All through the night, throughout the mid-western and southern states in the U.S., the weather was fierce. Lightening flashed so bright it appeared to be daylight for just a moment. Thunder boomed across the heavens, so strong it vibrated the walls of the house. Wind was loud as it rushed about in its severe strength.
It was not a surprise that the weather was wild last night. All day yesterday the news reports were full of warnings. We were all warned that conditions could be ripe for tornadoes. No one knew if a tornado would come, but everyone was warned to be aware. “Get your safe place ready,” the weather reporters instructed. Tornadoes did touch down in Oklahoma and Mississippi.
As I lay in bed last night, feeling the storm shake the house, watching my room light up with the flashing lightening, I thought of something else that could come at any moment: the rapture of Christians throughout the earth! From the time of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven, Christians have been looking for the rapture to take place. It could happen today or next year or fifty years from now. Christians have always been looking and waiting.
In I Thessalonians 4 we read that there will be a great sound like a trumpet. At that moment, the bodies of those Christians who have died will break through the graves, joining their spirits who are already with Jesus. Then, we who are still alive on the earth will disappear so quickly, the Bible tells us this action is like “the twinkling of an eye!” Wow! Imagine what the news reports might be when millions of Christians are suddenly gone!
This will be so exciting for Christians as they finally get to see Jesus face to face. After this happens the antichrist will come on the scene. He will wreak evil upon the earth such as the world has never known. He will attack Israel in the biggest battle ever to take place in history. The antichrist will attempt to sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, but this will not happen. Jesus will actually come to earth for the second time, setting up His perfect kingdom and we will all be with Him! Oh, how exciting is that!
The second coming will be amazing — but first — the rapture. There is a verse in I John 2:28 that so makes me want to be ready should Jesus rapture us during my lifetime. John wrote, “And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ, so that when He returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from Him in shame.”
How do we remain in fellowship so that we will not be embarrassed should Jesus come during our lifetime? We must make certain that our hearts are cleansed everyday. When we know we have sinned, and we all do, then we must ask forgiveness immediately. Jesus longs to keep us washed clean. Also, when we’re tempted to do something or perhaps go somewhere that we don’t feel comfortable about, we must ask ourselves — if Jesus comes today, would I be embarrassed at where He would find me? Would I be filled with shame at what I was doing?
We want to be full of joy, not embarrassment when He comes again. Let’s pray everyday, asking the Holy Spirit to keep us aware of unholy things that would creep into our lives and into our thoughts. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and courage to have the goal to live in holiness. Then, when that trumpet sounds — woohoo! no shame! Only joy!