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But I don't believe that, and Scripture supports my belief, as I have shown in many recent ministry blog articles. But beyond their hatred of the Rapture message, which I can see being triggered by a lack of faith in God's promises, how can any born again believer that is awake - and seeing all the signs of Christ’s soon return increasing all around us - be upset at my urgent promptings to seek God’s forgiveness at the foot of the Cross because the time is nearly at hand for our deliverance? According to God’s Word, only those who are saved, born again and sanctified in Christ are going to be protected and taken to a place of safety in order to be spared the Wrath of God against the wicked, so everyone needs to be warned of Christ’s imminent arrival, and of their need for His salvation to escape the Wrath of God to come!
Isn’t the whole point of our witness to TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT CHRIST CAME TO ACCOMPLISH AT HIS FIRST ADVENT, SO THAT WE WILL BE READY TO GLORY IN WHAT HE WILL ACCOMPLISH AT HIS SECOND ADVENT? Isn’t our witness meant to get people to turn away from sin, seek God’s forgiveness in Christ, and get born again so that the Holy Spirit can minister to them, and through them? Isn’t the point of salvation to secure everlasting life in the Kingdom of God so we can avoid the terrible judgment that awaits the unrepentant and unsaved at death, or at Christ’s Second Coming - whichever comes first?
Isn’t the Second Coming of Christ meant to both spare the saints from our Heavenly Father’s Wrath, and to wipe out the armies of the Antichrist in Israel so that His Millennial Kingdom can be set up, which is a central teaching of our faith? For those who say it is not, it is according to the Nicene Creed that was created as a doctrinal statement of the Christian Faith in the 4th Century AD. There, it says: “He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.”
Christ’s Second Coming is also a central teaching of our faith according to the prayer that Christ Himself gave us that we call “The Lord’s Prayer” that is found in Matthew 6:9-13. Why else would Christ ask us to pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”, and: “do not lead us into temptation (or hard testing), but deliver us from the evil one” on a daily basis? By placing these doctrinal statements in the context of a model daily prayer in Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Matthew, wasn’t our Savior emphasizing their importance as a central focus of our faith?
In light of these facts, the only reason a person could have to object to a focus on the signs of the times, the promises of deliverance, and the warning of the wrath of a pure and holy God that will be poured out on the wicked soon as selling points for the salvation message would be if they are not convinced that Christ is coming back any time soon, or that there is never going to be a Rapture and Second Coming, and all the signs that we are seeing that are proclaiming the nearness of Christ's return according to His own Word are just a coincidence.
So what those who are critical of the Rapture teaching, or of the Christ's return to Earth to rule during His Millennial Kingdom are really saying is that they either lack faith in the promises of God, or they lack the full baptism of the Holy Spirit that makes us born again in Christ, or they have been taught a false Gospel that does not emphasize these things. Indeed, it is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that gives many of us this sense of urgency that the time of the end of this world is very near, and that we need to proclaim it loudly from the rooftops until everyone knows it, and either makes the free-will choice to get saved, or makes the sad choice to be damned.
So, to the naysayers who say that an enthusiastic written response to our hope in the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ as a major deliverance from evil, and in our excited and heartfelt desire to be a part of the setting up to the Millennial Kingdom of Christ is wrong because it does not win souls, and is not a central teaching of our faith, I wholeheartedly disagree on both counts! My opinion on this is strengthened by the fact that Yahshua also explicitly told His followers to watch for His return, and these were not suggestions, but commands. The first example of His command to “Watch!” is found in the Gospel of Matthew where it says:
~*~ Matthew 24:36-44 ~*~ “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 WATCH THEREFORE, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 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. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”So though no one knows the day or hour, we are to be constantly watching for the signs of Christ’s coming so that we can ready ourselves for His Kingdom, and prepare those we love to be ready also. The Parable of the Ten Virgins also emphasizes our need to watch:
~*~ Matthew 25:10-13 ~*~ “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 WATCH THEREFORE, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”The Wise Virgins that were taken to the Wedding Feast were patiently waiting for the Bridegroom to arrive while they kept busy tending to their lamps or spirits by keeping them full of the Word of God, and Spirit of God, and by doing God’s will whenever moved by His Spirit to act. They are analogous to the Sheep in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.
The Foolish Virgins that are left behind or excluded from the Wedding were not watching for the Bridegroom's return, or listening to His Spirit, so they were not worthy to be taken to the Wedding, which is the heavenly feast believers will attend after the Rapture. As headstrong and lawless ones, the Foolish Virgins are analogous to the Goats in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats that are to be excluded from the Kingdom. The parallel passage in Luke 12:35-40 below adds to this understanding, explaining in terms of men waiting on their master's return with an ever-watchful eye:
~*~ Luke 12:35-40 ~*~ “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 BLESSED ARE THOSE SERVANTS WHOM THE MASTER, WHEN HE COMES, WILL FIND WATCHING. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 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. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”So, according to Yahshua’s own Word, those who are to be the most blessed by God at Christ’s Second Coming are those who are awake and watching for His return, which will be at a time when it is not expected. Incidentally, this is a good description of the days we live in now! Many are either too lost or too focused on evangelism to notice the signs of the times, and are therefore not watching for His return. So I ask you, are you watching, and are you ready? Because it’s important to be both watching for Christ’s return, and to be ready when He comes for us - whether it is at the time of our death, or via the Rapture!
For those who are looking forward to our Blessed Hope in Christ's Glorious Appearing at the time of the Rapture of His saints, there is an added bonus. According to the Apostle Paul, we will receive a special crown called "the crown of righteousness" for loving or looking forward to Christ's appearing, and the thought of that brings just as much joy to my heart as the thought of the Rapture! So believers who are loving the idea of our Messiah's return should never let the lack of desire found in others dampen their enthusiasm, for God loves their devotion and desire! Two Scriptures that support this are found in Paul's Epistles:
~*~ 2 Timothy 4:8 ~*~ “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
~*~ Titus 2:11-14 ~*~ “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”Before closing, I also want to point out that - when Christ gave the Apostles the Great Commission, He did NOT commission them to help the poor and needy! He commissioned them to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Christ commissioned His disciples to make many more disciples because, as Yahshua said, “the poor you will always have” (Matthew 26:11), and this will be true at least until He comes!
Now, for those who do not believe that there will be a Rapture, or a Millennial Rule of Christ on the Earth because you think these events either have already happened in the past, or are only meant to be allegorical in nature, that still does not do away with the fact the Christ asked His disciples to watch for His return in the context of the Last Days and End of the World. If there is no Second Coming in these last days, why would He do that? In addition, there are frequent references to Christ's return in the New Testament letters, where the Apostle Paul frequently asks Christ's followers to beware of the Last Days, when wickedness and lawlessness will be at an all time high, and to watch in hopeful expectation for Christ's return. Here are some online resources that list all mentions of Christ's return in the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament:
For the skeptical, here's another important thought: if Christ did already return to the Earth once before at some point in the past, why would anyone rule out His return at some future point, especially because the Book of Revelation Chapters 16 through 20 are prophecies inspired by the Holy Spirit, and very clearly talk about future events that there is no prior historical record of, nor even a legendary suggestion of. For example, the plagues of Revelation 16 that are part of God's Wrath against the wicked bring about the total destruction of all plant life, and all sea life on the Earth prior to Christ's return. It also speaks of a catastrophic worldwide earthquake that will topple all the cities of the world, and these are events that clearly have not happened yet.
Besides denying the clear Scripture references to events that have not happened yet in association with Christ's return, those who preach against the Rapture and Second Coming also deny our need to take Christ at His Word in the Bible, where He repeatedly promises that He is going to return. Sadly, if Christ is God Incarnate and never sinned, then those who deny His promises that He would return at the end of this Age are calling Christ a liar, and that is not a very Christ-like thing to do for someone who professes to love and follow Him.
So don't be a goat fighting against the clear teaching of Scripture. Be a true sheep, and love and follow the Good Shepherd, who is Yahshua Ha Mashiach or Jesus the Christ, our Lord or Adonai, and listen to His Spirit, and His Word in the Bible, which are, and should always be in agreement. Indeed, if they are not, this is a sure sign that the spirit one is listening to is not of God, but a demonic one of the Devil. So please beware of being deceived, and do not forget that all believers are in a spiritual battle against wicked spiritual principalities and powers that desire our destruction.
Even though Christ already won the biggest battle of our war against the Devil for us on the Cross, we are still fighting to see His victory to its completion, for Satan and his minions know that their time is short, and they want to destroy as many people as they can before their time is up. Don't let one of those casualties of war be you! Hold fast to Christ's promises, and His Great Commission. Do not get sidetracked by naysayers and doomsday preppers, all of whom are not paying attention to the prophecies in Scripture that Christ will return to gather His elect saints at a relatively peaceful and ordinary moment in time, when no one is expecting it, just as it is clearly described in Matthew Chapter 24. For more insight into what Matthew 24 is really trying to tell believers today, please read my ministry blog article linked to below:
UPDATE ADDED July 12th, 2016: In regard to Christ's teachings in Matthew 24, I really loved the message given by a brother in Christ on YouTube recently, which shows how foolish all these doomsday preppers that are preparing for Armageddon truly are in relation to what Scripture tells us is really going to happen. I've embedded his video message below, and I hope that it blesses you as much as it did me!
Scholar, Author and Artist for
The Language of God Book Series, and
Webmaster for the Pillar of Enoch Ministry Site
Ministry Web Site: http://pillar-of-enoch.com
Footnote: According to the Book of Jasher, King Arthur is not a code name for Jesus, but Moses. In fact, even if an early Celtic king named Arthur did exist at one time, his sword called Excalibur probably did not because it has direct tie-ins with the Staff of Yahweh that Moses retrieved from the outside of His father-in-law Jethro's home in Midian. Jethro (who was also known as Reuel), was a Midian desert Prince, and had served as an adviser to the Pharaoh of Egypt, one of which had appointed Jacob's son Joseph to be his second in command.
Now, also according to Jasher, Joseph had a miraculous staff that had passed down to him from his father Jacob, which had originated in the form of a gift to Adam by God. But after Joseph died, his staff was given to Jethro, who drove it into the ground by God's command for safe keeping until the one who it rightfully belonged to was able to remove it. Finally, just as in the case of Excalibur, a host of others failed to remove the Staff from its place until Moses came along (See Chapter 77, verses 38 through 51 of the Book of Jasher to read this fascinating story for yourself).