1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 … “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 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.”
We have become too adjusted to this old world; too relaxed and too familiar. Many spiritually drowsy saints have been lulled into a near-comatose condition by the lullabies of worldliness. Their eyes have grown accustomed to the darkness and their hearts are far from God. As a result, the anticipation of the coming of Jesus and the rapture of His church no longer burns in their souls.
Where are the rapture sermons?
Where are the rapture songs?
Where is the rapture faith?
Where is the rapture doctrine?
Do we really believe in the rapture anymore?
Some cynics criticize it as escapist wishful thinking. Some professors explain it away as the biblical metaphoric symbolism first century disciples used to illustrate a soul delivered out of sin. Some preachers treat the teaching of the rapture as the Cinderella doctrine of the Bible—a second class peasant always playing backup to her more accepted sisters. Two very significant verses of scripture basically portray two primary attitudes of those who will live in the rapture generation:
2 Peter 3:4 … “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
1 John 3:3 … “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Strangely enough, both groups live as if there is no tomorrow. The unprepared and unrepentant have thrown all caution and moral restraint to the wind and adhere to an “anything goes” philosophy. Their motto is “Live it up to the hilt. You only go around once.” If they see life ending at all, they see it ending in oblivion with no God to face and no consequences to pay.
On the other hand, those that are rapture-ready also live as if there is no tomorrow in this world. Every day is lived as the last day to reap the harvest and please God before facing Him in eternity. They judge their actions and temper their lives by the standard of God’s Word, knowing that Jesus is coming and the rapture could indeed be anytime.
Which verse best applies to you? Are you asking, “Where is the promise?” Or, are you seeking to purify yourself, as He is pure, knowing that He will soon return?