…Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities! – Luke 12:48b, MSG
Yeshua’s watchfulness and readiness parable (see Luke 12:35-40) is the context in which He speaks the above verse to His close Disciples. In that parable, Yeshua explains how important it is to be alert and prepared for His return.
After Peter asks Yeshua if He is speaking just to His Disciples or to everyone, Yeshua Hamashiach uses another parable. In His second parable, He defines a watchful and ready person as a “faithful and wise manager” (Luke 12:42) who has been given the responsibility of using the gifts/resources he or she has to further YeHoVaH’s heavenly Kingdom and proclaim His Glory on earth by, for example, giving food and other needed essentials to the disadvantaged and doing so at “the proper time” (Luke 12:43).
There can be no doubt that Yeshua is saying everyone – whether saved or unsaved – has been given gifts/resources. He adds that some people are given great ones and others are given greater ones. Moreover, He makes it clear that regardless of what gifts/resources each person has and regardless of how many or how much of them each person has, the bottom line is that everybody’s faithfulness to YeHoVaH and Yeshua requires that he or she behaves like a trustworthy and insightful manager who uses responsibly – wisely and unselfishly – the gifts/resources entrusted to him or her.
Contrary to popular opinions, no one is supposed to use whatever YeHoVaH has entrusted to him or her to make his or her own individual life comfortable, secure, wealthy, famous, and etc. In other words, no human being can afford to take his or her responsibility lightly. If he or she does, Yeshua says that when He returns that person will suffer severely for his or her unfaithfulness (that person“…will be harshly whipped” – Luke 12:47, TLV). In contrast, the individual Yeshua finds faithfully and unselfishly doing what he or she is expected to do with the gifts/resources he or she had will receive a great reward, as well as will be put in charge of everything Yeshua owns (which is everything YeHoVaH owns).
Responsible stewardship should be everyone’s goal – especially everyone who is a Yeshua believer and follower. In the end, each Yeshua believer and follower who is found to be a faithful steward will receive a greater reward in Heaven than anything he or she ever could have had on earth.
42 Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. – Matthew 24:42-44, TLV
What person, who has an idea about the time of day or night that a thief plans to rob him or her, would not watch for the arrival of this thief? A wise person will either wait — fully armed and ready to do battle with the robber — or he or she will alert the police, who will wait in the wise person’s house for the alleged thief so that they can catch him or her in the act of breaking and entering. Any person taking these precautionary measures is the Goodman Yeshua speaks about in His Matthew 24:43-44 Kingdom mini–parable.
Here is the point Yeshua is making: If non-believers and carnal unbelievers are smart enough to keep watch over their homes to prevent someone from breaking in, robbing, and/or harming their families, then certainly born again and saved spiritual believers also are smart enough to be like Yeshua’s Goodman. Even though Yeshua’s Bride will not be aware of the actual day and time when Her Bridegroom will return, She has the gift of spiritual discernment. Spiritual discernment helps Yeshua’s Bride know and recognize the signs of the time that will lead to Her Pre–Tribulation Rapture.
Yeshua tells His Believers how they can avoid being caught off guard. They have to watch for the Bridegroom’s return, and they also have to do Yehovah’s Perfect Will, which, in this case, means they need to handle their own spiritual responsibilities — they need to make sure their spiritual temples are prepared for the Rapture. Their Lord, Master, King, and Bridegroom’s Return will not surprise them, if they also are filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit so that He can make them ready, willing, and able to present their bodies as living sacrifices — as spiritual overcomers whose lives are holy and acceptable to Yeshua.
Be a “goodman.” Know the signs of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Look for the signs of your Savior’s Return, and be prepared when Yeshua comes for you.
Is the Holy Spirit filling you? Are you allowing the enemy to come into your individual temple and rob you blind? Is Satan stealing anything from you that the Holy Spirit needs to transform you into Yeshua’s image? Shalom.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” – Matthew 24:43-44, TLV
Not everyone who claims to love Yeshua, as well as not everyone who claims to be born again and saved, will be “caught up” on the clouds where he/she will meet Yeshua before the Tribulation Period begins. That’s right! Not everyone who defines him or herself as a follower of Yeshua will be in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. Let there be no doubt about it, regardless if a professed Yeshua believer no longer believes in a pre-Tribulation Rapture, or if he or she never believed in it, the pre-Tribulation Rapture will happen.
In the Holy Bible, more than once, YeHoVaH shows His Children that His Wrath or Judgment cannot come until His Righteous Children are secure/safe. For example, in the Old Testament, only Noah and his family were considered righteous enough to enter the Ark and be secure/safe. Put differently, Noah and his family didn’t have to feel YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment that was poured out upon the entire earth (see Genesis 6:6-7, Genesis 6:13-22; Genesis 7:6-24; The Flood). Similarly, in Genesis 19:22 and Genesis 19:24-25, Lot and his family safely escaped to Zoar before judgment was poured out on Sodom and Gomorrah (Fire and Brimstone). These Scriptures make it clear that only the folks YeHoVaH considered to be unrighteous felt His Wrath or Judgment.
Likewise, in the New Testament, YeHoVaH shows His Children that His Wrath or Judgment will only be poured out on the individuals who are considered to be unrighteous people. This Truth – YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment is not meant for those who are considered to be His righteous Children – is why there will be a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Once again, more than once, YeHoVaH says in His holy Scriptures that His Wrath or Judgment cannot come until His Righteous Children are secure/safe.
The above-stated Truth about who feels YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment is why there will be several types of unrighteous people who will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture – YeHoVaH’s Ark in the end times. The following are the three groups of unrighteous people who will not enter the pre-Tribulation Rapture:
1. Unbelievers –the people who haven’t accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior. Specifically, they are the ones who are described in Revelation 21:8; their final judgment, once the Tribulation period is over, will be the Lake of Fire.
2. Unbelieving believers – saved individuals who profess they know Yeshua, yet they don’t believe in what the Scriptures say about becoming overcomers, nor do they believe in what the Scriptures say about the power of YeHoVaH. Unbelieving believers, who are unrighteous because of their unbelief, can’t be raptured. Now, the precise kind of unrighteous unbelieving believers is described in Hebrews 2:1 as the individuals who didn’t pay close attention to what they heard and ended up becoming deceived apostates. These unrighteous unbelieving believers are also described in Hebrews 3:7-8 as the individuals who hardened their hearts to the Holy Spirit’s teachings and then fell away from the Truth; and in Hebrews 6:6, these fallen away from the Truth unrighteous unbelieving believers are devoted apostates who can’t be renewed again to repentance.
3. Unbelieving believers –in their unbelief, they mock the Truth that they hear and claim it will not happen (e.g., those who mock the pre-Tribulation Rapture) [see 2 Peter 3:3-4].
The above-mentioned three groups of unrighteous unbelieving people will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture; however, the unrighteous unbelieving Yeshua believers will also miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture because they failed to meet Yeshua’s five godly conditions that would allow them to be counted worthy/righteous enough to be raptured. Here are the five godly conditions that must be met in order for believers in Yeshua to be prepared for and worthy to be chosen in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. Believers in Yeshua must be and do the following:
1. Must be an overcomer – Revelation 21:7 (see also Revelation chapters 2 & 3 . . . the one who overcomes references); all Yeshua believers must overcome the world, or the desires of the world; must overcome the flesh; and must overcome the devil
2. Must watch and pray for Yeshua’s thief in the night appearance – Mark 13:33
3. Must pray to be accounted worthy to escape the things that will happen in the end times – Luke 21:36
4. Must look for/anticipate Yeshua’s second appearance – Hebrews 9:28
5. Must cleanse themselves (get rid) of all filthiness so that they can achieve holiness – 2 Corinthians 7:1 (to get rid of every weight and entangling sin) – Hebrews 12:1
To be sure, there are things that only YeHoVaH via His Holy Spirit can cleanse in Yeshua believers. However, there are some things believers in Yeshua can do/can sacrifice to show YeHoVaH how much they hate sinning, how much they love Him, how much they want to be obedient and faithful, and how much they want to be like Yeshua.
Sadly, just as most believers in Yeshua won’t even try to purge themselves of every weight and entangling sin that is within their power to get rid of, there also are far too many professed Yeshua believers who refuse to believe/accept that Yeshua will come for His own like a thief in the night. The latter uses the fact that Yeshua is no sinner as their reason for their disbelief in the Scriptures that use the thief in the night simile. These Yeshua believers fail to understand that the thief in the night simile (image) is 100% figurative language, and, as figurative language, this simile means Yeshua isn’t a literal thief. However, the uncomfortably Truth they miss when they refuse to accept and believe the Scriptures that describe Yeshua as a THIEF is that, like a thief, Yeshua will indeed come secretly for His own.
This thief simile is found in the following biblical verses and found in one verse as a metaphor:
43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. – Matthew 24:43, TLV
2 For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. – 1 Thessalonians 5:2, TLV
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, so that the Day might overtake you like a thief. – 1 Thessalonians 5:4, TLV
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements will melt and disintegrate, and the earth and everything done on it shall be exposed. – 2 Peter 3:10, TLV
3 So remember what you have received and heard—keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. – Revelation 3:3, TLV
15 “Behold, I am coming like a thief! How fortunate is the one who stays alert and keeps his clothes on, lest he walk around naked and they see his shamefulness.” – Revelation 16:15, TLV
It is in an Olivet Discourse’s mini-parable that Yeshua also compares His Overcomers to a collective Goodman who actually not only is prepared for the Thief but also watches for Him. Once again, Yeshua’s Overcomers are the righteous believers He is coming to get so that He can TAKE them with Him to a safe place before YeHoVaH pours out His Wrath and Judgment upon the entire earth for the very last time.
Now, right before the Goodman mini-parable (see Matthew 24:43-44), Yeshua describes the pre-Tribulation Rapture in two mini-parables. The Lord teaches about an individual who is working in the field and about a person who is grinding at the mill who are TAKEN by Him, while the second field worker and the second grain grinder are left behind (see Matthew 24:40-42). A similar pre-Tribulation Rapture description is also in Luke 17:34. In this mini-parable, Yeshua teaches about one of the two who are in bed is TAKEN, and the other is left behind. This mini-parable in Luke 17 is followed by the mini-parables about the two field workers and, in some translations, the two grain grinders.
In Matthew 24, the two pre-Tribulation Rapture mini-parables end with a warning to believers to be prepared and to stay alert so that they won’t miss the One who comes for them like a thief in the night (see Matthew 24:42). This warning is then restated as a parabolic statement in the Goodman mini-parable (Matthew 24:43-44). The Goodman (homeowner or master of the house) is robbed by a thief all because the Goodman was neither prepared nor on the lookout for the thief’s unannounced coming and, as a result, was not able to prevent the unfavorable outcomes – his house broken into, and his possessions stolen.
Just like the Lord is using the TAKEN righteous field worker and grain grinder as metaphors for His righteous Vineyard Workers or Overcomers, He also is comparing, by contrasting, the Goodman metaphor to His righteous Overcomers – His truly righteous believers. The bottom line is this: Yeshua’s parabolic statement in the Goodman mini-parable is that His Overcomers must stay prepared and stay alert because none of them knows the precise hour when Yeshua will return. In other words, Yeshua’s parabolic statement explains, by contrasting the Goodman in the mini-parable with the righteous Overcomes in the two preceding mini-parables, how serious Yeshua is about His righteous Overcomes being ready/prepared and staying alert so that they will not miss meeting Him in the air when He returns for them.
Now, while the Greek language has different meanings for the verbs to “take” and to “receive,” and these different meanings have different Greek verbs, the Greek verb paralambano is the same to TAKE verb that is used in John 14:3 (“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am you may also be”), in Matthew 24:40 (“Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left”), in Matthew 24:41 (“Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left”), and in Luke 17:34 (“I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken along and the other left”). In all four of these verses, paralambano means that the individuals who are TAKEN (snatched away/caught up) are Yeshua’s Overcomers who are saved from YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment. Additionally, in all four of these verses, the folks who are left behind are the ones who receive YeHoVaH’s Judgment – His Wrath. In this case, YeHoVaH’s Judgment or Wrath is the seven-year Tribulation Period.
What is important to mention here is that the righteous Overcomers who are TAKEN in Matthew 24:40-41 (also see Luke 17:35-36) are TAKEN during a daylight moment while they are doing daytime jobs. In contrast, the one TAKEN from the bed who is sleeping(Luke 17:34) is TAKEN during a nighttime moment. It should be evident that these referenced Scriptures show how Yeshua has dealt with the issue of different time zones on this earth – some are rapture during the day (daylight time) and some are rapture in the night.
In Luke 17, some manuscripts add the following verse: “There will be two in the field. One will be taken along, and the other left.” – Luke 17:36
Finally, believers in Yeshua can only receive from YeHoVaH that which they believe He will do for them. Put differently, if believers in Yeshua don’t believe it is possible for something to happen; for example, if they have unbelief about what is presented in certain Scriptures about a pre-Tribulation Rapture, then they will not be in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. They can’t receive that part of salvation because they refuse to believe in it.
So, once again, the reasons why so many who say they are saved, born-again believers of Yeshua will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture are because they will not take to heart the Scriptures that warn them about their need to get prepared, stay ready, and stay alert – keep looking out for Yeshua’s Return – and because they don’t believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Matthew 13:58 says “And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Romans 11:20 says “True enough. They were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith….” First Timothy 1:13 says, “even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. Yet I was shown mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,” but then Paul says in Hebrews 4:6, “So then it remains for some to enter into it; yet those who formerly had Good News proclaimed to them did not enter because of disobedience.” Lastly, Paul in Hebrews 4:11 says “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through the same pattern of disobedience.” The point here is crucial. If Yeshua believers do not believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture, their unbelief not only prevents them from being raptured before the Tribulation Period begins but also because their unbelief is a form of disobedience they cannot enter into the Shabbat rest.
It should be clear from the above-cited verses that apostle Paul also describes Yeshua believers’ unbelief as disobedience (see also Hebrews 3:18-19). This unbelief and a lack of trust/faith prevent unrighteous unbelieving believers from entering into eternal rest. Their kind of unbelief is the same as the unbelief that caused many Israelites to perish in the wilderness – to never see the Promised Land. In comparison, just like the unrighteous unbelieving Israelites couldn’t enter the Promised Land of Israel, Yeshua believers with unbelief won’t be able to enter into the Shabbat rest with Yeshua in Heaven (the Promised Land for believers in Yeshua) – see Hebrews 4:9, and see Hebrews 4:1-2). All believers in Yeshua must be Overcomers in order to receive Overcomers’ promises, but they will never be Overcomers if they have any bit of unbelief.
To be sure, not believing that a pre-Tribulation Rapture will happen is indeed unbelief. This unbelief is also the same kind of unbelief that prevented Yeshua from doing any miracles in His hometown synagogue. It is also the kind of unbelief that will prevent Yeshua from TAKING the unrighteous unbelieving believers during the pre-Tribulation Rapture – the only rapture event that no one will know or be able to figure out the day or the hour of Yeshua’s Return.
Any raptures that happen during the Tribulation won’t be hard to figure out, as the Scriptures mention Raptures happening at a particular time during and after the seven-year Tribulation. Therefore, neither the mid-Tribulation nor the post-Tribulation Rapture will happen secretly, so Yeshua will not be returning like a thief in the night for those raptures.
If Yeshua believers think that a pre-Tribulation Rapture is hooey, then they will not be TAKEN (caught-up) in it. Furthermore, their unbelief in a pre-Tribulation Rapture is a form of disobedience, so they also may not enter into Yeshua’s Shabbat rest. It will depend on whether they are able to renew their minds to righteous thinking during the Tribulation Period.
And I heard a sound like the roar of a great multitude, like the rushing of manywaters, and like a mighty rumbling of thunder, crying out:
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and celebrate and give Him the glory. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, And His bride has made herself ready. She was given clothing of fine linen, linen bright and pure.”
For the fine linen she wears is the righteous acts of the saints. ~ Revelation 19:6-8, Berean Study Bible
Righteous arranged marriage: Predestined Bride and Groom Prophesied in Message, Saved from eternal tomb.
Negotiating match: Father of Groom has Son Bear expenses for “catch”; Marriage costs for Bride – none.
The Son pays agreed price: Mohar purchases Bride— Redemption’s sacrifice, Grand cost for purified.
Groom’s additional gifts: Spirit, Authority Power, private airlifts For His holy Body.
Mattan’s heavenly best: After Mohar is paid Groom shifts from his request To next response conveyed.
Bride imbibes poured out wine: Shed blood that covers sin— If faithless to Divine, Quaint parade a no-win.
Banned bridal march harsh news: Foul betrothal charade Causes legal tie blues— Consummation waylaid.
Only true Bride Father Selected for Groom goes In Rapture with honor— Wearing white linen robes.
Wedding processional: After that, seven days Being affectional— The consummation phase.
Leaving bridal chamber For Groom’s Marriage Supper— Faithful Overcomer Celebrates with Savior.
Snapshot of Bride’s events: Betrothed same as married— Christ perfects agreement With staunch and unwearied.
Live consecrated life: Know Bridegroom’s returning– Be pure and holy Wife; Lamp kept trimmed and burning.
He’s coming to lift up His Bride and take her Home Where they’ll drink from the cup; Finalize vows that Yom.
The Day of the Lord will Come like thief in the night; Stay prepared Bride until It is time to take flight.
Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Write these words down, because they are the terms of the covenant I have made with you and with Isra’el.’ Moshe was there with Adonai forty days and forty nights, during which time he neither ate food nor drank water. [Adonai] wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words. When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, he didn’t realize that the skin of his face was sending out rays of light as a result of his talking with [Adonai]. ~ Exodus 34:27-29, CJB
Teshuvah is the 40-day season of turning back to God (the season of true repentance). For the nation of Israel, Teshuvah pertains to the days Jewish people spend spiritually preparing for their High Holy Days of the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). In other words, during the season of Teshuvah, the entire nation of Israel is repenting and confessing sins. Therefore, the Jewish 6th month of Elul represents the time of national sin and the forgiveness the Jewish nation, as a whole, obtains by means of Teshuvah.
Teshuvah’s 40 days actually include the 30th of Av, the entire month of Elul, plus the 10 High Holy Days of Tishri that end on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). This 2012 season of Teshuvah is as follows:
Elul 1 – The official beginning of the Season of Teshuvah – Sunset August 19th, 2012
Tishri 1 – The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) – Sunset September 17th, 2012
Tishri 10 – The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur; Teshuvah Day 40) – Sunset September 26th, 2012
Now, according to ancient Jewish tradition, the month of Elul also represents the time following the Israelites’ idolatrous incident with the Golden Calf. Thus, the 40 days of Teshuvah are the days Moses spent on Mount Sinai, preparing the second set of tablets on which were God’s Ten Commandments. Apparently, Moses ascended Mount Sinai on Elul 1 and descended Mount Sinai 40 days later, on the 10th of Tishri, which was the end of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), when Jewish people’s repentance would be complete.
Why is Teshuvah important to 21st century believers who are born again, saved, and indwelt and infilled with the Holy Spirit? Here’s why.
While Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) is referred to as Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast), and while the theme associated with Rosh Hashanah is “to awake,” the great reawakening (warning) that will precede the Lord’s return for His Bride happens daily during the entire 6th month of Elul—the official beginning of the special season of Teshuvah. Once again, Teshuvah is the 40-day period consisting of the 30-day process of personal examination and repentance that prepares God’s people for the 10 days of Tishri (the Days of Awe) that begin on Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) and end on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). However, as the 5 unprepared, negligent, and unaware (foolish) Virgins demonstrate (see Matthew 25:1-13), the sad truth is that even with all of the prophetic warnings and with all of the recurring seasons of Teshuvah there still will be too many believers who will not have any Oil in their lamps (will not be FULL of the Holy Spirit) and, therefore, they neither will be watchful, nor prepared, nor aware of the imminent Rapture.
For the above reasons, this Teshuvah 2012, let us be aware, watchful, and prepared to go up and meet our Lord in the air. In other words, let us be ever-ready to respond faithfully and obediently to our Lord’s Voice (His midnight cry), the archangel’s call, and the last blast from God’s Shofar (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16). Amen.
The most popular argument that people worldwide use when they discuss the rapture topic is that the word “rapture” is not in the Bible. The second most popular argument is that no one knows exactly when the “rapture” will happen.
Yes, the ACTUAL word “rapture” is not in, for example, the well-liked King James Version of the Holy Bible. However, there are other English words, which English-speaking believers all over the world use, that are not in the English translations of the Holy Bible, and two of the most familiar terms are Bible and Trinity.
Where the word “rapture” and the Scriptures that pertain to believers being “caught up” or “snatched away” are concerned, the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts used the word transliterated as harpazo, and the Latin Vulgate version of the Holy Bible, or Vulgate as it is called, used the word transliterated as rapturo. Produced by Jerome in the early 5th century, the Vulgate is a revised translation of the older Latin versions, and for many years the Vulgate was the source text used for many vernacular languages. In fact, many Latin words used in the English language have come from the Vulgate, with no change (or little change) in meaning or spelling. For example, the English language uses variations of the words apostolus, ecclesia, evangelium, angelus, creatio, salvatio, justificatio, testamentum, sanctificatio, regeneratio, and raptura (from the noun form of the verb rapiemur, which is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Then there is the no one knows exactly when the “rapture” will happen argument, which also is true. Indeed, Jesus the Christ says to: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42, KJV). The Scriptures also say that He will come LIKE a thief in the night; that is, the Lord will come for His CHURCH without giving a warning. As a result, unprepared individuals will not have any time to get ready for the Lord’s sudden arrival (cf. Matthew 24:43, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Revelation 3:3 and Revelation 16:15).
Now, even though NO ONE, not even Jesus the Christ Himself, knows when God will send the Lord back to Earth for the “catching up” or “snatching away” of those individuals who have a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ, the Lord Himself says that there will be signs of the times. Some of those definitive signs are the literal and figurative fig tree’s budding and blossoming, the symbolic lifestyles of the people living in Noah’s days, and the symbolic lifestyles of the people living in Sodom and Gomorrah during Abraham’s days. These declared signs let the prepared and watchful believers know that the Rapture season is upon them.
When eager holiday lovers prepare for their Season of Giving, they do so by dutifully putting up seasonal decorations weeks in advance, or by cheerfully buying seasonal gifts way ahead of time, or by gladly purchasing seasonal food and drinks before their special day of the Season of Giving arrives. Then too, when enthusiastic sports fans prepare for the professional football or basketball season, they do so by loyally securing season tickets in advance, or by faithfully following the current season’s statistics on their favorite team(s), or by devotedly buying their favorite team’s paraphernalia. Likewise, believers also must prepare for the Rapture season!
In Matthew 24:40-42, it is evident that Jesus the Christ is talking about the “rapture,” and in verse 43 it is obvious that He is alluding to the Rapture season by describing the actions a knowledgeable, watchful homeowner would take. Furthermore, from these previously mentioned verses, it is clear that the Lord wants to develop an analogy through which He can compare the natural diligence and vigilance that surely would come from a well-informed homeowner to the supernatural awareness and alertness of spiritually mature and fruitfully productive believers. Jesus the Christ is saying that once the homeowner knows when a burglar is going to break into his house, this “goodman” carefully and attentively waits for the expected hour the burglar is to show up, hopeful that he will be able to stop the intruder from breaking into his home.
Conversely, the Lord is saying that even though Christians do not know exactly when the Lord will come back to “rapture” them, the Holy Spirit has made them spiritually wise, knowledgeable, and faithful Temples of the Lord who can discern the signs of the times. As such, like the natural homeowner, believers must be careful to use all of the spiritual information available to them so that they too can be incessantly diligent and vigilant individuals who are “…also ready: for in such an hour as [they] think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). Believers not only must be ready for their Lord who is coming LIKE a thief in the night but also they must be looking forward to His soon-to-come arrival, hopeful that they will be able to stop Satan from shaking up their faith!
Finally, because there is NO biblical prophecy that needs to be fulfilled; that is, there is no major spiritual event that MUST happen before the “rapture” takes place, it is crucial for believers to know and to be looking for the signs of the times. It also is imperative for believing men and women to make sure that they are living a hopeful life—living like they are expecting their Lord to come at any moment to “catch up” His CHURCH (to return on a cloud to “rapture” them).
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one … lift off! No, this is not the usual countdown for a NASA rocket. This is the countdown to the Rapture.
On the prophetic timetable, the very next event to happen is the Rapture. For that reason, these are not just the times that try men and women’s souls; these are the times in which the fulfilled prophetic signs become God’s warnings to men and women about the future of their souls.
Since the Holy Bible repeats the pattern that God follows before He judges or punishes mankind, then true believers know that just as it was before The Flood in Noah’s days, just as it was before fire and brimstone rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s day, and just as it was before many other biblical events took place, God will not begin Daniel’s 70th week (The Tribulation Period) without warning people that the most horrific times in human history are about to begin. Thus, through many prophetic signs, God constantly is warning 21st century people that He once again is about to judge or punish mankind … indeed the entire Earth!
Because God does not want anybody to perish, He will do all that He can to ensure that born again, saved believers in Jesus the Christ will be redeemed/delivered/rescued/saved from God’s wrath (judgment) that is soon to come upon this Earth. Indeed, God will do whatever must be done in order to keep His enemy from plucking the Body of Christ out of His hand, which means God will do whatever it takes to shake loose any existing complacency, stinking thinking, and wrong behaviors that have an iron grip on so many of today’s Laodicean-like church members.
The increase in these and other strangleholds is why the Body of Christ is living in a time when the CHURCH Age is coming to an end. For sure, these end times also are why the Body of Christ must stay alert, watching for the promised cloud-gathering sign to be fulfilled, because when all has been said and done, because God has given sufficient warnings, there will be no one who will be able to say that he or she never had a clue! Therefore, because the Rapture can happen at any time, true believers also must do as their Savior tells them to do. They must “…look up, and lift up [their] heads; for [their] redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28, KJV).
Now, since the time of Jesus the Christ, there have been hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled, but those that have been fulfilled in the 21st and 20th centuries should cause people to stop and take notice. For example, globally, the prophesied signs that pertain to an end time societal breakdown are being fulfilled, daily.
God prophetically warns through His Word that, as the end of the Church Age draws near, there will be an increase in the number of people who will have no regard for the law or morality. These people will be greedy, selfish, violent, immoral, hedonistic and rebellious. Consequently, all of these lawless and immoral people will have something else in common—problems with a total breakdown of the family and great despair (see 2 Timothy 3:1-4, 6; Mark 13:12; and Matthew 24:12).
Add to the behaviors listed above the fulfilled sign of an increase in the number of people who practice homosexuality. Daily, homosexuals in all walks of life are openly expressing their “gay” lifestyle. Moreover, there are many learned individuals who maintain that because homosexual men and lesbian women were born this way they do not choose their “gay” lifestyle. Indeed, even some men and women who say they are “called” of God to preach and teach His Word now are saying that homosexuals and lesbians have a divine right to be who they are for they are gifts from God (reference here is to the You Tube video clip in which “Being Gay is the Gift of God” is the discussion topic on Oprah’s Spirituality 101).
Add to this increased lawlessness, immorality and homosexuality the use of drugs, which rapidly is increasing among the lower class, middle class, and upper class individuals. The Apostle John writes in Revelation 9:21 that, even during the Tribulation Period, the left behind lawless and immoral people: “Neither repented…of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (KJV). The word “sorceries” in this verse is the English translation of the New Testament Greek word “farmakeiva,”which istransliterated as “pharmakeia,” and pharmakeia means pharmaceuticals or drugs. Thus, in these end times, no one can say that there is not CURRENTLY already an out of control drug problem for which there seems to be no solution.
Moreover, what today’s true believers are able to discern is that all of these aforesaid societal problems are the very same societal problems that were witnessed in Noah and Lot’s days, and these same societal problems were the reasons why God cleansed the world with The Flood and then later totally destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and all the humans, animals and vegetation in those cities. What today’s true believers also are able to discern is that since these same transgressions are running rampant again, the end result will be the same: God is going to judge or punish the people who neither obey His commandments nor believe in Him or His Son. Again, God forewarned the people in Noah and Lot’s days about the very judgments or punishments that would come upon them, and yet the masses did not heed God’s warnings!
Besides these increased societal signs, God has fulfilled in our time other prophetic signs: the rebirth of Israel; an increase in media covered global-political events; an increase in upheavals in nature; an increase in rampant diseases and epidemics; an increase in spiritual apostasy (increases in doctrinal and moral departures in the CHURCH and increases in the number of people who will turn from the Lord to Satanism … see 1 Timothy 4:2-3, 2 Timothy 3:5, Matthew 24:12, and 1 Timothy 4:1); an increase in the number of people who mock the end-times prophecies; an increase in false Messiahs, false prophets, and false teachers; an increase in technology; a knowledge explosion; and an increase in the desires to want to use nuclear weapons. The fact that all of these prophetic signs are and have been happening simultaneously in our time should shake loose any complacency, stinking thinking, and wrong behaviors that might have a stranglehold on believers in Christ.
Whether we want to believe it or not, time is running out. The Rapture of the true CHURCH is the only prophetic event that needs to be fulfilled before the Temple is rebuilt, the Antichrist signs a peace agreement with Israel, and the Tribulation Period begins with its seven seals’ judgments and ends with Jesus the Christ’s bodily Second Coming—when every eye sees Him coming in His glory, and He sets His feet down on the Mount of Olives. The Rapture countdown, thus, has begun, and every living person who is not in the Rapture will be left behind to suffer during the Tribulation Period. Yet, no matter what some people believe and teach, God does not want any person to have to experience the Tribulation Period, because He knows that the Tribulation Period will claim countless lives!
Furthermore, because the Tribulation Period is designed in such a way to shake the left behind uncommitted and disbelieving out of their lethargy so that they finally will accept Jesus the Christ as their personal Savior and Lord to whom they totally surrender; and because the Tribulation Period is designed in such a way so that the uncommitted and disbelieving who remain uncommitted and disbelieving will receive their just punishment for deliberately choosing the Antichrist as their god, these are the reasons why God constantly is warning the world, but specifically the Body of Christ, that the Tribulation Period’s horrific times are right around the corner. The Tribulation Period’s seven seal, seven trumpet and seven vial judgments upon the whole Earth also are why God wants Christ’s Body to continue to “…look up, and lift up [their] heads; for [their] redemption draweth nigh.” God, thus, forewarns this world’s masses, and especially the Body of Christ, because He wants true believers to be on the alert and prepared for His cloud-gathering sign so that they will not be caught off-guard!
The only way anybody who is still alive will be able to be delivered from the wrath of God that is to come upon this Earth is for a divine intervention to take place. That divine intervention for the Body of Christ is the Rapture.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one … lift off! Once again, the countdown to the Rapture has begun, so let’s make sure we are Rapture ready so that no matter whether we are alive or dead when Christ comes back in the clouds we will be caught up to be with Him forever more!