By Helena Lehman
THE RAPTURE IS NOT JUST A HOPE! IT IS A PROMISE, albeit a veiled one! As I have repeatedly shown in past articles, the Rapture is a Scriptural teaching, and I will not rehash those articles here. Instead, my goal in this article is to show why Yahshua gave the Rapture promise! In the process, I am going to show that Yahshua promised to come in the Rapture to keep people’s minds focused on their greatest hope in Christ, which is to be saved by Him and to dwell in love with Him forever!
But, as I have taught before: the Rapture is NOT for everyone who claims Christ as their Savior! It is only for those who are overcomers like those in the Church of Philadelphia or Brotherly Love. These faithful believers are not only currently doing all they can to love the poor and the lost into the Kingdom as Yahshua taught, but they are also always watching and anxiously waiting for Yahshua to arrive at any moment! To this special and small group of overcomers, Yahshua promised the following:
Revelation 3:10-11 - “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
This awesome promise that we will be kept from “the hour of trial” or the Tribulation is a crown or reward for our faithfulness! This means that it will ONLY be available to those who have become overcomers through their faith in Christ and their desire to be with Him. An overcomer is someone who believes in Yahshua and has faith in Him and His promises:
I John 5:4-5 - “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus (Yahshua) is the Son of God?”
For those of us who are truly born-again, we know that a desire to draw near to God in prayer and worship and to live righteously comes with our faith in and love for Christ. For those who are born-again and have become overcomers by remaining faithful to God, Yahshua also promised the following:
• Rev. 2:7 - “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
• Rev. 2:11 - “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
• Rev. 2:17 - “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
• Rev. 3:5 - “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
• Rev. 3:21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
• Rev. 21:7 - “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
Because of their devotion to Yahshua, those who are overcomers are not going to be caught sleeping! Instead, they will be happily going about their Heavenly Father’s business when Yahshua comes for them in the Rapture! For this reason, they are the ones who will be taken in the Rapture. Meanwhile, all the unrepentant sinners who claim Yahshua as their Messiah but DO NOT LOVE HIM will be left behind along with all those who mock those who are anxiously awaiting Yahshua’s coming in the Rapture. Yahshua’s words to the Church in Sardis say it all:
Rev. 3:1-3 - “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”’”
In order to be delivered from the hour of trial, we must be watching and anxiously awaiting Yahshua’s coming for us in the Rapture. The following Scriptures reinforce this teaching, showing that it is an integral part of the Gospel that Yahshua delivered to the saints:
Matthew 24:42-44 - “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Mark 13:35-37 - “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming-- in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
Luke 21:34-36 - “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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.”
This last Scripture from the Gospel of Luke makes it clear that all believers need to be striving to be worthy to escape all the things that will come to pass in the Tribulation. Indeed, that is what Yahshua was discussing with his disciples just before He issued this warning to watch and live righteously!
If you are among those who are anxiously awaiting the Rapture, continually praying that you are ready and not found wanting, and doing your best to follow the Holy Spirit’s direction to live a righteous life and lead others to Christ, you do not need to fear that you will be left behind or will need to be beheaded before the Rapture happens! The promise of the Rapture is supposed to be a comfort, and it can’t comfort us if it will not protect us from having to live through the coming trials of the Tribulation! As Paul said when he was concluding his description of the Rapture:
1 Thess. 4:15-18 - “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
This Scripture is telling those of you who love Yahshua to not give up hope! The Rapture can’t be a comfort if we will have to live through the hour of trial! How can the Rapture be a comfort if we will have to suffer beforehand through the most devastating time of trouble that the world has ever known? For this reason, we believers can be sure that Yahshua will come for us before the middle of the Tribulation.
Yahshua must come for us before then or it won’t be a comfort, for this will be when the Antichrist will enter the Temple of God and declare that he is god (Daniel 9:27, 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Rev. 13:6-7). After that, the Antichrist will demand worship and total allegiance, and will behead all who refuse to do so if they are caught (Rev. 20:4).
But remember the clear teaching of Scripture! Becoming a fugitive and possibly being beheaded in martyrdom will only be the fate of those who are not watching when Yahshua comes! To escape this terrible fate, remember to always watch for Yahshua’s return and to hold fast to the following promise that Yahshua made before He was resurrected. He made this promise to show us that He came to see to our own resurrection into everlasting life and to see to our deliverance from the world until He puts it into subjection to Himself:
John 14:2-4 - “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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
So, remember that Yahshua is preparing a place for us, not us for Him! Therefore, we are called not to conquer the world for Christ but to keep watch so that we can be delivered from the world until Christ comes to conquer it in Person for us!
I pray that all of you will be waiting and watching for Yahshua to come for you and that you will not be left behind! Amen!