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Dates and years are very important to God.
What is the Rapture? When will it happen? Who will experience it?
All these questions have been posed for nearly two millennia.
After Jesus’ resurrection, he said he would go to be with the Father, but that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter would come. Then, one day, Jesus would return to the earth.
“When?” the disciples asked. Jesus said no one knew when that time would be, except the Father (Matthew 24 and 25).
What we understand from scripture is that there will come a time when Jesus will return to judge the nations. At that time, those followers who are already buried will be resurrected and caught up in the air to be with Jesus, followed by those who are followers in the current time. That lifting up of the Saints to Jesus is the Rapture (Thessalonians 4:15-18).
Expectation of Jesus’ return
The Thessalonians thought Jesus would return within their lifetime. He did not.
Times since, there has been speculation and even expectation of Jesus’ return. During The Great War to end all wars (later more accurately called World War 1 —1914-1918), many believed the end of the world had come and Jesus’ return was imminent; perhaps it was but certain other things had to take place first as prophesied.
Jesus would not return before Israel was again a nation.
1917 would have been a significant year in the Hebrew calendar. And this was the year of the Balfour Declaration, the British mandate which promised the territories known in the region of Palestine where Israel once was a nation would be given back to the Jewish people. This finally happened in 1948, as a response to the terrors of the Holocaust.
Now we are in 2017. It is 50 years since the Six Day War in Israel, when in 1967, Jerusalem again came under Jewish government after centuries of foreign rule. 2017 is a Jubilee year, when in God’s Law, debts are cleared, land is returned to its original owners, and freedom is restored. The temple mount, where Solomon’s temple once stood and is prophesied to be restored, currently has the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim Mosque, upon it. Will there be room on this land to rebuild the Temple, and the land be restored to the Jewish people?
What will happen in Israel in 2017? Will Jesus return? Will those who have believed join him in the air? Will all of them or only some of them be raptured?
This video from Raw Cast outlines God’s calendar, Biblical prophecies, and the signs of the times, as pointing to a very special time coming in September with reference to God’s timeline. He does not coincide the Rapture with Jesus’ return but he does outline many significant dates worth noting.
My thoughts on the Rapture
A book could be written (and many have) about the possible understanding and sequence of Jesus’ return and of the rapture of the Saints. I for one will jot down the basics of my current thoughts on the matter of the Rapture, significant only to say that we all must pray for Jesus’ return, God’s timetable to be released and fulfilled, and peace to reign on earth.
In reading Matthew 24-25, II Thessalonians, and Revelation in regards to the Times of the End of the Age, I have an idea of who will be raptured to be with Jesus and I have one grave concern.
My concern is this: By and large, I see that Believers aren’t ready and aren’t waiting. So, many may miss Jesus’ appointed arrival.
If we miss Jesus return, does that mean we aren’t saved and will go to hell instead of heaven? I don’t know. I don’t personally think so, not if we truly love and are committed to following our Lord. But then Jesus also spoke to his twelve and said many will fall away in the last days; I do see many who are born again are becoming trapped by the Humanist agenda and are caught up in ungodly politics and human rights ideology. Some are even turned against Israel, God’s chosen people and chosen nation. All this will have consequences to the believer.
Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed (Genesis 12:3).
What I do think is that those raptured will become part of the new government who will reign under God’s rulership. And those who miss this will, at the very least, miss their calling and will not fulfil their purpose.
We must be vigilant and not take our faith or our Lord for granted.
This message is to encourage all who love Jesus to be alert and aware: Jesus is coming soon. It doesn’t matter what we consider “soon” to mean. We must have our lamps full of oil (a symbol of the Holy Spirit) and be watching for his arrival. When he knocks on our door, we must be ready to open it, and not have anything to be ashamed of when we see him.
Blessings to you all, and Shalom – God’s peace.