EXPECTATION OF CHURCH RAPTURE
Scriptures On Expectation of Church Rapture
There are several scriptures that speak of the expectation of the rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ. That notwithstanding, 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 sitting at the right hand of God Almighty making intercession for and awaiting the fullness of His Body, the church. 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.
Philippians 3:20-21: For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, 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 Saviour 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.
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 Peter 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.
They are like brides preparing for their wedding.
1 John 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 (5) .
Hebrews 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.
They are more heaven-conscious than those who are living according to the dictates of the world system.
Hebrews 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 desirous of meeting the Lord just as a bride and groom are desirous of, and expectant of, their wedding day and the accompanying ceremonies.
Hebrews 10:37: For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Their attitude to money and wealth accumulation is guided by building eternal heritage in heaven.
1 Peter 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:
They experience ‘birth pangs’ signaling the approaching sound of the trumpet for the rapture of the church.
1 Corinthians 1:7-8: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Like the original apostles they are daily expecting the return of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:26: 26: For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
Their earnest desire is to participate in the rapture as living saints.
James 5:7-8: 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. Be 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 Thessalonians 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.
God knows that it would be harmful for saints in human flesh to know the day or hour of Jesus’ coming for His saints but those in the eschatological community are knowledgeable of end-time events and will not abuse the privilege but rather use the knowledge so garnered to comfort and encourage the brethren. Those in Christ will be persuaded to look up to the heavens for their final redemption. These are mature believers whose lifestyle reflects the attitude of the Issachar tribe in ancient Israel.
As it is written: “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment” (1 Chron 12:32).
When you subscribe to the tenets of rapture watchers:
- Your orientation on life and living will change.
- You will be more heaven-conscious than hitherto.
- You will be like a bride preparing for her wedding.
- You will be desirous of meeting the Lord just as a bride and groom are desirous of, and expectant of, their wedding day and the accompanying ceremonies.
- Your evangelistic fervor will increase as you zealously wins souls and do the work of ministry mindful of eternal rewards.
- You will see the world of men the way God sees it as corrupt and full of wickedness ready for judgment.
- Your expectation of the sound of the trumpet will increase progressively like birthpangs until the last moment, just as it happens to a pregnant woman.
Some believe that the Middle East Peace Treaty must be in place before rapture takes place. What will bring the Antichrist to world limelight is the dousing of tensions between Israel and her Arab neighbors by confirming a ‘peace’ Covenant for seven years. (Dan 9:27). The proposal before P5+1 is likely to be the basis for the covenant prophesied by Daniel. The Bible does not say that the Antichrist will negotiate the agreement; rather He will ‘confirm’ it. If that means an agreement must be in place, then expect a Middle East Peace Treaty to be signed soon. Otherwise, all the Antichrist has to do immediately after the rapture is enforce a seven-year truce through deception and flattery.