Hope and Rapture – Part 1
By Dennis Huebshman
Today’s news reads like the Doomsday express is on us. Fires, volcanoes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, massive snow storms, drought, rising gas/food prices, and unaffordable health care just to name a few.
Then, there’s the Arab movement. Never before has the Middle East and Europe been in such an explosive turmoil as right now. On top of that, unemployment, though slowly improving, is still a critical issue. This doesn’t even include Russia, China and North Korea are all looking at America as something to be brought down.
Terrorist attacks, violence increasing in intensity all around the world along with our country being sharply divided. A whole new group of people that are called “Snowflakes” that go into total despair just for seeing a flag, or certain picture. In the middle are true Christians that are actually hated by all as our savior said it would be. Things that used to be considered wrong are now right; and things right are wrong. Business owners are being challenged for their faith.
And then there is Israel. Now totally surrounded by people who hate them just because they’re Jews. Ezekiel 38/39 tells of an upcoming war where several nations around them plus some others will attack, yet Israel will be saved by God’s divine intervention. Arabs don’t just want to conquer them, they want the Jews Exterminated. Nations that used to be allies with Israel have for the most part turned their backs on GOD’s chosen people. Only a couple are lending support because they’re wary of Iran. Even our leaders in America say they’re behind Israel, however their actions speak otherwise, and it’s getting more obvious every day. Our current president is trying to get the atmosphere better, but he has an uphill battle. As for the U.N., anything that is wrong with the world is blamed on Israel.
GOD’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has been forgotten or ignored. In Genesis 12, God told Abraham HE would bless those who blessed them, and curse those who curse them. Even though this was thousands of years ago, a covenant is a covenant as far as GOD is concerned. It still stands today. On top of that, God promised that ALL who followed His will would be blessed through Abraham’s seed – a sign of a coming Savior. (That’s seed – singular – Jesus).
Many times in history, there appeared to be no HOPE for GOD’s people. But after all the centuries that have passed, they are back in their own land. No other nation has ever done this. It happened in May, 1948, and America was one of the first nations to accept them as a nation. Before the Jewish people moved back into the Promised Land, it was a desolate place, but the Lord promised it would flourish, and it has.
I’d like to give you two examples where it appeared all HOPE was gone. First, let’s look at Joseph in the last chapters of Genesis.
Sold into slavery at 17 years old by his 10 older brothers and taken to a land totally foreign to him. For most, this would put someone in total despair with no HOPE in sight. However, Joseph knew where to focus his faith, and that was in Jehovah. Even though he suffered hardships, GOD made sure he found favor with those he came in contact with. Podifer first, the prison guard next, and finally pharaoh. Note, if Podifer had actually believed Joseph had tried to attack his wife as she had claimed, he would have killed Joseph, not thrown him in prison. It’s apparent He knew he wife, and tried to save at least some dignity. This was not an overnight thing. It took 13 years, but Joseph became the 2ND highest person in all of Egypt because he never lost faith and HOPE in the LORD. He’s now about 20 years old. Just 7 years later, he was the savior of his people from the extreme famine that hit all the land. He told his brothers they meant to do evil to him, but the LORD used it to bring HOPE to the Israelites Genesis 50:20. (Note: God used a dream to escalate him, just as He did the next person I’d like to mention).
Next, let’s look at Daniel. Again, a teenager taken from his home into a foreign land. Along with Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego), he displayed faith in his GOD and showed HIM to his captors in everything he did. These four were tested to the point of being put to death, yet they did not bow to the wishes of Nebuchadnezzar or any other king after him.
We’ve all heard of the story of Daniel in the lion’s den, and Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego being tossed into the fiery furnace, and how God saved them a11. Without faith and HOPE in GOD, their stories would never have been told. They faced certain death, but had confidence God could rescue them. However, even if He didn’t, they still had Hope for a better life with Him.
Because of the sacrifice of our LORD and SAVIOR, we as gentiles have HOPE. Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 tell us ALL who call on the name of the Lord WILL BE saved! There is no “except for” statement there! Romans 5:8 tells that GOD saved us even though we were yet sinners. Going on the verse 9, we’re told we will be kept from the wrath if we accept that gift. We’re also told of being spared from the wrath in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9, and there are other verses, but these are the main ones. Unlike Abraham with Isaac; Joseph; Daniel; Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego, God did not spare His Son, but allowed Him to die as the only perfect sacrifice that could ever be.
Don’t think for a minute GOD has forgotten us or is slow about sending JESUS. 2 Peter 3: 9-10 tells us He’s patient and is waiting for as many as will to come to HIM. The day will come though, when HE will say, “SON, bring your CHURCH home!” I am one who is just as guilty as anyone waiting for the Lord and wondering what’s taking so long especially with all the evil and “in-your-face God” activities taking place today.
I can tell you with certainty this world has at least 7 years to go as stated in Daniel and Revelation. The final 7 years will be known as the Tribulation, with the last 3½ years of that being the Great Tribulation, but the saved will be spared from that terrible period as promised in the verses I’ve given you. I don’t know when that 7 years will start, but it could be at any moment. I believe that very soon we will hear the trumpet/shofar, and the call from the Arc Angel to join Jesus in the clouds.
In the next section, I intend to discuss the Rapture in more detail, and provide numerous verses about the Rapture and 2nd. Coming.