The rapture of the true saints
The word “rapture” is not in the scripture. It is a Latin word that connotes ‘catching away’ or ‘caught up’ (1 Thess. 4:17). Rapture simply means catching away of saints to meet the Lord in the air. The saints here consist of the living saints and those who slept in the Lord. After rapture, the next event in God’s programme is the Great Tribulation, which precedes rapture. It is going to be a horrible period of torment for those who bow to the pressure of anti-Christ. Great Tribulation, undoubtedly, will be a terrible period for sinners. The fierceness of that time will make it difficult for any mortal man to survive.
Obviously, there will be Great Tribulation Saints. They are those who will endure the torture of the anti-Christ and his cohorts. But, it will be very difficult for any man, especially the Gentile world to endure the torments and sufferings that will herald the period. Great Tribulation is actually for the nation of Israel who forsook the Lord. It is a period the Lord has reserved for their salvation. The Lord will at this time remember His covenant with the Israelites. Great Tribulation will last for a period of seven years after rapture. The anti-Christ will show up to unify the world into false peace after rapture, but in the midst of it, destruction will ensue.
Rapture is not hidden in the scripture. Both the Prophets of old and Jesus Christ spoke much about it. Daniel prophesied it when he spoke about the 70 weeks. There had been fulfilment of the 69 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy. The events predicted during these period had come to pass. The remaining one week will usher in rapture. The church has been on the last week of Daniel’s prophecy, which ostensibly is a period of grace. In the midst of the one week, the Lord will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. This typified rapture. When Jesus Christ was on earth, He told His disciples about the destruction of the temple in Matthew 24:1-2, 15 and this prediction came to pass. This clearly shows the certainty of rapture.
Rapture is for true saints, who have repented from their sins. It is for those who promote God’s interest and righteousness. It is not for sinners. For anyone to qualify for rapture, he/she must be born again because that is what gives entrance to the Kingdom of God. One must be very sure of his salvation without any iota of doubt. Rapture will not announce the time or the moment it will take place. There will be no room for repentance or restitution during rapture. There will be no time for backsliders to come back to God to make amends. The right time is now!
Moreover, rapture is not for religious people. It is not for churchgoers or careless believers. Rapture is for a selected few, who are always ready. It is for those who are spiritually alert and alive. It is not for Christians who sleep and slumber spiritually. The slightest sin in one’s life can disqualify an individual from the great day of rapture.
The message of rapture is a soothing message. It is meant to comfort saints and keep them in view of the glory ahead. It is for a waiting church that is alive and fervent in the Lord. The message further strengthens the faith and hope of saints that even at death, they are sure of being raptured on the last day. It signals to believers that their waiting is not in vain.
Ordinarily, believers should not weep unnecessarily when a saint passes on. There is hope of uniting together with brethren that are asleep in the Lord. A believer does not die but sleeps in the Lord. On the last day, when the trumpet shall sound, believers who slept in the Lord shall rise again to meet the Lord in the air.
In view of the above reality, a believer should endure whatever comes his way: persecution, hardship or suffering should not distract a child of God from his focus and resolve for God. It shall soon be over; be focused; be alert and be ready for rapture.
For further reading: Matt. 24:15, 23:37-39; 24:1-2, Isaiah 13:6-11; 34:3-8; Ezekiel 32:3-10; Rev. 6:12-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:15-16; Eph. 2:5; 1Thess. 5:7-9; Rev. 11:12; Rom. 8:33-39; Heb. 13: 5-6; Phil. 4:5.
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