forming about a decade ago, and the progression is gaining momentum daily. On May 14, 1948, Israel became a sovereign nation again after almost 2,000 years. This would be the blooming of the fig tree that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. He stated that the “generation” that saw this would not pass before He would return. We are not told how long this generation would be; however, on May 14, 2023, Israel will be 75 years back in the land.
What true believers are looking forward to is to be free from this sin-filled world and “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.” That just happens to be the title of a Fanny Crosby song from 1868. Please note the words of this amazing Hymn.
1.) Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast. There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest. Hark! Tis the voice of angels, borne in a song to me. Over the fields of glory, over the Jasper Sea.
Ref.) Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast. There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
2.) Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe from corroding care. Safe from the world’s temptations, sin cannot harm me there. Free from the blight of sorrow, free from my doubts and fears. Only a few more trials; only a few more tears.
3.) Jesus, my heart’s dear refuge; Jesus has died for me. Firm on the Rock of Ages, ever my trust shall be. Here let me wait with patience, wait till the night is o’er. Wait till I see the morning break on that golden shore.
There are many “nay-sayers,” just as there have always been, who say nothing has changed, and everything’s the same as it’s always been. These are the “scoffers” mentioned in 2 Peter 3:3-4. They overlook 2 Peter 3:8, which states, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” In 2 Peter 3:9, we’re told the Lord is being patient with us, giving us the opportunity to repent and be saved.
Then, reality sets in; those who refuse to repent and accept the free gift that our Savior gave to us at Calvary will end up in the Lake of Fire forever (Revelation 20:11-15).
What a lot of people forget is that our Creator is not bound by time as we are. He created time for us. Genesis 1:3-5; “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the First Day.”
There have been movies and television programs where humans could travel back in time and experience historical events. Of course, these are all fantasy. However, with God, it is a reality. Not being bound by the time restraints that we are, He is able to be anywhere at any time that He so chooses. Not only that, the term is omnipresent, or being able to be everywhere at once. He’s also omnipotent, or all-powerful; and omniscient, or all-knowing.
True believers are becoming less popular every day. We hate no one, but we do not accept the acts that our Father called abominations. We are being labeled as “haters” because of this, which does not surprise our Father at all. Satan has been a powerful influence with all his tactics, and his demons are working overtime as never before. This is another sign that this age is coming to a close and being very close to entering the next era, which will be known as the tribulation or wrath.
All who have Jesus as their Savior are promised we won’t go into that time period. That is in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, and Revelation 3:10. We will be with our Jesus in our new Home and in our new forever, immortal bodies. Our Judgment will be the Judgment Seat of Christ as given in 2 Corinthians 5:10. This is not a condemning judgment as the Great White Throne Judgment will be. We will gain or lose rewards for all the actions we did here on earth, but the outcome will still be eternity in Heaven.
The best part is you get to choose which judgment you will attend. It’s a free-will choice, as God will force no one either way. However, at our last breath here, our final destiny is set. It will either be Heaven or Hell. No other option exists, no matter what false prophets are saying.
Today, right now, you can place yourself “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.” The simple steps are found in Romans 10:9-13. There’s nothing you can buy or earn; it’s a free gift from the Son of the Lord God Jehovah, Creator of the heavens and the earth.
It’s your choice and the most important decision you will ever make. Jesus is waiting for all who will call on Him to be their eternal Savior. Choose wisely; choose today; Choose Jesus!
Shalom – Maranatha! (Peace be with You; Come, Lord Jesus!)