Through Faith in Jesus
Whether the Rapture is in 5 minutes, 5 years or 50 we need to be about the Master's business, and occupy till He comes. Luke 19:10-13
That means fulfilling the Great Commission that Jesus left us with in Matthew 28: 18-20 and Acts 1:6-11 as He ascended.
But what does that MEAN in relation to us, at our point in history, when the Rapture seems so close?
It means taking care of the business that God has entrusted to us. That is looking to retirement- preparing for it so that we are not a drain on others when the time comes to retire, it means making sure our children have the means to make a good living and work hard to support their families. It means getting enough rest, eating properly, getting exercise so our bodies aren't worn out too soon.
Reading the Word of God faithfully so He can teach us, and we can grow up in spiritual maturity. It means getting out of debt so that we can give freely to missions, or working hard to be able to take time off to do missions work. It might mean speaking to a friend, family member or stranger at the supermarket about salvation. It might mean working hard at the job you have to be a good witness of Christ in you to those around you.
In these ways we fulfill the Great Commission, faithfully serving God in the fields that He planted us in. We do that to be commended by our Lord, hearing the words "well done thou good and faithful servant" and we know that someday whether He calls us home in death, or up in the Rapture, there will be a reward to be found doing the will of our Lord and Master.
There are always signs of His return, and they have been getting louder, more frequent, and more severe, just like labour pains. We don't know when, just that we are in that season of His return. To be found doing what He asked, is the best way to be watching and looking up.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Acts 1: 6-11
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
In order to do the things Jesus asks of us, we need to take care of our resources entrusted to us, whether health, finances or raising of families as well as working on that great commission.
Watching for His return doesn't mean stressing about the details, being afraid to take our eyes off prophecy related topics.
It means doing the things that God asks of us, not just knowing and understanding the scriptures especially those relating to His return for us.
Paul addressed a big fear that was tearing up the church in the Thessalonian church after some fear monger launched a fake letter from Pail alleging that they had missed the Rapture. The same comfort that Paul gives at the end of that chapter applies to us who anxiously await His Return.
It's odd to notice how the enemy takes a promise by God (the Rapture) and somehow turns it into an anxiety for the Christian. You are NOT ALONE in this battle.
2 Thessalonians 21 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way,.......
so we see that Paul was dealing with fears relating to the Rapture. Down in verse 15 Paul gives us a comforting message.
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
I'm drawn to the way Paul mentions standing firm and holding fast to the teachings he had given them, in other words, spending time in the Word so that they might be encouraged in the Lord, and strengthened for both good deeds and words.
To me that speaks of the Great Commission again. Being faithful in the small things that God has given us to do, not worrying about being super Christians, just trusting that when the fulness of time has come -- He will return for us as He promised, in the meanwhile, occupy till He comes.
I regularly take breaks from the news. When I start to feel anxious, I know that my balance of reading the Bible to watching the news is off.
There have been times when even this forum gets too much focused on politics or other worries of the day. I take time off, go for walks, get outside, see the beauty of His creation and how He cares for the smallest of His creation. I breathe fresh air, meditate on His word, talk to Him about my anxieties.
Just lately I've been on a cruise in Alaska and looking at a glacier fills me with praise to God. At the same time as it seems to scare the dickens out of the climate warming people.
In the last 2 years there has been way too much attention and speculation even in Christian circles of how some things will come to pass. Arguments over what might happen rather than looking to the Lord to keep us thru the various troubles that lead up to the Rapture.
It's fun to discuss things--but when it stops being fun, when it starts being filled with anxiety, it's time to step away, refocus on the Lord, on His character, His promises and His ability to care for each of us.
Don't feel bad about taking time off to rest, refocus, spend time in the Word, walk and talk with the Lord. Adam walked in the garden in the evening with the Lord before the fall. Now that we are restored to fellowship with God thru Christ, it's an essential part of staying sane and healthy in a fallen world.
Amen!! We don't want to miss the work and also the blessings to us and others that God has for us.