THE DAY OF THE LORD- THE END OF MAN’S RULE ON EARTH
The Bible speaks of the end of man’s rule on earth, and the coming day of the kingdom of God under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. One can easily see that the world we live in is literally falling apart. An excellent point is the once great America is now under great financial and economic distress, bankrupt ready to collapse. The other economic superpowers China and Japan are also facing similar problems themselves, and the Eurozone countries are not doing much better. For 6000 years since Adam, because of gross corruption and wickedness, man has proven incapable of ruling over himself and his fellowmen! Thus, the end of man’s gov’t will herald in the beginning of the God’s kingdom on earth.
To understand what will happen, we need to know what the Bible says about the coming Day of the Lord! However, whenever the Bible mentions ‘The Day’ or ‘That Day’, it is often describing one of two main events in God’s calendar, so we need to distinguish which one is which. It could be referring to the Day of the Rapture of the Saints– the Secret Coming of Jesus Christ or the Day of God’s Wrath– the Public Coming of Jesus Christ. Proper understanding of ‘What’s In a Day?’ in God’s timetable will guide us on how to live, and how to be prepared for that Day! If not, many will be LEFT BEHIND to face the coming dire Great Tribulation, and even death!
THE DAY OF THE LORD! WHAT’S IN A DAY?
The term ‘Day of the LORD’ is found 29 times in the Bible. It often refers to the Great Tribulation in the Endtimes prior to the return of Jesus Christ. It is described as the Day of God’s Destruction and Wrath Job21:30. It is the Day of the LORD’s Fierce Anger Is13:13, and Vengeance Is34:8. It is a Day of Darkness Am5:20; ‘the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD’ Joe2:31. ‘That Day is a Day of Wrath, a Day of Trouble and Distress, a Day of Wasteness and Desolation, a Day of Darkness and Gloominess, a Day of Clouds and Thick Darkness’ Zeph1:15. However, the Day of the LORD is also used to describe the Day of the Rapture 1Th4:16,17, the Day of Escape and Salvation Heb2:3, the Day of Redemption Ep4:30, the Day of our Reward Lk6:23, Re22:12, and the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1Co1:18, ‘the Perfect Day’ Pr4:18.
THE RAPTURE DESCRIBES A FORTHCOMING BIBLICAL EVENT
The word Rapture is Not Found in the Bible, but is used to describe a forthcoming significant event. Like the Rapture, there are many other terms that are not found in the Bible such as Trinity, Sunday School, spiritual warfare, denominations, seminary, and even the word Bible, but are accepted and understood. The word Rapture is commonly used to describe an ESCAPE from the coming Great Tribulation Lk21:36, Heb2:3, Mt24:21. Rapture comes from the Latin word ‘Rapiemur’, which means ‘to be snatched up’, ‘to be raised up’, ‘to be taken up’, ‘to be seized’, ‘to be CAUGHT UP in the AIR’, ‘to be translated into HEAVEN’ such as Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus were in time past! Paul said ‘By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was NOT FOUND, because God had translated him..’ Heb11:5. God took Enoch Ge5:24, Elijah 2Ki2:1,and Jesus Ac1:10, alive into HEAVEN as examples of the forthcoming Rapture that will happen in the endtimes!
Before Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions.. I go to prepare a place for you.. I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:1-3. Jesus promised to take us to where He is, to HEAVEN, in the Rapture. Paul said ‘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’ 1Th4:16-18. Sadly, there are many who don’t comfort others with these words, don’t warn of the Lord’s soon coming, and don’t believe in, but speak against the Rapture, and often contradict the Word of God!
Jesus repeatedly warned us to ‘Watch and Pray’ so that we wouldn’t miss out on the day of His coming for us Jn14:3, the Day of Visitation 1Pe2:12. Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. Watch what? Pray for what? Be worthy to ESCAPE what? What things shall come to pass? Stand before whom? Here Jesus was exhorting us to be ready for His return by being found worthy to ESCAPE the great distress of nations, with perplexity and great fear coming upon the earth Lk21:25-26. We shall then stand before Jesus, ‘which delivered us from the wrath to come’ 1Th1:10.
Jesus said ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the Day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh’ Mt25:13. The Day Jesus told us to ‘Watch and Pray’ for is the Day of His Appearing 2Ti4:8, 1Pe5:4, the Day of the Rapture of the Saints 1Th4:16,17, the Day of Our Reward Re22:12. It is the approaching Day of His coming for us Heb10:25. Hosea said ‘After two days will he revive us: in the 3rd Day he will raise us up, and WE shall live in his sight’ Hos6:2; the 3rd Day being 2000 years after Christ, when He will Raise us up. Pr4:18 states ‘..the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the Perfect Day’. The Day of the Rapture is the Perfect Day when WE will be glorified in Jesus 2Th1:10. John said ‘..WE know that, when he shall appear, WE shall be like Him; for WE shall see Him as he is’ 1Jn3:2.
JESUS SECRET COMING vs JESUS PUBLIC RETURN- TWO DISTINCT COMINGS
In the New Testament, the Day of the Lord is used 5 times to refer to the return of Jesus Christ to earth. The fact that Jesus will bring either Reward Mt16:27, Re22:12, or Judgment, logically speaks of two different Comings. The Secret Coming of Jesus is when only those looking for Him and are ready, will See Him, and ‘be CAUGHT UP.. to meet the Lord in the AIR’ 1Th4:16,17. Jesus said ‘Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for they shall See God’ Mt5:8. John wrote ‘..when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall See Him as He is.. every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is Pure’ 1Jn3:2,3. Only the Pure in heart shall See God. Without Holiness, no man shall See the Lord Heb12:14.
The Day of Jesus Secret Coming will be the Day of ESCAPE from the Great Tribulation Lk21:36, Heb2:3. Jesus said ‘..behold, I come quickly; and my Reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be’ Re22:12. David asked ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a Pure Heart..’ Ps24:3,4.
The Day of Jesus Public Return will be at the end of the Great Tribulation, ‘when Every Eye shall See Him.. and all kindred.. shall wail’ Re1:7. For those not looking or unprepared for Jesus return and missing ‘..the Blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ’ Tit2:13, they will not be taken in the Rapture, but go through the Great Tribulation– the worst period ever in mankind’s history ‘such as never was or ever will be’ Mt24:21. It will be a terrible, horrific, painful, miserable, and most fearful time in history. Jesus said ‘..except the days should before shortened, there should no flesh shall be saved..’ Mt24:22.
THE DAY OF JESUS SECRET COMING– ONLY FOR THOSE LOOKING AND READY
The Day of Jesus Secret Coming will be a surprise to most people for He will come as a thief in the night 1Th5:2, secretly and swiftly. Jesus said two would be in the field and one taken; two women grinding at the mill and one taken Mt24:40,41; two in bed and one taken Lk17:34. Jesus told us ‘But of that Day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels, but my Father only’ Mt24:36. ‘That Day’ is the Secret Coming of Jesus; it will be a surprise for no man knows when. What is our Hope? It is to be ‘in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Coming’ 1Th2:19. This is called ‘the Blessed Hope’ Tit2:13.
Paul said ‘For God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. But we must be blameless on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ 1Co1:8. Paul wrote God ‘..which hath begun a good work in you shall perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ’ Php1:6. Jesus promised to raise us up at the Last Day. Jesus said ‘..every one which Seeth the Son, and believeth on him.. I will Raise him up at the Last Day’ Jn6:40. For those ready, the Last Day will be the Day of the Rapture– the Day of Jesus Secret Coming! Ep4:30 states ‘..grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby, we are sealed unto the Day of Redemption’. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of Jesus Secret Coming. It is the Day of Redemption!
THE DAY OF JESUS PUBLIC RETURN– EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM AND WAIL
The Bible tells of the Day of Jesus Public Return ‘when EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM’ Re1:7. Jesus will then return ‘after the tribulation of those days.. with power and great glory’ Mt24:29,30. Jesus shall ‘..gather His Elect together from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other’ v31. Notice here that His Elect shall be gathered together from HEAVEN. They were already raptured to HEAVEN, and will be returning with Jesus to Earth. Jude 14 states ‘..Behold, the Lord cometh WITH ten thousands of his saints’.
That Day of the Lord will be the Day of the Wrath of the Lamb Re6:16,17; the Day of His Fierce Anger Is13:13. Peter said it is the Day of Judgment 2Pe3:7; the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, when the heavens and the earth will pass away with a great noise and in fervent heat 2Pe3:10. On the Day of Jesus Public Return, no one needs to watch for EVERY EYE shall see Him, and they shall mourn and wail because of Him. Jesus will come to judge all on the earth Jn5:22, Ps96:13. The Day of the Lord will be a Day of Destruction and Desolation, great and terrible; a dreadful Day Mal4:5; the Day of Vengeance of our God Is61:2,63:4. It is the Day of the LORD’s Wrath and Anger Zep1:18, 2:3. Nothing will be secret about this coming Day, for EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM and WAIL Re1:7!
THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE– BREAKING OUR APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH
While the Bible states ‘.. it is appointed unto men once to die..’ Heb9:27, the Day of the Rapture will be a very special day when faithful believers will break their Appointment With Death! Ps79:11 states God has the power to ‘.. preserve thou those that are appointed to die’ and Ps102:20, ‘to loose those that are appointed to death’. Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever Liveth and Believeth in Me Shall Never Die. Believest thou this?’ Jn11:25,26. A parallel scripture, 1Th4:16-18 state ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from HEAVEN with a shout.. 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. Clearly we see that Jesus will come down from HEAVEN to take those living, along with the dead ‘in Christ’, up to HEAVEN.
In Jn11:26, Jesus asked do we really believe this, and in 1Th4:18, Paul said we need to encourage one another with the words that Jesus is coming for us in the Rapture. Paul said that ‘..God hath not Appointed us to wrath, but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. Paul states that we have an Appointment with Jesus, not to die, but be taken alive to HEAVEN. The apostle John said if we have this hope in Jesus to be like Him, we must purify ourselves, even as He is pure 1Jn3:3. Thus, we have a Divine Appointment with Jesus on the Day of the Rapture– to meet Him in the AIR; never to die, but to be with Him forever! Faith is all about believing what God said He will do! NO FAITH, NO RAPTURE!
THE DAY OF OUR CHANGE, THE DAY OF REDEMPTION
Both King David and righteous Job referred to a Day of being CHANGED, that is to have a Glorified Body like Jesus. David looked forward to being crowned with glory and honour Ps8:3.He said ‘As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy LIKENESS’ Ps17:15. Likewise, Job also alluded to becoming like Jesus. He said ‘If a man die, shall he live again? all the Days of my Appointed time will I wait, till my CHANGE come’ Job14:14. The apostle Paul said we ‘have the firstfruits of the Spirit.. waiting for the adoption, to wit, the Redemption of Our Body’ Ro8:26. Jesus said ‘And when these things Begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your Redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of the Redemption of Our Body!
The Day of Redemption relates to the Day of Our Bodily Change, when our bodies will be redeemed fully from corruption into immortality. Paul wrote ‘Behold, I shew you a Mystery; We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be CHANGED, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.. 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.. 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?’ 1Co15:51-55. Paul said ‘..by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men..’Ro8:12; but also ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death’ 1Co15:26. On the Day of the Rapture, we will receive an Incorruptible, Immortal, and Glorified body just like Jesus Christ. We will BE CHANGED ‘to be conformed into His Image’ Ro8:29!
THE DAY OF THE LORD- THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE vs THE DAY OF GOD’S WRATH
In summary, when speaking of the Day of the Lord, the Bible speaks of two significant, but contrasting events in the Endtimes. The first event is the Day of the Rapture, and the other event is the Day of God’s Wrath. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Day of our Divine Appointment with God- our Escape, our Adoption, our Redemption, our Resurrection, our Reward, our CHANGE, our Immortality, and our Glorification. The Day of Judgment is the Day of God’s Wrath, God’s Vengeance, the Day of His Fierce Anger, the Day of Destruction, the Day of Darkness, the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD.
One can only prepare for the Day of the Rapture, but never for the Day of God’s Wrath and the Great Tribulation! Jesus repeatedly warned us to Watch, Pray, Be Ready, Be Pure, Be Holy, to Look for His return, in order to Escape the things which shall come to past in the Endtimes! If one does not believe in, or is not ready for the Rapture but is LEFT BEHIND, he will never be able to prepare for the atrocity that will occur during the Great Tribulation, a most terrible, horrendous, miserable, hopeless, painful, and grievous 42 months period of hell on earth Re13:5,7! Jesus said ‘..except those days be shortened, there should NO FLESH be saved..’ Mt24:22. This means if it were to continue, literally everyone would either die or be killed! There will be wars throughout the world, thermonuclear explosions, great natural disasters, famine, droughts, pestilence, and disease wiping out millions upon millions of people! Everyone would be helpless while living through it. Also if one does not have the FAITH to believe the words of the Lord, ‘I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that were I am, there you may be also’ Jn14:3, then for sure, there is no other ESCAPE, but to be LEFT BEHIND to suffer in the Great Tribulation!
Finally, on the Day of the Rapture- the Day of Jesus Secret Coming, Jesus is coming FOR HIS SAINTS in the AIR. On the Day of Jesus Public Return- His 2nd Coming, Jesus is coming WITH HIS SAINTS back to earth to rule and reign. Re19:14 states ‘..the armies which were in HEAVEN followed Jesus upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean’. Jude 14 tells ‘Behold, the Lord cometh WITH 10,000 of his Saints’. This is ‘What’s in a Day’. In the Holy Bible, THE DAY OF THE LORD describes Jesus coming back twice- the 1st time FOR HIS SAINTS, and the 2nd time WITH HIS SAINTS! AMEN!
Be Rapture Ready or Be Left Behind
A few years ago, Angelica Zambrano, a young Ecuadorean girl in her early twenties, posted her riveting account of seeing heaven and hell, and of the Rapture. It has been visited by millions of people worldwide (See BLOGROLL on right side bar below). It can also be found at http://spiritlessons.com/documents/Prepare_to_meet_your_God/index.htm . Angela said ‘Jesus is only coming back for a holy people, and many of God’s children will not be ready on that day, and will be left behind in a world that will fall apart‘.
How can we be Rapture Ready and not be Left Behind? The Bible, through Jesus Christ, is our roadmap to the Father. Jesus said ‘I am the way the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ Jn14:6.. ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’ Heb13:5. Jesus said ‘.. the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life’ Jn6:63. By following Jesus words, we will find eternal life.
How to Be ‘Rapture Ready’ and to Prepare for the Lord’s coming. Here are some guidelines:
Love God and His Word, Abide In Jesus– Be Filled, Be Led, and Be Sealed by the Holy Spirit.
We must love the Lord thy God Mt22:37,Lk10:27; love one another Jn13:34,35. Abide in Jesus and His Word in us Jn15:7. We must be ‘filled with the Spirit’ Ep5:18. We must be led by the Holy Spirit: ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God’ Ro8:14. We must be sealed by the Holy Spirit: ‘.. grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption’ Ep4:30. We must depend on the Spirit of Truth to teach and guide us Jn14:26,16:13. We must have fresh revelation from the Holy Spirit Jn16:13; to know what God is doing in these last days; ‘meat in due season’ Mt24:45. Paul wrote ‘But if the Spirit of (God) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, (God) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you’ Ro8:11. It is the Holy Spirit who will raise us to meet Jesus in the air 1Th4:17.
Watch and Pray
Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come’ Mt24:42. ‘Pray without ceasing’ 1Th5:17. Pray ‘in the Spirit’ Ep6:18. Pray in the Holy Ghost Jude20. ‘The Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered’ Ro8:26. ‘And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance’ Ac2:4. Jesus said ‘..they shall speak with new tongues’ Mk16:17. Paul said ‘I speak with tongues more than ye all’1Co14:18. Ask God for wisdom on how to be ready for His coming Jas1:5. Look for Jesus coming Ti2:13.
Know the Word of God- Have Faith in God
Faith is needed to please God He11:6. We must have faith in God Mk11:22. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God Ro10:17. Believe God and doubt not Mk11:23. We must know the Word to increase our faith Lk17:5. We must study the Word to be approved unto God. We must be able to rightly divide the Word of truth 2Ti2:15. We must live by ‘every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ Mt4:4. We must be sanctified by thy Word Jn17:17; be ‘sanctified and cleansed by the washing of the water by the Word’ Ep5:26. We must hide His Word in our hearts so as not to sin against God Ps119:11.
Know the many promises of God for protection, provisions and blessings Php4:19,Ps84:11. Know Psalm 91– the Psalm of protection from the devil- terror by night, arrow by day, pestilence, destruction and plagues; for long life and for salvation. Know Jesus, the Blessed Hope 1Tit2:13, and the power of his resurrection Php 3:10. Know who the Blessed are in the Beatitudes– the poor in spirit; they that mourn; the meek; they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness; the merciful; the pure in heart; the peacemakers; the persecuted and those persecuted for Jesus’ sake Mt5:3-16.
Repent- Be Pure and Holy
Repent and believe the gospel Mk1:15. ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord’ Ac3:19. Ask God to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness 1Jn1:9. Forgive one another Mt6:12. Confess our faults Jas5:16. Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God Mi6:8. We must be ‘.. in Christ, a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ 2Co5:17. We must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus; lose our lives for His sake Mt16:24,25.
‘Purify ourselves’ 1Jn3:3. Only the pure in heart shall see God Mt5:8, and be like Jesus 1Jn3:2. Ti2:13,14 tell us ‘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’. ‘Be ye holy; for I am holy’ 1Pe1:16. Paul wrote ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ Heb12:14. God has called us unto holiness 1Th4:7. We must have clean hands and a pure heart Ps24:4; to walk up-rightly and work righteousness, and speak the truth Ps15:2.
Rejoice in the Lord Always and Praise the Lord
The joy of the Lord is our strength Ne8:10. Rejoice in the Lord always Php4:4. In God’s presence there is fulness of joy Ps16:11. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.. Serve the Lord with gladness Ps100:1,2. Give thanks unto the Lord Ps92:1. Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good Ps135:3,Ps150. In everything give thanks 1Th5:18. Offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually.. the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name Heb13:15. There is power and personal deliverance when we praise the Lord!
Know Your Spiritual Authority Over the Devil
The enemy of our souls is Satan Re12:9, but we can have spiritual authority over him. Paul wrote we ‘.. wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ Ep6:12. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour’ 1Pe5:8. Know the ‘weapons of our warfare’ 2Co10:4; the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony Re12:11; the name of the Jesus Christ Mk16:17, Co3:17; the Word of God 1Jn2:14; even our faith 1Jn5:4; ‘
‘Finally ..be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might’ Ep6:10. ‘Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil’ Ep6:11; Praying.. in the Spirit Ep6:18. Know our power over the enemy. Binding and loosening Mt16:19,18:18. Use the name of Jesus to cast out devils Mk16:17. Stand on the Word of God for ‘..greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world’ 1Jn4:4. God has given us the Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind 2Ti1:7. Jesus has given us power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy Lk10:19.
The Rapture Will Be An Elective One- Only You Alone Can Decide to be Taken Up
Who determines whether you will be taken in the Rapture or not? Like in accepting Jesus Christ to be saved, you alone must decide to be taken by making yourself ready as Jesus told us to do so! If you love the Lord’s appearing 2Ti4:8, are looking for that Blessed Hope Ti2:13, and for your redemption Lk21:28; if you are watching and praying to be accounted worthy to escape the coming evil Lk21:36; want to please God Heb11:5, have clean hands and a pure heart Ps24:4, are led by the Holy Spirit Ro8:14, seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness Mt6:33, are pure and holy Mt5:8,1Pe1:16, then Jesus will return to take you to heaven with Him Jn14:3.
If you want to participate in the Rapture, then you must prepare for it yourself! You must learn what the Bible says about the Rapture and how to be ready. If you do not want to be left behind, then you must make yourself ready. Thus the Rapture will be a very selective one! Only you alone can and will decide to be taken up in the Rapture or not!
Be Rapture Ready or Be Left Behind
Back in 1995, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins co-authored a New York Times best-seller book titled Left Behind, a Novel of the Earth’s Last Days, based upon their study of the Holy Bible and its references to the Rapture of ready believers, and of those Left Behind. The widely popular book then became a series of 16 books, known as the Left Behind Series relating to the subject of the Rapture. The last book in the series was Kingdom Come: the Final Victory published in 2007. All told, nearly 50 million books were purchased, and likely read by millions more.
As world events are heating up in the world- countries and governments are growing broke under huge unrepayable debts, worldwide economic instabilities, recent severe droughts in the US where nearly 50% of exports of the corn, wheat, and soybeans to the rest of the world come from, tension and a probable war looming in the Mideast with the threats of nuclear bombs being employed, and the likelihood of resulting sharply rising gasoline prices , an Armageddon syndrome pervades the minds of many people all over the world, and many are wondering if the end is near!
From the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus warned us that there will great tribulation such as the world never experienced, neither will it ever Mt24:21. Jesus said ‘.. be ye also ready; for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of man cometh’ Mt24:44, and ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. In both verses, Jesus was speaking of the Rapture!
The Case for Being Rapture Ready
We must be ready because Jesus is coming quickly, as ‘a thief in the night’ 1Th5:2. Jesus is coming only for those who are ready for Him; for a Church without spot or wrinkle Ep5:27; for a pure and holy people. Paul wrote God ‘shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Co1:8. Jesus said ‘.. behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be’ Re22:12. Heb9:28 tells ‘..unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation’. After the Rapture, Great Judgment and Tribulation will fall upon the earth Mt24:21.
Great anxiety, perplexities and suffering shall affect every living soul. Paul wrote before the Lord’s return, there will be a falling away of many church members into apostasy 2Th2:3-12. Jesus said ‘.. except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish’ Lk13:5; ‘.. except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved’ Mt24:22. ‘For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. Jesus will deliver us from the ‘wrath to come‘ 1Th1:10.
Without Jesus, there is no hope. Not to be ready, is to suffer in the forthcoming Great Tribulation. Those who left their first love, the fornicators and the lukewarm in Re2 and Re3 will not be ready, and will be Left Behind. While it is not certain when the Rapture will take place, we are told to watch for the signs and be ready for His coming.
In 1Th4:15-18, Paul wrote about the Rapture of both the dead and of the living. He said ‘.. 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.’ This is the Rapture of the saints at the time of Christ’s coming.
Jesus himself shall descend from heaven and cause the dead and the alive in Christ to arise, to be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, to ever be with Him. We are told to comfort one another with these words. All of this sounds very simple and clear. Jesus will return for His own, to take them to be with Him. Jesus said ‘.. if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:3. Jesus prayed ‘Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, BE WITH ME WHERE I AM..’ Jn17:24. Where is Jesus today? With the Father in heaven Ac1:11, Mk16:19!
Instead of comforting one another with these words, many pastors and leaders are not warning their congregation about the soon coming of the Lord and of the Rapture; not warning them to be ready. They give no comfort as they were told to do so. There is presently also a great denial that we are living in the last days and in the endtimes. Thus, many believers are duped and unprepared for the return of Jesus. We need to be ‘Rapture Ready’ or we will be ‘Left Behind’ when Jesus returns for his own as He had promised 2000 years ago.
The Rapture, Our Only Escape
God said ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee’ Hos4:6. Unless we have knowledge of the endtimes and are preparing for Jesus’ coming, we will be Left Behind in a very perverted Antichrist and anti-God system that is now subtly engulfing the world. Unless pastors and leaders prepare people for Jesus’ coming, many believers will be Left Behind including themselves. God is seeking a pure and holy people Tit2:13,14 to take them with Him to heaven in the Rapture.
Jesus said ‘..I will come again, and receive you unto myself’ Jn14:3. We must be ‘Rapture Ready’ in order to escape the wrath of God coming upon the earth 1Th1:10. Like the people in Noah’s days that perished in the flood, and the 5 foolish virgins who were not ready in Mt25:11, many believers will be left behind and perish because they were not prepared to escape, ‘the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience’ Co3:6.
The Rapture in itself is an Escape from the Great Tribulation coming upon the earth. Referring to the Rapture, Paul wrote ‘.. how shall we Escape, if we neglect so great salvation..’ Heb2:3. Paul also wrote ‘.. work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’ Php2:12b. Jesus said ‘when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28! Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to Escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. The Rapture is our only Escape from the terrible Great Tribulation coming upon the earth.
Signs of Jesus’ Coming
There are many signs written in the Bible heralding the soon coming of Jesus Christ to earth. They are found throughout the Bible, especially in Mt24, Mk13, and Lk21. Here are some important signs: 1. The rebirth of the nation Israel Is66:8, 2. The worldwide preaching of the gospel of the kingdom to all nations Mt 24:14, 3. Great earthquakes in divers places; famines, and pestilences; fearful sights and great signs from heaven Lk21:11, 4. Increasing immorality, corruption, and violence 2Pe2:6, 5. Many false prophets deceiving many believers Mt24:11; 6. Great apostasy in the churches 2Ti3:5, and a falling away of believers 2Th2:2-12, 7. Wars and rumors of war Mk13:7, 8. Distress of nations with perplexity Lk21:25, 9. The rise of the Antichrist in a New World Order– a one world gov’t, religion, society, economic and monetary system Re13:1-18, 10. Great tribulation such as the world has never known Mt24:21.
The first sign, Israel’s rebirth on May 14, 1948, has already past, and the remaining signs are either in progress or will soon be fulfilled. Other signs describe people in the last days as being very greedy, immoral, wicked, proud and arrogant; hedonists, homosexuals, and false worshippers 2Ti3:5. The book of Revelation gives many more endtime signs before Jesus returns. It speaks of the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse– of war, famine, death and destruction Re6:1-8, of worldwide pestilence and desolation. One third of the earth will be affected, and many killed Re8 and Re9. Today there are over 10 nations with nuclear weapons, so a nuclear war seems imminent.
Jesus said ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved’ Mt24:13. We must endure till the end to be to be saved from the terrible things coming upon the earth; to escape death and to take part in the Rapture of the saints. To be ‘Rapture Ready’ requires revelation on what God is doing, what is happening today, an understanding that we are near the end, and to be prepared and ready for the Lord’s coming.
Another Sign of the End- Worldwide Economic Collapse
Today we live in a global economy. What happens in Europe and America will affect the rest of the world. The whole world is built upon a mountain of debt ready to collapse. The present debt crises in the PIIGS countries, namely, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain, are a grave danger that will soon topple the rest of the world. Also Japan’s debt is huge, nearly 2.5 times its annual productivity (GDP). But America is in the worst debt crisis than all these countries combined. In 2005, our national debt was $8 trillion.
Today, like an unstoppable runaway train, it is about $19 trillion (2016) equivalent to over $60,000 for every man, woman and child. Our leaders are powerless and not interested in reducing or to pay off the debt. The only recourse is for the US Federal Reserve Bank to print more money. Because the US$ has been the world’s reserve currency since WWII, the demise of the US$ due to excessive debts will eventually destroy the present world’s economic system. An economic collapse due to bank failures, terrorism, war, famine or any national calamity or disaster will bring America to ‘her knees’ in an economic depression worse than that of the 1930s.
When America collapses, all nations will suffer along with her. Jesus spoke of a time when ‘Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth..’ Lk21:26. Many heart attacks will occur when the markets of the world crash. So how do we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? What must we know and what must we do to be ready?
End of Part I… Please see Part II- https://drgoldsite.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/be-rapture-ready-or-be-left-behind-part-ii-conclusion/