Any moment the rapture of the Church could happen, for it is written by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
The word "rapture" is a term not found in scripture but is meant to define what being "caught up" is. The primary purpose of the event is to provide a safe haven for believers in Christ and be rewarded for their faith. In other words, the planet Earth will be under great turmoil and unbelief about Christ and the Church which represents him. This is not the usual conflict of wars between men but the visitation of God Himself in Christ that all men may see and come to know His reality and His preference.
The actual physical manifestation of the event is further dramatized by a mystery which Paul declares in 1Corinthians 15: 51-55 "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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
These two biblical statements are the strongest in support of the rapture. It is a mystery doctrine simply because no time is given of it's occurrence. It is also a doctrine of a supernatural phenomenon reflecting God's gift to believers in Christ at that time. And while no day or date is given we ought to marvel at the power of God's word to create and sustain hope in the return of Christ that has refused to fade away. For such a doctrine which demonstrates incredible power by God on a level the human mind can hardly grasp will also be an awakening. It will be those left behind as witnesses of such an event that will be made to see at last the awesome power of God at work.
Clearly I do not see the rapture going unnoticed. Though they did not believe by faith, many will now be willing to live and die in Jesus name based on fact. God will be declaring the literal intent of His Word. There will be no allegorizing and spiritualizing of God's word to the every changing interpretations of men. The event will cast down all the false religions and raise up the power of the Bible to be exactly what it is. It is the inerrant Word of Truth. God will be demonstrating himself and thus magnifying His Word before all the earth and it will be to His glory. Much can be said about the impact of the rapture but let us move on.
Our knowing a day isn't important but scripture warns us to watch and know the season. For there is a sign that is given to us that indicates the probable nearness of it's happening. Apostle Paul after speaking the words "we that are alive and remain shall be caught up" to be with the Lord doesn't end there. In 1 Thess 5:1-6 Paul continues with "But of the times and the seasons, ye have no need that I write unto you..for the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. For when they say Peace and Safety then sudden destruction shall come upon them....but don't let that day overtake you as a thief...be as children in the light..be watchful and be sober...not slumbering...etc" (I highlighted the key parts of this section).
Sometimes the numbering of chapter and verses can interfere with the flow of the writers message. The original letters did not have numbers. Paul continues to address the event of the rapture. His reference to "peace and safety" is giving to us a sign to be watchful of. He calls the time a season to mindful of for which the event is most likely to occur. What is going on in the Middle East with Israel to this very day? Here is another role where Israel plays a central part in the prophetic landscape. There has been what seems like a never ending effort in peace negotiations since Israel was restored as a nation in 1948. While there has been a few peace deals with some of the Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan and perhaps a few others, none has met the "seven year" criteria that is to bring a universal peace among all the Arab nations.
Many of the Arab nations have staunchly refused a peace agreement with Israel and Syria has been it's most defiant. It is the term of conditions that present the problem particularly with the city Jerusalem. They simply can't agree....yet. Include also the fact that a policy of annihilation exist even within some of the Arab's nations constitutional decrees surely don't help. Clearly this peace agreement when it is finally achieved, and it will because the scripture states it, will create elation around the world and think themselves better than God.
The world will be in jubilation over the success but Christians will be alarmed because of biblical prophecy fulfillment. This success will be recognized far beyond the borders of the Arab nations but will be solidified with a worldwide stamp of approval. In reality, the problem isn't Islam, but from a biblical perspective it's unbelieving Gentiles around the world in defiance of biblical perspective. Perhaps, the Church won't be here to see the actual signing. However, I am only saying that as the discussion heats up in the Middle East peace negotiations and the potential of it's success becomes a reality, look up because our redemption do in fact draw near!
Ultimately, it will be a peace settlement that will collapse because of it being a false peace, probably built upon a false concept of who God is or is not! It will probably be evident that the peace terms contradict with basic tenets of the Bible as we have known it since it inception. Then both Jew and Gentile will be demonstrating their unbelief in their Creator through a formal statement published before the throne of Heaven from Earth! Such will indeed require a response from the True God and so a sign is given but not a day.
That's as far as I go with knowing when the rapture will occur because that's as far as scripture goes. The Apostle Paul is giving us a sign that only the Holy Spirit could reveal. Let us not ignore the sign we do have before us. It is time to make the Bride ready with expectation by getting the house of the Lord in order. There seems to be too many saints sleeping. Which I think infers a person's heart being in doubt of the reality of Christ coming though one may go to church every Sunday. How sad to be so close to receiving the promise of God. So many in the churches across America are consumed with "programs and goals" that adds nothing to the great expectation of their Lord.
Therefore, it is important for us to interpret the sign in accordance with scripture and not in accordance with world view. No man knows the day but when they say peace and safety know that our Lord is even in the clouds. For as the terms and conditions become defined and is set to be signed. The decree or covenant will be declared as the foreknowledge of our God is at work. God wants his Church to be ready for the promise of His peace and His safety by the sounding at last of the Trumpet of Departure such is the earnest expectation and the blessed hope in Christ our savior in the truest sense of the word.
Gregory A Booker @ copyright 2012
"Inspired Writings of a Prophet for Jesus the Christ" was released in 2012 and has a press release at link http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9173531.htm
God is looking for a few good watchmen to stand at the gates from the walls of Jerusalem and declare a few things by His Word.
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