Ten qualifications for the rapture – Part 5
“Be Blessed and Holy” Cont.
(3) Holiness was Christ’s purpose for His people, when He gave Himself up for them on the cross (Eph 5:25-27).
(4) Holiness is God’s purpose in making us a new creation and in giving us the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:2-15; Gal 5:16-25; Eph 2:10).
(5) Without holiness, no one can be useful to God (2Tim 2:20-21).
(6) Without holiness, there is no nearness to or fellowship with God (Ps 15:1-2).
(7) Without holiness, no one will see the Lord (v. 14; Mat 5:8; see article on Sanctification).
The readers were familiar with the ceremonial cleansing ritual that prepared them for worship, and they knew that they had to be holy or clean to enter the temple. Sin always blocks our vision of God. So, if we want to see God, we must renounce sin and obey Him (see Psalm 24:3,4). Holiness is coupled with living in peace. A right relationship with God leads to right relationships with fellow believers. Although, we will not always feel loving toward all other believers, we must pursue peace as we become more Christlike.
“Be Good” (Jn 5:28-29)
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice29 and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (Jn 5:28,29), “they that have done good.”
According to scripture, judgment is always upon the basis of deeds, because one’s deeds are a manifestation of his or her faith and inner condition. This means that we will be judged not by our profession of faith in Christ, but by the life we have lived (Mat 12:36-37; 16:27; Rom 2:6-10; 14:12; 1Cor 3:13-15; 2Cor 5:10; Eph 6:8; Col 3:25; Rev 2:23; 20:12; 22:12). Those who have rebelled against Christ will be resurrected too, but to hear God’s judgment against them and to be sentenced to eternity apart from Him. There are those who wish to live well on earth, ignore God, and then see death as final rest. Jesus does not allow unbelieving people to see death as the end of it all. There is a judgment to face.
“Be Worthy” (Luke 21:36)
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36), “escape all these things.”
Followers of Christ must be on the watch against sin and pray that their love for Christ will not diminish, so that they might receive strength to persevere in faith and righteousness in Jesus Christ. Only by such perseverance will they be able to ‘escape’ all the terrible things coming upon the world on the last days (see 1Thes 1:10; Rev 3; 10; see article on The Great Tribulation). Many believe that the means of ‘escape’ for those who faithfully keep on praying is the Rapture (see John 14:3; article on The Rapture).
Only days after telling the disciples to pray that they might escape persecution, Jesus Himself asked God to spare Him the agonies of the cross, if that was God’s Will (22:41,42). It is abnormal to want to suffer, but as Jesus’ followers were willing to suffer if by doing so, we can help build God’s Kingdom. We have two wonderful promises to help us as we suffer: God will always be with us (Matthew 28:20), and He will one day rescue and give us eternal life (Rev 21:1-4).
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