ARE WE THERE YET?
Jude 24-25 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”
I have, for many years, tried to imagine what it would be like to know that the return of our Lord was imminent, and I often asked myself these questions, How would I react? What would I do, if anything? Where would my emphasis be?
I have gone in my mind from the scenario of getting all my family together in one place while we anxiously await for Jesus to appear in the clouds to take us with Him, to the thought of what type of fate would be left for my dog and my bird, if it were to happen that they get left behind after we are raptured?
The one question that always seems to reign supreme is this one: What will my response be as my mortality is overwhelmed by His holiness?
I believe that the main reason why God gave me a vision of the rapture the early morning of February 12, 1989, was so that I could have a very personal understanding of this basic question.
Jesus is able To present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
Imagine the myriad of feelings that we all would be experiencing if we knew with certainty that we were about to meet Jesus face to face.
In my vision, the holiness of Jesus made every cell in my body become unglued, my body was trembling so violently as He was approaching me that it became undone, my mind was trying to decide what to do in the face of such overwhelming feelings of joy and fear, but my spirit just began to shout, Hallelujah He kept His promised, the closer that Jesus came the louder that my spirit got, as I kept repeating, Hallelujah He kept His promised, over and over again, till I was raptured.
You can read about the entire vision in the opening pages of my book Man’s Final Destiny, in the books section of houseoffaithministries.org
In our opening Scripture we get to see the other side of the equation, and it is amazing to see that Jesus is just as excited as we are if not more, for we are told that He is coming after us with Exceeding joy; do you remember how Scripture tells us that for the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross?
Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
So that in reality, Jesus is a lot more excited to meet with as than we are to meet with Him, for in our frailties we fear His holiness, yet He is so eager to reveal His grace to us and to present us faultless before His glorious Father who gave us to Him as His bride for eternity.
Once we understand that our humanity, along with its many frailties is not an issue to Him, for He understands us perfectly, then we can put our emphasis on what we really need to do in order to be ready at His appearing, let’s not forget that not all of the virgins were ready.
Jude 20 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.”
In my vision of the rapture it was my spirit who took charge, for the promises of God are spiritual, and my spirit who was made alive by the Word of God, and was baptized, plunged into the Body of Jesus by the Holy Spirit back when I became a born again Christian, immediately recognized that Jesus was just fulfilling His promises, therefore I was able to shout Hallelujah, He is just doing what He promised that He would do, and there is no doubt in my spirit-man that He will keep His promises, for it is the Holy Spirit in us who knows the mind of God.
How do we build ourselves up? How do we prepare ourselves for His coming? We believe within our hearts that what He promised in His Word, He is able to fulfill, that is how our faith becomes most holy, that is, separated from the circumstances around us.
Then we can pray in the Holy Spirit, and He will reveal what the will of God is for us. We know that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, and since God has not appointed us to wrath, then we are praying His will for us when we ask Him to take us out before His day of wrath is set to begin.
Let us make sure that we know the Word and the promises of God for us in Spirit and in Truth, not only in our minds, but within our hearts as well, live it out, let His promises become real to you, and when the time comes, they will not let you down, for His strength will be made perfect in whatever weaknesses remain in us at the time of His coming.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Read the promises, hear the promises, see the promises, believe in the promises deep within your hearts, do not let doubt anywhere near them.
Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
God’s promises will keep us in His love, and looking for His mercy.
Once we become settled in the fact that because we have repented and confessed all our sins before Him, and have accepted His forgiveness for all of our sins that the atoning blood of Jesus purchased for us, we keep ourselves in His love by looking for His mercy to be revealed to others as well, for if He is not willing that any should perish, then neither should any of us be willing to let those around us perish for lack of the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for them.
It is hard to preach what we are not practicing, but if we truly believe that the return of our Savior is imminent, and we are preparing ourselves for His soon return, then telling others about the blessed hope that we are eagerly awaiting and expecting should be relatively easy for us.
Jude 22-23 “And on some have compassion, (doubters) making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”
Some of the people that we will be targeting for prayer before the Lord returns, family, friends, acquaintances, will have different issues that they will be dealing with, that when the return of Jesus becomes evident might prevent them from calling on the name of the Lord to be saved.
To the doubters we speak the Word of Truth, we simply show them God’s promises being fulfilled right before their eyes, that was how Thomas stopped doubting when confronted with the evidence that Jesus was alive and standing right before him.
Revelation 6:16 “And said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’”
When the awesomeness of the Lord is revealed to the nations before His judgments begin, the natural human response will be fear, a fear that will drive the populace to run to the bomb shelters, away from Him instead of running to Him.
That is where we come in, if we know which promise of Scripture to direct them to, and if we have been praying for them like we should, then the Holy Spirit has already prepared their hearts to receive our message, for that is how everybody gets saved, people start praying for them and then those who proclaim God’s Word to them reap the harvest.
Joel 2:31-32 “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved…”
We convert the doubters with the truth, Jesus may seem like an alien to them, for they do not truly know Him, but to us Jesus is our confidence and our salvation, our peace and our refuge, a refuge into which we invite them by explaining to them that they must repent and call on the name of the Lord out loud if they want to be saved.
The sinners are converted by their fear, they know that the wrath of the Lamb is imminent, real, and weighting heavy upon them, in their trembling we reach out to them with the Gospel, and by doing so it will be like pulling them out of the fire of hell itself.
But we must be convinced of what we believe if we want to be effective, this is why first responders train over and over again in realistic situations, so that when faced with a real emergency their training takes over and they do their jobs without been overwhelmed by the situation or circumstances that they are faced with.
For us, our spiritual training involves us constantly praying in the Holy Spirit, driven by His mercy towards us and others, and out of our deep desire to be with Him for ever and ever.
Genesis 5:24 “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”
Jude 14 “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.’”
The return of the Lord will be a very real event, it will take place very soon, maybe sooner than most realize. All the true believers (those who keep His Word and have not denied His name/deity) will be taken up with Him in the rapture, but many who call themselves Christians will be left behind, this is what the Bible says right now to the Christians that will not go up in the rapture if it were to take place today.
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
The Laodicea church is told that: Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold (salvation) refine in the fire… Revelation 3:17-18
There is a church that has closed its doors to the Lord, is the Laodicea church, and Jesus is knocking on their door right now, He is telling them that without Him they have nothing, for they are naked, blind, and poor.
It may be that these are some of the people that will be converted when Jesus is first revealed before the rapture takes place, maybe that the only way that they will hear Him knock is when the see Him in the clouds.
If you have been trusting in man-made religious traditions, they will not suffice when the sky recedes as a scroll and the wrath of the Lamb is ready to be unleashed. Now is the time to open the door of your heart to the trustworthiness of His promises, to embrace His deity and the inerrancy of Scripture, just look around you, we are living in the end of the age, do not be swept away by their demonic deluge of lies.
Jude 4 “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”