Rapture: Right or Gift

[Read to the end before judging what I’m saying.] Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that the rapture is a gift for the faithful and not based on a matter of salvation but on doing “something”. Jesus Himself said:

Luke 21:36 (KJV) Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

If it was a given, why the need to pray to be found worthy? He’s our righteousness, how much more “worthy” can that be, unless, we are to DO something. And that something is being in faith. How do you “be” in faith?

 2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV) “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Here’s that condition again: prove as in “prove it”, like the kids say.

Luke 18:8 (KJV) “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

When you read all the “gatherings” the scriptures you’ll see that there are multiple ones. This is why there’s so much confusion about when it’ll happen: two for the faithful, one for the wicked.

The Faithful pre-Trib Rapture:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

“Caught up” in the Greek is harpazo and is the same thing that happened to Jesus in Rev 12:5 (KJV) and Philip in Acts 8:39 (KJV) and Paul’s friend in 2Cor 12:1-4 (KJV).

Second Gathering of the Faithful:

Matthew 24:29-31 (KJV) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The word gathered here is episunago meaning to collect unto one place – i.e. the New Jerusalem!

Wicked are Gathered and burned:

Matthew 13:40-42 (KJV) As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

There is one parable that spells this out, but it usually dismissed. First, the Holy Spirit is the Oil in our lives right?

Psalms 23:5 (KJV) “…thou anointest my head with oil…”

Psalms 45:7 (KJV) “…therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

Psalms 92:10 (KJV) “…I shall be anointed with fresh oil.”

Psalms 133:2 (KJV) “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;”

1 John 2:20,27 (KJV) “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.”, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

Acts 2:3-4 (KJV) “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

In Matthew 25 all the women were virgins (saved by grace) – no hanky panky with other gods – all had oil – (earnest of our salvation, the Holy Spirit) but five were foolish. In the Greek this word is moros meaning heedless or a blockhead. John in 3:29 (KJV) said he was a friend of the Bridegroom, not the bride. When Jesus told the five foolish He didn’t know them, it’s like saying that to someone who’s really let you down and you’re at a loss for words, so you say “I don’t know who you are any more.” All that means is they’re not part of the bride, it doesn’t mean they’re not saved.

 1 Corinthians 3:15 (KJV) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Jude 1:23 (KJV) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

It is the hope of all who are saved to be in the Rapture, yet it’s not a right, but a gift.

 James 2:14-26 (KJV) What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Notice here it’s one thing to believe in God – the devils do and yet they tremble! – but another to act (do something) on it. If you teach, or drop $10 in the offering plate, even preach, but you do it by rote and not in faith, then it’s dead works. Where are those that have the power of the Spirit as in Matthew 10!?

 Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

I too pray that I am found worthy to escape.

Salvation vs. Rewards

Jesus Himself, not John or Paul, said that we are to pray that we are found worthy to escape, yet ignoring it won’t make it go away. If God Almighty said we are to do this and we don’t then what are the consequences. Being raptured or not has nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with salvation. It’s all about rewards, not justification or sanctification. And it should scare you: Hebrews 10:31 (KJV) “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” You forget God killed 70,000 people because David counted them! Disobedience has a price, don’t use your liberty as a cloak of wickedness.

How many do not fear the Lord and live their lives their way? The correction of the Lord is proof you are His, Hebrews 12:8 (KJV). I’m talking woodshed not hell and damnation. Getting into a car wreck because you’re on your way to a strip joint and living to tell about it and repent is God’s hand of love! You just can’t pick and choose verses based on a feel-good outcome. If there are millions of real Christians left behind, that only proves that they were living for themselves. Think what actions they would do!? How it would change their hearts for God!? It has NOTHING to do with salvation. What if God chose YOU to stay behind to tell the truth? What of Job? He did nothing, but was a tool of God to put the devil in his place! Bad things happen to Good people so His glory will shine through them. We are NOT in control, it only seems that way. Denying that doesn’t make it so.

Mark 8:38 (KJV) “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Again Jesus points out the INACTION of towards those in this “adulterous and sinful generation”! Again Jesus Christ says to the CHURCH – saved children:

Revelation 3:15-19 (KJV) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Proof is in the pudding! America has more churches than any other nation, yet we also have the most citizens in JAIL #1 in the porn industry with Utah topping that list! We are also #1 in illegal drug use and #1 in tobacco use! What’s that say about the state of the Church of God Almighty!? The hypocrisy is that we are also the most giving financially. I can only speculate on that one…

These are the words of David too:

Psalms 33:18 (KJV) “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;”

Psalms 130:3-4 (KJV) “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”

Fear of the Lord leads to hope in his mercy. When we count what joy there is in Christ and live that joy, then there is nothing to fear. But, and I know you don’t like it nor believe it, but it’s true and the Scriptures bear this out. Not all that call him Lord are going to heaven because they are indeed lost, but actions show the faith of the true believers. This is what Jesus the Almighty God said. There are a lot of verses we don’t talk about: wilfully sinning, unprofitable servant, miserable poor blind and naked and some don’t even know it.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (KJV) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

What is charity? Love in action for faith, not emotion. That’s what God wants, anything else is “sounding brass”. The Just shall live by faith. Since this is indeed true, what does it say about His when He comes:

Luke 18:8 (KJV) “… when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

You may think me judgemental and harsh, but I have to live by these words too. I have to confess my sins too to remain in fellowship with God, not to reconcile with God – He’s already done that! I want God’s power in my life, like Matthew 10. I want Him to wake me at 2 am to pray for my neighbour, cry unto God for forgiveness for my neighbourhood, my state and my country! We must die daily and until we understand that doesn’t just mean skipping a cookie now and again but obeying the Holy Spirit and making a difference not just in our own lives but in the lives of our cities, we’re gonna be judged by our works – not for salvation, that bill’s been paid – but for rewards. All employees are employees, but when one stands out they’re going to get more than just their pay check. That’s my point.

I hope you don’t despise me yet, and I hope I have an answer that doesn’t make these two verses contradictory:

Luke 21:36 (KJV) Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

1 Corinthians 15:51 (KJV) Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

I believe the Lord gave me the answer I was looking for: Jesus was talking in a parable.

Luke 21:29 (KJV) And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

So what does that mean? Simply, He was talking to the lost who are unworthy!

Matthew 13:10-13 (KJV) And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Now I believe all the Scriptures are understood in harmony. I don’t believe we can know it all because that’s the power of prophecy – no private interpretation. We can try to fit it all in place but until it happens we can’t know for certain. A perfect example, with the pre-New Testament information, the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, come from Nazareth and be called out of Egypt. Looking at this way, it’s clearly a contradiction because we “believe” He’ll be FROM these three places but because we didn’t know about the call for census that caused them to leave Nazareth for Bethlehem or the threat on His life that caused them to flee to Egypt, our interpretation is incorrect. It’s no different about the end-times. We can try and figure out the chronology, but until it happens we just don’t know for certain all the details. One thing is certain, if we are not flexible about end-time dogma, and pick-n-choose verses based on someone’s teaching, we’ll miss the boat just as the Pharisees did when He came the first time. Keep in mind, there are still multiple raptures as I’ve shown here.


Spread the Word
This entry was posted in End Times, Victory Living. Bookmark the permalink.