1 Thessalonians 4:17 “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (NIV)
It’s called ‘The Rapture,’ and is one of the greatest mysteries in the Bible. The apostle Paul describes it as an amazing moment at the end of time when Christ suddenly returns to our planet. After initially raising the faithful dead, Jesus will then transport all of His living followers to be with Him above the Earth, just before all sorts of calamities and judgments take place. We don’t know how or exactly when it will happen, but everything – absolutely everything – will be changed in a microsecond. One moment, the Earth and its inhabitants will be what they always appear to be and then, in the blink of an eye, the world and everyone in it will be changed forever. There will be no point in praying or appealing to God for mercy after that dread moment; we will either be with Jesus above the Earth or we will be stranded on our planet awaiting the Final Judgment.
Frequently, the Rapture is something that unnerves, scares, and confuses a lot of church people. Mainline pastors don’t preach on it very often because it creates a lot of discomfort and unease in the hearts and minds of congregants. We all just want to get on with our lives, be happy, and, at the end of our time on Earth, be accepted and welcomed into God’s eternal bliss.
However, as each day passes, we get one day nearer to Christ’s sudden return. He could come back today, so the question we need – absolutely need – to ask ourselves is this: at that astounding moment, will I be taken up into the clouds to be with Christ or left on Earth to await His judgment?
Point to ponder: Am I ready for Christ’s sudden return? What needs to change in my life in order for me to be prepared?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we carelessly live our lives as if they go on forever. We take Your mercy and grace for granted, believing we can live how we want and do what we want. You know that there are things in our lives which need to be changed. You know there are promises we have made to You which we have broken or failed to keep. Help us, Lord, to mend those failures and enable us to become ready for Your Return. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s Communion drawings called “Time Stood Still.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.
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