When Will He Come for Us? :: By Nathele Graham

If you are reading this, you are probably as anxious as I am to hear that call to “Come up hither.” The Rapture will be exciting for those of us who love Jesus and yearn to go Home. When will it happen? Even though Scripture gives no specific time for it to happen, most of us have opinions. The only opinion that matters and is correct is God’s.

Maybe someone will guess correctly, but all date-setters are only guessing. Remember, the Rapture will happen at the very least 7 years prior to the Second Coming, and these are two very different events. The Rapture will take Christians safely away prior to the judgments of God and before His wrath begins.

Enoch is an Old Testament “picture” of the Rapture. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).

God “took” him prior to the Judgment of the Flood. I hope you are walking with God and will be taken in the Rapture. By that, I don’t mean that I hope you intellectually know God exists but that you have truly been born again and walk with Him.

The Second Coming will happen after Daniel’s final week. Those final seven years will be filled with God’s wrath poured out upon a God-rejecting world. At the end of that seven-year period of time, the Jewish people will finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah.

The Rapture is when Christians meet Jesus in the clouds “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

At the Second Coming, we will return to earth with Him. The evil powers on earth during the Tribulation are arrogant enough to think they can fight a war against Christ and win. “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).

The Rapture won’t cause the Jewish nation to repent and turn to Jesus, but the judgments of the Tribulation will. The Second Coming will happen after the Tribulation when the Jewish nation has repented and recognized Christ as their Messiah. He will then return to fight the final battle. The victory is His.

Many Christians look to Rosh Hashanah as the likely time for the Rapture. I’m not sure why they choose this very Jewish holiday, but possibly it’s because of the fact that the activities surrounding this holiday include the ceremonial sounding of the shofar. Rosh Hashanah was established by God in the book of Leviticus.

“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, and holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD” (Leviticus 23:24-25).

Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Jewish New Year. It is a very solemn time for Jewish people, and they seriously look at their life over the past year and strive to draw nearer to God. According to http://www.jewfaq.org/rosh_hashanah:

“On Rosh Hashanah, we renew the crowning of G-d as a sovereign of time and space (melekh ha-olam) and renew our relationship with Him with celebration and blasts of the shofar (a ram’s horn trumpet). This theme is seen in the popular prayer/songs Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King, a powerful penitential prayer) and Ha-Shem Melekh, Ha-Shem Malakh, Ha-Shem Yimlokh L’Olam Va-Ed (The L-rd is King, The L-rd was King, The L-rd will be King Forever and Ever). Those songs and themes continue in the liturgy through Yom Kippur.

As I read this, it seems to me as if this is much more likely to be fulfilled by the Second Coming rather than the Rapture. Those who believe that the Rapture will occur on Rosh Hashanah are very excited right now because, this year (2022), it will be celebrated very soon, from sunset September 25 to nightfall September 27. Could the Rapture happen then? Absolutely, but it doesn’t have to. The Rapture isn’t a Jewish event, but if God wants it to happen on Rosh Hashanah, then I’m ready.

It is interesting to note that Rosh Hashanah is followed by the Days of Awe, a ten-day period of introspection. Following the Days of Awe is Yom Kippur, which is the Jewish Day of Atonement. The Shabbat, which occurs within the Days of Awe, is known as Shabbat Shuvah (the Sabbath of Return). For more information, see http://www.jewfaq.org/special_sabbaths#Shuvah. I would encourage everyone to study the Jewish feasts and holidays because they are all prophetic of Jesus Christ.

Others think the Rapture will happen on Pentecost. To my thinking, if (and I strongly emphasize “if”) it does happen on a Jewish feast day, this would be more likely than Rosh Hashanah. There are many reasons I see it that way, but since only God knows when it will happen, my reasons aren’t important! The absolute truth is that there is no reason for it to happen on any particular day, so to a well-informed Christian, every day should be one of great anticipation. It could happen today! Or maybe tomorrow.

There are many exciting signs that should create excitement. The Jewish Temple must be in place prior to halfway through the final 7 years. There is much in the news lately that the Temple will be built soon. Since the Rapture will happen prior to the Tribulation, Christians have every reason to be filled with anticipation. A reward will be given to those of us who look forward to His coming.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Other translations say “…for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (NLT), “…who have longed for his appearing.” (NIV), “…who have set their affection on his appearing” (NET).

If you love the Lord, I’m sure you are longing for His call to take us Home. Is there anything we can do to speed it along? Some mistaken Bible teachers believe it’s up to Christians to force God into returning. Oh my, that’s another sign… false doctrine. How arrogant and prideful to think we can force God to do anything. The day is known to God, but we can help to hurry (not force) that day. How? The Apostle Paul tells us that the nation of Israel has been blinded. When Jesus came to earth as a babe in a manger, He came to God’s chosen people… the Nation of Israel. They rejected their Messiah. As a nation, they are blind to who Jesus is. He was their Messiah then, and one day He will return as their Messiah. There are many Jewish People who have individually accepted Jesus as their Messiah, and that’s a blessing.

How long will the blindness of the nation last? “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25).

“Fulness of the Gentiles”? There is a pre-set number, known only to God, of Gentiles who will accept Jesus Christ for salvation. The way to bring the fulness of the Gentiles about is to witness and share the Gospel.

Paul is such a good example of how to spread the Gospel: boldly, honestly, and straightforwardly with no gimmicks. Paul knew there is a crown for soul-winning. “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved” (Philippians 4:1).

It was Paul who established the congregation in Philippi and brought many Gentiles in many cities to salvation through Christ. He was a true soul-winner. We can all spread the Gospel to lost sinners, no matter what their ethnic background is, by boldly speaking His truth and by living to honor God.

We may not know the day or the hour that Christ will call us Home, but we can be aware of the signs and the seasons. Everything is falling into place and pointing to the events of Daniel’s 70th week being on the very near horizon. Before the judgments begin, Christians will be called Home.

Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation are seven letters from Jesus which describe the history of Christianity in advance. When the final letter is fulfilled, the Rapture will happen. “After this I looked, and, behold a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” Revelation 4:1.

The words “after this” and also “hereafter” come from the Greek words “meta tauta,” which means first something happens (the church age), then something else happens (the Rapture and then God’s judgment on the earth).

We are living in the final time before the Tribulation. False teachers fill pulpits; Jesus isn’t welcome to enter into the congregation but is on the outside, knocking to be allowed in. Many Christians are outraged that prayer and Bible reading are banned from public schools, but they sit silently in their pews as the preacher tells jokes, quotes atheists, and has more knowledge of sports teams than of Scripture. Jesus isn’t allowed into many congregations today, and we are the generation that will hear Jesus call us to “Come up hither,” no matter what day that might be.

When will He come for us? I have no idea, but I am absolutely sure it will happen. I yearn for His appearing. How about you?

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com
ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Recommended prophecy sites:

www.raptureready.com
www.prophecyupdate.com
www.raptureforums.com

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.

Examine Your Heart :: By Nathele Graham

Christians are a unique group of people. We live in every nation on earth, we come from many ethnic backgrounds, and we speak many different languages. Quite often, the only thing we have in common is our love for our Lord Jesus Christ. That love should be evident in our attitudes. Jesus is our example, and He didn’t care if someone was down and out (like the lepers He healed) or a rich Pharisee (like Nicodemus who was searching for truth). He had time and kind words for anyone who needed Him. He only argued with the self-righteous Pharisees who were filled with pride and had little love for the God they pretended to serve.

“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23).

Do you radiate His love? If not, what is blocking His love from shining through you? You need to examine your heart and pray.

Our sacred book, the Holy Bible, is not a rule book for us to follow. It is the story of ultimate love and forgiveness. It tells us of creation and how Adam was created in God’s image (not the result of a big bang and millions of years of evolution). We are given examples of God’s discipline when people embraced evil. When the fallen angels mated with human women, the result was Nephilim who were unredeemable hybrids. The result of that evil was that God flooded the entire earth saving only Noah and his family. God’s judgment wasn’t an act of revenge but one of love. If the hybrids hadn’t been drowned, all of humanity’s genome would have been corrupted, and there would have been nobody left to save.

All of creation was corrupted and impure before the Lord. It pays to keep yourself from sin. Jesus tells us that it will be as it was in the days of Noah when He comes again after the Tribulation.

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).

There was a great testimony in Noah’s day, but people didn’t pay attention. Noah was building an Ark in order to save genetically pure people and animals. Most people didn’t notice the Ark but kept on living life by their own rules, unconcerned that judgment was on its way. Examine your heart and see if you are being a witness for God by living to honor Him, or are you one who is living by your own rules, thinking there’s time to repent and that you are just as good as the next guy? Noah kept building the Ark according to God’s direction no matter what the wicked people around him thought.

Jesus used another example of judgment. “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:28-29).

Lot was living among some very sinful and wicked people. He chose to live there, but he wasn’t a good influence on them. Lot was the nephew of Abram and went with him away from the pagan life in Ur. Abram and Lot each had their own flocks, which prospered to the point that they needed to separate. Lot chose to leave the lush fields and live in Sodom.

“Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly” (Genesis 13:13-14).

The perversion and wickedness there was so bad that God had to destroy it. Once again, mankind embraced evil. Still, Lot chose to live there. Two angels went to Sodom where the men of the city wanted to rape them. Lot pleaded with the evil men for mercy, but they loved their wicked ways and ignored him. The angels told Lot to get his family and leave. His sons-in-law wouldn’t leave, but the angels urged Lot to get his wife and daughters and leave immediately. The time had come for judgment.

Lot dilly-dallied, and the angels had to forcibly take them out prior to judgment (a picture of the Rapture). Fire and brimstone rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot and his family were safe… until his wife looked back. Her heart was stuck in the wickedness of those cities.

“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).

She had been warned not to look back, but she did anyway. What about you? Where’s your heart? Jesus used her as an example to those who will be living through the Tribulation.

“In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:31-32).

This warning isn’t to Christians, who will have been taken Home in the Rapture before God’s judgment comes upon all the earth. It’s to those left behind. Place your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ now, and you will be safe from judgment. God’s salvation is waiting to take you away from sin and depravity. Once you’ve been set free, don’t look back.

The days of Noe and the days of Lot are upon us. If you haven’t noticed the abundance of evil, then you aren’t paying attention. Or else you see nothing wrong with it. Examine your heart and see if you love God enough to honor Him in your daily life. Faith in Jesus will bring forgiveness for all of your sins. If you’ve proclaimed Him as your Saviour but continue living a sin-filled life, remember what happened to Lot’s wife. She just couldn’t leave the sin and wickedness. Lot almost missed his deliverance because he was comfortable in the sin of Sodom.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul spends the first part of chapter 1 talking about Jesus, the Son of God, and His wonders. Paul was a man who was changed after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, and he never looked back. From the time of that meeting, Paul boldly shared the Gospel with others.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Christ? Examine your heart, and if you have continued to embrace anger and other sins, then maybe you’re ashamed of Him. Humility, not pride, should be a mark of your love and service to Christ.

Paul continues in Romans chapter 1 to describe what happens when God’s truth of creation is rejected, as it is today. God created all that is.

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful: but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:20-23).

Paul goes on to explain that once God’s truth is compromised, life begins a downward spiral to total corruption. People begin to worship the creation instead of the Creator. Today we see people believing that animals have equal, if not superior, rights to humans. We need to care for animals, but they aren’t to be worshipped.

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:24-25).

Many years ago, Christians turned education over to the government. Mom and Dad both work, so babysitters raise the children, and secular government educates our children. Evolution is taught, which leads to other evils being promoted. Like homosexuality, and the latest craze is children believing they are animals and acting like animals. Schools encourage children to be transgender, and parents seem to be ok with all of this. Jesus said it would be as it was in the days of Noah and the days of Lot when He returns. The world is promoting sin that hasn’t been seen since Noah built the Ark and Lot left Sodom. Science is creating hybrids, and the wicked world is encouraging the sins of Sodom.

If you profess to be a Christian, live to honor Christ. Instead of embracing the wickedness of the world, model yourself after the attributes of Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells you and wants you to bear fruit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Do you exhibit these traits? Or does your life look more like that described in Romans chapter 1. Examine your heart and be sure you aren’t ashamed of God. It won’t be long until judgment comes. There are many signs that tell us the Rapture will happen soon. Just like God shut the door of the Ark, He will shut the door on this age of history.

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).

Only Christians will hear that call, and it could happen any minute now. Remember, you have a choice of hearing that call or being left to face the Great Tribulation. As you read through the fruit of the Spirit, you might be thinking that you display those qualities. That’s good, but those alone won’t allow you to live eternally with Christ. Only true faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will bring you life eternal. When you admit you’re a sinner and need Jesus for salvation, you will be sealed with the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to lead and guide you through life. Cultivate the fruit of the Spirit.

Examine your heart. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Do you embrace the days of Noah and life in Sodom, or do you desire to leave worldly ways behind and serve Christ? Ask Him to change your heart of stone into a heart of flesh, and let your love of the Lord shine.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com
ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Recommended prophecy sites:

www.raptureready.com
www.prophecyupdate.com
www.raptureforums.com

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.