Earlier this week, Ruth and I visited the cemetery where the remains of my parents, grandparents, and several of my aunts and uncles are buried. It was a bit sobering to reflect on their past lives now etched in bronze and marble. I know my parents (and a sister who died at age 3 before I was born) are with Jesus in Heaven, and I very much look forward to seeing them.
As for us, as weary saints who continue to traverse through this wicked and lawless world, there’s no greater joy amid our struggles and sorrows than looking forward to the astounding joys of Heaven. It will be a paradise that far exceeds even our most fanciful imaginations.
In 1 Corinthians 15:47-54, Philippians 3:20-21, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, the Apostle Paul describes the event that we today refer to as the “Rapture.” It’s the time we receive our glorified bodies, meet Jesus in the air, and return with Him to glory, or Heaven (see Colossians 3:4). Even if you are young, strong, athletic, and in excellent health, the glorified body Jesus gives to you on that day will still be a vast improvement. If you are older like me… let’s just say I’m looking forward to my imperishable body, and not a day goes by when it doesn’t fill my heart with joyful anticipation of the future.
I often write about the signs of the rapidly approaching seven-year Tribulation, which are converging like at no other time in history. We surely live in biblical times. I cannot stretch my imagination far enough to conceive of a scenario that would change the course of this world and delay the rapidly approaching Day of the Lord.
My purpose here, however, is not to expound further upon the many reasons why we live in the season of Jesus’ appearing but rather to explain why it’s a cause for great jubilation regardless of our circumstances.
Jesus Is Coming Soon
In the past, some believed they knew the exact timing of the Rapture, and as a result, brought shame to the cause of Christ and turned many Christians away from the study of future things.
Today, many people make an equally serious mistake; they assume the Rapture will not happen in their lifetime and thus believe that nothing will alter the future course of their lives nor interrupt their many aspirations, both near and far. I’m not saying we shouldn’t make plans or have goals, but as the signs of the Lord’s return multiply, we must hold them loosely in our hands (see also James 4:13-17).
God’s Word tells us there will be a generation of believers alive at the time of Jesus’ appearing to take us to glory (1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). The myriad of signs pointing to the nearness of the seven-year Tribulation indicate that we may be those who will meet Jesus in the air before we die. I dare say it’s likely for a great many of us; it’s the sole item on my bucket list.
How can we not rejoice at such a possibility?
Jesus is coming very soon! It’s because we don’t know the day or hour that we look for His appearing as though it could happen at any moment, just as He commanded us to do.
I know for many, the biblical event we refer to as the “Rapture” seems a bit scary, but please understand it will be the most wonderful and joyful experience you can imagine, and far better. Jesus has lovingly taken into account any apprehension we might have about this sudden interruption to our lives; we have no reason to fear.
Heaven Will Fill Our Hearts with Unbounded Joy
Is there any greater source of encouragement during these trying times than the exciting adventure that begins when we meet Jesus in the air? I don’t believe so.
Is it any wonder that Paul instructs us to “encourage one another with these words” after discussing the events associated with the Rapture? (1 Thessalonians 4:18; also 5:11). The promise of meeting Jesus “in the air” was to be a source of comfort and edification for Thessalonian believers. Today’s silence in so many churches regarding the Rapture tells me they no longer believe that Paul’s admonitions apply, but they are mistaken.
The Rapture will mark the beginning of our experience of Heaven, which will fill our hearts with boundless joy.
Below are some reasons for our blissful anticipation of eternity:
1. The surprising wholeness we will feel when we receive our amazing new bodies will long afterward remain a source of happiness and amazement. Jesus’ promise to give us glorious and immortal bodies should be shouted from the pulpits all across the land! Why do most pastors ignore one of the most wonderful truths they possibly could share with their people? It’s far more than sad.
2. Once in Heaven, our celebration and praise both before and during the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will surpass any thrill we have ever known on the earth. Our thunderous praise will rock Heaven (Revelation 19:6-10).
3. Our future reign with Jesus in His kingdom (Revelation 20:1-10) will be far more wonderful and satisfying than anything we have experienced on earth. Jesus will rule atop Mount Zion (Psalm 48:1-8); He will literally be high and exalted. Just as the angel Gabriel promised Mary, Jesus will sit on the throne of David (Luke 1:31-33). And as coheirs to His realm, we will rule with Him. Imagine spending time with the Lord in His majestic dwelling high atop this mountain.
4. We will dwell forever in the most beautiful city imaginable. The place Jesus is now preparing for us will be our home base during the Millennium and then throughout eternity. With our glorified bodies, we will travel back and forth with ease between the New Jerusalem and the millennial earth to fulfill our kingdom responsibilities.
I know how easy it is to become wrapped up in the things of this life and how difficult it is for many of us to imagine that Heaven will be far better than the best possible circumstances on earth (those of us in the U.S. perhaps struggle with this the most). The wonders listed above don’t even scratch the surface of the exuberant and thrilling joys of Heaven.
We will wonder why we stressed so much about things in this life.
The Warnings Are Everywhere
We live in the season of Jesus’ appearing to take His church home to glory. Please, please don’t make the mistake of assuming that the Rapture cannot happen today, this week, next month, this year, or next year. We live at a time when the convergence of a myriad of signs point to the soon arrival of the Tribulation and thus to our meeting Jesus in the air before it begins.
Longtime pastor and prophecy spokesman David Jeremiah recently warned that those who ignore the reality of Christ’s imminent return do so at “their own peril.” In his interview with The Christian Post, he also said this about the Rapture:
“There’s no excuse for us, if we read the Bible, to be surprised, because the Bible tells us that this is going to happen. There’s no sign of the return of Christ and the Rapture, but there certainly is a prediction of the kind of season it’s going to be…. I believe that Christians really need to stay glued to the Scripture and not get too far away from the truth because it’s pretty precarious right now.” [i]
I can’t keep up with all the warnings that abound in our day pointing to the rapidly approaching Tribulation. I don’t know how it could be possible for the Lord to give us more warnings of what’s about to happen than what He’s giving to us at this moment.
Yet so many believers remain asleep in a bubble of normalcy, deaf to the alarm bells ringing in their ears and blind to the signs given to them throughout Scripture. (For a deeper discussion of this, please see my post, How Can You Not See?) Sadly, a great many Christians are lulled into such drowsiness by “Bible-believing” pastors who promote the false veil of normalcy by proclaiming a message of “peace, peace” when it doesn’t exist (read Jeremiah 6:13-14).
As I look at the wickedness, violence, rampant deception, and extreme lawlessness in America, I’m certain that we live on borrowed time. God’s judgment on the country that I love is long, long overdue. Someday, perhaps very soon, the Lord will say “enough,” and sudden destruction will fall on America and the world, but only after He removes believers from the earth.
It could all begin on a day just like today.
Jesus is the Only Path to Heaven
If you are reading this and have not yet placed your faith in Jesus, please do so before it’s too late. Make no mistake, the Rapture will happen, and it will be followed by God’s fierce judgment on this wicked world, which the Lord fully describes in many of the Old Testament prophets and sums up in Revelation 6-18.
You don’t want to be on earth during this time of judgment that’s revealed on the pages of Scripture. Nor do you want to endure an eternity of woe apart from the Lord’s presence, which will happen if you ignore His gracious offer of forgiveness and eternal life. A monument in a cemetery means nothing if you don’t belong to the Savior.
Please see my post, Jesus is the Only Path to Eternal Life, for a full explanation of how you can know for sure that your sins are forgiven and that you will possess the sweet, thrilling, and joyous glories of Heaven once this life ends.
Please don’t delay; the urgency has never been greater. Jesus is coming for His Church very soon, and with it, the beginning of God’s judgment, which will shake the earth.
Please don’t fall for the lie that these things cannot begin this very day.
I provide a detailed defense of the Pretribulation viewpoint in: The Triumph of the Redeemed-An Eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times. A lifetime of defending the pre-Tribulation Rapture comes to life on the pages of this book. And you will understand my passion for warning people about what’s to come.
My latest one is Cancel This! What Today’s Church Can Learn from the Bad Guys of the Bible. The book is all about growing to maturity in Christ. The bad examples of these characters reveal the mindset we need for living at a time when the cancel culture dominates our culture.
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[i] David Jeremiah as quoted on The Christian Post website at: https://www.christianpost.com/news/david-jeremiah-shares-how-christians-should-prepare-for-end-times.html