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Waiting for the Rapture

Waiting for the Rapture
By Nathele Graham

If you’re like me, you yearn for the rapture. All the signs point to the fact that it won’t be long until all Christians are called Home and we’ll see Jesus face to face. That thought gives me a thrill. Even though my mind is always on my Heavenly Home, it’s important that I don’t forget to do all I can for Jesus while I’m waiting for the rapture. Every Christian needs to be about our Father’s business while we can. We need to witness to the lost and plant the seeds of redemption. Unfortunately, many things hinder our service to the King of kings. Christians are to be a light that shines in the darkness, but too many who call themselves Christians embrace the darkness. There are many temptations to sin and many things get in the way of living a life that reflects Christ. Instead of a closer walk with Jesus, it’s easy to find ourselves walking in the world. Even the strongest Christian has trouble walking in our Savior’s footsteps. “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.” Titus 2:11-14. Jesus Christ gave His life for you, and the “peculiar people” are those who have accepted Him. We aren’t like the world. We follow Christ and our lives need to reflect that fact. Our gratitude for what He did should spill over into every area of our life, and include a deep study of Scripture. If you follow prophecy, you’ll understand just how close we are to the rapture. While we wait for that blessed event, we have work to do. People around us need to hear the Gospel message before it’s too late.

Right now, we live in a lost and dying world. Sin is all around us and we’re used to being in the midst of it. Non-believers are more open about their rejection of Jesus and it can be intimidating to share our faith. Even many Christians are more interested in worldly pursuits rather than being set apart for Christ…a “peculiar people”. They listen to secular music that promotes every sin imaginable, rap music that’s filled with hatred and vulgarity, movies that are violent and casual sexual encounters are the norm, video games that are filled with violence, football on Sunday is more important than fellowship with fellow Christians, and on it goes. If these things fill your time, then you need to take a look at your faith. Every Christian needs to take up the cross and follow Jesus…crucify self and become a living sacrifice for Christ. “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. The rapture is near, and while we wait for it, why not get to know Jesus better. Turn off the TV and study Scripture. Compare your choices in life to the example seen in Jesus. Make changes where you need to in order to be more like Him. Look at the Apostles. Peter was quite a character who made some rash statements and had some major failures. When he totally gave his life to Christ, he was drastically changed. We all need to be like Peter and let the Holy Spirit draw us nearer to God

While waiting for the rapture we need to be about our Father’s business. You don’t have to stand on a street corner yelling “Repent for the end is near!” Instead, you might start by honoring God in all you do. Study His word and apply it to your life. “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16. King James English is a bit different than modern English, and the word “conversation” means much more than how you talk. It’s translated from the Greek word anastrophe which means your “manner of life, conduct, behaviour, deportment”. Conform your life to Christ, not to the world. For instance, when you’re at work and the gossip starts, don’t join in. If some off-color jokes are told around the water cooler, walk away. People will notice and you just might have the chance to share your testimony. The rapture is near and if you have a chance to witness to friends and family, now is the time to do it. You might ask a co-worker to join you in a Bible study or go with you to a worship service. There are many people who need to hear the Gospel before it’s too late.

The pre-tribulation rapture isn’t a new idea. Some would have us believe that this teaching only came about in the 1800’s, but the first example of the pre-tribulation rapture is found in the Book of Genesis. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24. Enoch was “taken” prior to the judgment of the flood. This is also spoken of in the Book of Hebrews “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had his testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5. Enoch’s faith and way of living kept him from facing God’s judgment. Christians will be taken prior to God’s judgment when His wrath is poured out upon all who are left on earth after the rapture. Lot is another example. He had to be taken out of the way before God’s judgment was poured out upon Sodom and Gomorrah. There are other hints to a pre-tribulation rapture in Zephaniah “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” Zephaniah 2:1-3. The “day of the LORD’S anger” is the Tribulation. Isaiah also spoke of the pre-tribulation rapture “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Isaiah 26:19-21. The seven years of the Tribulation is for the purpose of Israel finally recognizing Jesus Christ as their Messiah. If you’ve accepted Christ for salvation, you won’t be on earth for that final seven-year period. We don’t know the date of the rapture, but we can see the signs. While waiting for the rapture, study Scripture. There’s a lot of fear in the world today, and if you study prophecy you can have answers to the questions that people have about what’s happening. You just might win a soul for Christ.

The Apostle Paul taught about the pre-tribulation rapture in his letters written to believers in Thessalonica and Corinth. He makes it clear that Christians won’t be here for God’s wrath. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10. Jesus took our punishment upon Himself. He died for us and even though we face many trials and tribulations in life, we won’t face God’s final wrath. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. Sleep, of course, refers to death. We won’t all face death. Those Christians who have died before the rapture will be raised first, and those who are still alive when that call comes for us to go Home will be instantly changed from this mortal body to our immortal life with Christ. Like everyone who yearns for the rapture, I’m getting excited by the events of the times in which we live. Like birth pains that come closer together and become more intense, the signs are coming faster and stronger. It won’t be much longer.

If you’re waiting for the Rapture and wonder why it hasn’t happened yet, maybe you can help it along. You can do your part by honoring Jesus’ command to spread the Gospel. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. That wasn’t a suggestion, but a command. Jesus spoke these words just moments before He was received into Heaven. There’s still time for people to make the decision to put their faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. He is the only way to eternal life. Scripture teaches that there will be one last Gentile to be saved before the rapture. After that, God will turn His attention back to the salvation of Israel. “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. God has never forgotten His chosen people of Israel, but when they rejected their Messiah and crucified Him, there was blindness that came upon them as a nation. There have been many Jewish people who have come to faith in Jesus, but not a national faith. Since Christ’s crucifixion, many Gentiles have come to faith and there will be one last Gentile to give their life to Jesus and then the ekklesia (Christians) will be called Home. That’s why we need to share the Gospel with everyone. While we’re waiting for the rapture, study Scripture. Have an answer to questions people have. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15. Only Christians have hope in these trying times. Study God’s word to fully understand that hope.

I’m ready to see that door open and be called Home. “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. While I’m waiting for the rapture, though, I’m living for Christ. I’m trying to encourage Christians and to lead people to salvation. What are you doing?

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham
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All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

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