troubling questions, apprehension, and even fear of the unknown.
Why do I need to study prophecy? Perhaps thoughts like, “It is too
complicated, or I don't understand what it means”, occasionally swim into
view. Well, I won’t argue the fact that studying prophecy can be seemingly
complex and overwhelming. It may be difficult to see how these obscure
passages can have any significance for us today. At times they appear to
lack relevance to what we are going through right now. But I promise you,
that as believers if we adopt this mindset, we will miss the rich truth
God has provided for us. Over and over we are told to encourage one
another with these things. We cannot understand where we are now if we
don’t understand where we are going.
To help you begin developing an under-standing of this seemingly difficult
topic, I have compiled biblical answers to four of the most frequently
asked questions about the Rapture.
1. What signs indicate that the End Times are near?
The Rapture the raising of the Church into heaven (1 Thessalonians
4:17)—is the next event on the prophetic calendar. The following signs
indicate that the End Times are near.
The Sign of Deception
Many people will claim to be the Messiah and claim to have the answers for
a troubled world. Jesus says to “take heed”—literally to keep our eyes
open so we are not fooled. In the End Times, people will be crying
desperately for leaders to deliver them, and they will seek mystics and
religious leaders who claim to have deeper knowledge.
The Sign of Disputes Among Nations
As wars and dissension among groups of people begin to escalate, we know
it is a sign of Christ’s return. The book of Revelation tells us that the
Tribulation Period is filled with war—ceaseless, unending, terrible
war—that will escalate until the entire world is involved. The Bible says
that as we move toward the End Times, there will be constant talk of
conflicts, border skirmishes, race wars, and national battles.
The Sign of Devastation
Today, as you read this, millions of people in the world are going hungry,
even though God has blessed us with a fruitful, abundant planet. As we get
closer to the End Times, there will be more and more famine. There will
also be earthquakes, something that science has said will happen. Christ
also spoke of pestilence: the spread of new diseases. Our world is already
experiencing a spat of tragic new diseases that we are unable to control.
The Sign of Deliverance Into the Tribulation
Just before Jesus returns, there will be an explosion of antagonism toward
God’s people. Christians will be persecuted. We are seeing this happen
today with the rise of ISIS and their horrific attacks on Christians in
the Middle East. As we grow closer to the end, many will pay a high price
for living out their faith in our world.
2. Why should I avoid determining a date and time for the Rapture?
The fact is, we cannot calculate the day Christ will return for His Church
because God specifically chose not to reveal it to us.
When the apostles asked Jesus about the apocalyptic time, He replied
gently but firmly, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the
Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the
Holy Spirit has come upon you" (Acts 1:7-8).
Only God knows what time it is, and only God knows when time will run out.
Future truth impacts present responsibility. It is the knowledge that His
coming is soon that puts a little bit of urgency into our step and
determination into our service.
3. Will I be a part of the Rapture if my body is cremated?
When the Scripture says, "The dead in Christ will rise," it is speaking of
the bodily resurrection of believers. At this time, the spirits of
believers will be united with their perfect and complete resurrection
"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 [no exceptions!]. 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" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
If God can do the hard part of calling creation into existence through His
spoken Word then it will be no problem for Him to call back the bodies of
those who have been swept into the sea, or consumed by fire, or tragically
maimed and murdered by vicious and murderous attacks of an enemy.
4. What will happen in Heaven after the Rapture?
After the Rapture, there will be a meeting in the clouds where we will
need our Lord! It reminds me of that old hymn, “When We All Get Together.”
...when we all get together what a glorious day that will be, when we all
get together, we’ll scream and shout for Victôry!
There is so much relevant truth to be discovered in the Bible's prophetic
passages! What you believe about many of these issues can determine what
side you are on when God decides to draw the final curtain on the drama of
history. I am confident you will find as I have, that the study and
understanding of Gods prophetic truth regarding The Rapture and the events
of tomorrow will change your view of today!
Join us here as we fold back the veil and study Gods prophetic timetable
for The End Times as we become Rapture Ready!