Before I dive into the Scripture, I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m not here to debate the timing of the Rapture of the Church. I believe the Word of God plainly teaches His Church will be raptured before the Great Tribulation. I do not believe in mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture but this is not a matter of Salvation…so let the reader believe what they wish. However, I do ask you to consider these questions, if the Church is to be ‘purified’ during the Great Tribulation, because the Word of God does say that Jesus will come back for a Church without spot or wrinkle then:
- Is the Blood of Christ Jesus not sufficient to purify His People? What then did Jesus go to Calvary’s Cross?
- If it is going to take going through the Great Tribulation, what then happens to Believers who have died since Jesus’ Finished Work on Calvary’s Cross to Save whosoever will believe?
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.” John 3:16
Was that a lie? God forbid no!
If you are a professing Christian who does not believe in the Rapture of the Church then you need to get Saved…and I don’t say that lightly. The word ‘rapture’ simply means to be ‘carried away’ and is another term we Believers use regarding the Resurrection. If you don’t belief in the Resurrection, then you don’t believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the very foundation of Christianity. It is proof of life after death for whosoever will accept the finished work of Jesus’ Death, the Sacrifice of His Body, as their payment in full for sin and that three days later He was Resurrected out of that borrowed tomb as proof that every sin was atoned. Knowing Who Jesus is (God manifest in the flesh, Who came to die on Calvary’s Cross to pay sin’s penalty of death for whosoever will believe [Romans 6:23], we have no doubt as to His glorious Resurrection). Jesus walked this earth for 40 days after His Resurrection showing many miracles, signs and wonders which all edified God and His Word. He has ascended unto Heaven (Luke 24:51) and now sits at the Right Hand of the Throne of God where He, through His very presence, makes constant intercession for us who believe. At Salvation we are IN Christ Jesus, Baptized into His Death, where sin’s penalty was paid and it’s power broken. The Believer is not longer bound by sin but afforded the ability to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Being planted together in His physical death, we shall also be planted together in His Resurrection.
“4 Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism into Death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His Death, we shall be also in the likeness of His Resurrection:” Romans 6:3-5
Being planted together in Christ’s Resurrection this side of glory, in this mortal coil that we now occupy until He comes, sin no longer has dominion over us if our faith remains focused on Jesus as the Source and His Cross (His Death) the means by which sin’s dominion remains under our feet. When our focus turns to our own will power, abilities, intellect, etc., the Holy Spirit is not commissioned to superintend the Work of God in our hearts and sin’s dominion can quickly regain it’s throne.
The action of sin that we see is the result, not the cause, of sin’s dominion. When we see ourselves being overtaken by sin, our faith has been moved from the finished work of Christ Jesus to another method. The focus of the prodigal son was not his father but his father’s promises. When his heart turned from his father and to his promises, he found himself slipping further and further into sin and it took him eating with the swine before his heart returned to it’s rightful place. Don’t let your heart mislead you friend. It is deceitful and wicked. Recognize these actions of sin in our lives as warnings of our heart’s true condition, repent and ask the Lord for deliverance from whatever pit you may find yourself in. He is faithful and true and will bring you out from the miry clay and once again set your feet on solid ground.
From glory to glory we are changed into the image of Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18) for HIS Glory and not our own. We are all appointed a time to die unless the Lord comes to take His Church home, aka the ‘Rapture’, and until then we occupy these mortal coils until He comes. This flesh decays; it grows weary and will return to dust but our soul and spirit goes immediately to be with the Lord if we are Saved (2 Corinthians 5:8) and to hell if they die unbelieving. The story of Lazarus and the rich man plainly shows us our spirit is fully and eternally conscious of our condition once we die (Luke 16:19-31). To be sure, once the gates of hell close on the unbeliever, their’s is a conscious eternity in the Lake of Fire. Purgatory is a lie straight from the pits of hell and has led many into it’s gates.
“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
15 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.
16 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:
17 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.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
This ‘Resurrected Life’ of which we now live in this mortal coil is but a mere glimpse of what Jesus has in store for His Children; corruption has not yet put on incorruption. Jesus has gone before us and has created a place for us. He will come again, in the clouds with a SHOUT that will wake the dead, and those mortal coils of believing Saints who have gone before us will RISE UP, glorified; without corruption and those who believe and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord!!
“Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
THIS is our hope!! Jesus Christ! He came to die on Calvary’s Cross to reconcile us unto God that we may live forever more with the One Who Saved us; the One Who is sitting at the Right Hand of the Throne of God and we will behold the Face of Him Who first loved us!
He would not have us be ignorant Brethren concerning Believers which have gone before us as the lost who have no hope. Their spirits are with the Lord right now and one day soon and very soon their glorified bodies are going to rise up out of that grave!
Today is the day of Salvation…you don’t want to be left behind in the Great Tribulation. No man knows the day or the hour that Jesus will come for His Children. There are no Bible prophecies which must take place before the Rapture. It could be today. As a young child I believed there were ‘things’ that had to happen before the Rapture and that I would have some type of ‘warning’. Well I did, and so do you, it’s between Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.
As that rich man begs to this day for a drop of water, he cried out to be able to come back and warn his family.
“28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:28-31
Today is the day of Salvation my friend. The only thing a Believer can take with them is souls. Sadly there are many in hell today crying out to be able to come warn their family of the devil’s hell being a real place of torment. Just as real as Heaven is, so too is hell.
Have you believed? Jesus is coming soon!
-Donna Clark Warren