ARE YOU READY FOR RAPTURE?
Jesus told us to be ready for His second coming. How well are you prepared for the Lord’s return? A careful observer will notice that born again church attendees can be grouped into three categories depending on their level of alertness for the second coming of Christ and church rapture:
Ignorant of End-time events
- In this group are people typical of those living lazier-faire lifestyle. They are indifferent to things pertaining to the end-time.
- They live from day to day caught up in the business of making a living and providing for self and dependents. They are driven by their daily schedule including going to church on Sundays.
- They tend to regard the church they attend as a social club. Instead of being salt and light of the earth they do things the same people in the world do.
- They regard eschatology as a ‘no go’ area, reserved only for a few Christians.
Christians in this group generally do not have much interest in the things of God or in developing a full relationship with Him. They also do not really see Jesus their Lord as the Bridegroom and are not at all excited about the marriage in heaven between Him and His bride.
- These people are awake, but not fully alive to spiritual realities in their environment or the world at large.
- They seek to be godly and to live godly lives mostly in the energy of the flesh and according to human wisdom.
- This group is usually active in God’s service by working in their church, often thinking that work without faith can earn recognition by heaven.
- They also spend some time reading their Bibles and believe the Bible is the word of God, but some parts of the Bible (such as the Book of Revelation) are avoided assuming the posture of ‘no man can understand those things.’
- They quote Matthew 24:36 which says no one knows the day nor hour of Christ’s second coming, using this verse as an excuse to avoid the study of end-time doctrine.
- They see little or no connection between what is going on in the world today with the rapture of the Church.
- Christians in this group seek to evangelize the lost locally and abroad but do so in the energy of the flesh with little or no fruit.
- Christians in this group are awake, alive and on fire for Christ actively looking forward to His return.
- They attend a church which emphasizes prophecy and teach end-time doctrine.
- They do not treat their church like a social club or entertainment center but a place of worship, to glorify God and fulfill the Great Commission.
- They are alert and discerning, as recipients of spiritual gifts ought to be. And like the Berean Christians they search the scriptures to avoid error.
- They are not deceived by false teachers, other gospels, programs or words of men’s wisdom.
- They seek to obey God rather than men.
- They are faithful in their service to the Lord.
- They seek to be like Jesus and to be regarded as the “salt and light” of the earth.
- They constitute what we call the “eschatological community.”
Jesus Is Coming Soon
The next event in God’s prophetic calendar is the rapture of the Church.
hose who are daily expecting the return of the Lord Jesus Christ have three things in common:
- Watchfulness – Mt 24:42; Titus 2:13
- Readiness – Mt 24:44
- Fruitful occupation – Mt 24:46-47
Many believers have resigned from expecting the return of the Lord using as excuse Mt 24:36 which says: ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’ They forget that when Jesus made that statement He had not been glorified, but now He has been glorified seating at the right hand of God Almighty awaiting the fullness of His Body. The same Bible says: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). Those who have the mind of Christ are truly one with Him; they will know within a short space of time when the rapture will take place. Rapture will not overtake every believer by surprise. A privileged few will know something about the event just like Simeon, Anna, Elizabeth and John the Baptist knew in advance about the first coming of Christ.
Mature Christians will have an idea of the imminence of the event. Believers who qualify to participate in the rapture may not know the date or hour but will have an inner witness in their spirit about the sounding of the last trumpet. They will know the times and the seasons according to 1 Thess 5:1. If you do not know the times and the seasons you may still participate in the rapture but you are not likely to be part of the bride of Christ. The Lord knows the harm it would cause saints in human flesh to know the day and hour of His coming but those who are knowledgeable of endtime events will not abuse the privilege but rather comfort and encourage those in Christ to look up to the heavens for their final redemption as they see the day approaching. Mature believers whose lifestyle reflects expectation of the return of the Lord have unique characteristics:
- Their orientation on life and living is focused on desire for the return of Jesus.
Phil 3:20-21 – For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
- They see the world of men the way God sees it, corrupt, full of wickedness and ready for judgment and distance themselves from worldly pursuits
Titus 2:11-14 – For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
- They are more heaven-conscious than those who are living according to the dictates of the world system.
Heb 10:25 – Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
- They are like brides preparing for their wedding.
1 Jn 3:2-3 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
- Their evangelistic fervor reflects the way they zealously distribute their ‘wedding invitation’ witnessing to the lost and strengthening the weak in Christ
Heb 9:28 – So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
- Followers of Christ know that in His first coming Jesus came into the world as the Lamb of God to offer His life a ransom for many but in His second coming Jesus will come as the judge of the dead and the living.
2 Pet 3:11-14 – Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
- Their attitude to money and wealth accumulation is guided by building eternal heritage in heaven. (7)
1 Pet 1:7 – That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
- Like the original apostles they are daily expecting the return of the Lord.(8)
1 Cor 11:26 – 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
- They experience ‘birth pangs’ signaling the approaching sound of the trumpet for the rapture of the church (9)
1 Cor 1:7-8 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Their earnest desire is to participate in the rapture as living saints.
Jam 5:7-8–7 – Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
- They are like the Issachar Company who knew the times and what Israel ought to do per time.
1 Thess 5:1-6 – But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. … But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
Mankind was not created to live in heaven. Few will be chosen to enter heaven and become the Priesthood that will rule the millennial earth under the Lord Jesus Christ. The chosen ones are a replacement for rebellious Lucifer and the fallen angels. The angelic host has a hierarchy; the wilderness priesthood had a hierarch and so it shall be with the millennial priesthood. Every saint has a pre-appointed place in the Priesthood. Attainment of that position is what Jesus referred to as perfection. The three indicators of this level of perfection are Watchfulness, Readiness and Preoccupation with kingdom business.
Rapture is the only way to enter heaven in a perfect state. The Judgment Seat of Christ will be concerned primarily with positioning saints in the heavenly hierarchy. Jesus is coming very very soon: are you sure you are ready for His return in the air to rapture His saints?