Monday, April 05, 2010

OUR BLESSED HOPE

Our Blessed Hope

Often Christians will talk about the rapture and only quote a few verses, but to my amazement there are a great number of verses that describe our blessed hope. Most of the verses that speak of the return of Jesus Christ are referring to the second advent. This is an event that happens at the end of the 7 year tribulation when Jesus Christ rescues Israel in all of His Power and Glory. The rapture is an event that takes place about 7 years before the second coming of Jesus Christ.

My purpose for this article is to list all of the verses referring to the rapture from the book of Acts all the way through the book of Revelation, so readers will understand how to watch for our blessed hope with more clarity.

I did not include Matthew through John for two reasons. There is too much conjecture in the gospels because some experts will say the verse is the rapture, and others will say it is the second advent (second coming). The other reason is there are 69 verses from Acts through Revelation. Wow!

The more verses we know, the more earnest our watch will be for Jesus Christ. For true Christians, this is not an event to be feared but anticipated with joy. This is why the Bible tells us to be watching for the rapture at all times. It is not a dreadful event. This is our blessed hope. The fear is on the other side when people will be left behind.

"This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Acts 1:11. Immediately after Jesus was taken up into heaven through a cloud, two Angels told the people watching that He would come again in like manner.This verse is referring to the rapture.

" For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."Romans 8:19. This verse promises that our body will be redeemed in heaven after the rapture.

"Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:23. This verse promises that our body will be redeemed in heaven after the rapture.

"For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Romans 14:10. After the rapture all Christians will have to give an account of their life.

"Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1st Cor.1:7. The Apostle Paul was urging fellow Christians to be faithful to Jesus Christ as they watched for the rapture. In fact he even went as far to say that watching for the rapture is a motive for faithfulness.

"Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1st Cor. 1:8. At the rapture true Christians will be blameless before God through Jesus Christ.

"If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward." 1st Cor.3:14. Only our works that abide in Jesus Christ will be rewarded and last for eternity. This judgment will begin sometime after the rapture in heaven.

"Until the Lord come, who shall bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts." 1st Cor.4:5. Jesus will reveal and judge His children after the rapture.

"Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." 1st Cor.9:25. We can either strive for some reward on earth or lay our treasures in heaven. After the rapture, the faithful in Jesus Christ that are living for Him will receive an incorruptible crown.

"Ye do show the Lord's death till he come." 1st Cor.11:26. One of the truths we are respecting when we take communion is the rapture, because this verse says..."Till He come."

"But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."1st Cor.13:10. Don't get too excited about this world because we are only in part. When Christians are raptured, we are going to be with our perfect Savior and Lord. We are also going to a perfect place called heaven in full, not in part.

"Christ the firstfruits,afterward they that are Christ's at His coming."1st Cor.15:23. Jesus Christ rose as the Firstfruits, so His children will also rise in the rapture to get their resurrected body.

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption. It is raised in incorruption."1st Cor.15:42. Right now our physical body is in a state of corruption. When we get raptured our resurrected body will be incorruptible.

"It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power."1st Cor.15:43. When we get raptured our resurrected body will be glorious.

"It is sowed a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body." 1st Cor.15:44. Our resurrection body will be immaterial.

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.1st Cor. 15:51. There will be a generation of Christians that will never die in a physical way.They will be raptured.

" In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump... the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."1st Cor. 15:52.The Christians that passed on to be with the Lord will get their resurrection bodies first, then we who are alive will get our resurrection bodies after we are raptured.

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."1st Cor.15:53. When we get our resurrected bodies at the rapture they will be incorruptible and immortal.

"Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory." 1st Cor.15:54.The resurrection will defeat death.

" If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."1st Cor.16:22. When Christians would pray Maranatha, that was a prayer for the rapture. In this verse watching for the coming of the Lord is connected with loving Jesus Christ.

"Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." 2nd Cor.4:14. There will be resurrection at the coming of Jesus Christ.

" For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ."2nd Cor.5:10. Our motives and works will be judged by Jesus Christ Himself.

"Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Phil.3:20. This verse describes our real home being in heaven, not on earth. Just like the verse says, Christians are to be looking for the rapture.

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body." Phil.3:21. We will be changed from vile to glorious. That sounds great to me.

"Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." Phil.4:5. Godly temperance is urged with patience as we look for the return of the Lord.

"When Christ who is our life, shall appear,then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." Col.3:4. Jesus Christ should mean everything to us. True Christians will be glorified with their Savior at the rapture.

"And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus." 1st Thess.1:10. This verse has us waiting for Jesus Christ. Of course with a patient spirit.

"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?"1st Thess.2:19.There seems to be a special crown for Christians that win souls for Jesus Christ.

" For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." Those that die before the rapture will get their resurrected bodies before those that are alive and caught up in the rapture.

"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." 1st Thess.4:16.Jesus Christ will physically descend from heaven. The trumpet will sound and those that died in Christ will 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." 1st Thess.4:17.True Christians will be caught up together, not separate. At this point we will be with Jesus permanently.

"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." 1st Thess.5:4. True Christians will not be overtaken by the darkness to come in the 7 year tribulation because they are in the Light, who is Jesus Christ.

" For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." 1st Thess.5:9. Christians will be physically delivered from wrath through the rapture.

"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1st Thess.5:23. Anybody who is sanctified in Jesus Christ will be preserved as blameless and have their part in the rapture of the Church.

"By the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him." 2nd Thess.2:1. True Christians will be gathered together after the rapture in heaven.

"Only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way."2nd Thess.2:7. The restraining Power of the Holy Spirit will be removed first and then the rapture will take place.

"In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." 1st Tim.4:1. This is a sign that the rapture is at hand.

"Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew." 1 Tim. 6:14. Jesus will return in His time.

" The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day." 2nd Tim.1:18. When true Christians give an account of their life after the rapture, it will be according to the mercy of God. It is not an account for condemnation. It is the faithful deeds that we did with the right motive that will be rewarded.

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." 2nd Tim. 3:1. The world will be in a form of insanity right before the rapture.

"God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom." 2nd Tim.4:1. Jesus is going to judge all Christians.

"There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.And not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." 2nd Tim.4:8.The Apostle Paul was expecting a crown of righteousness after the rapture. This crown will be given to Christians who look for and love His appearing.

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." Titus 2 :13. This verse was written to motivate fellow Christians to pure Christian living.

"Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:28. Our salvation will be complete at the rapture.

"For yet a little while, and He shall come will come, and will not tarry." Hebrews 10:37. Some Christians say that the rapture is long overdue but this verse says Jesus will rapture His children at the proper and exact time.

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him."James 1:12. This crown is promised to all those that allow the love of God to be manifested in their hearts. This person endures suffering and temptation with a pure heart because he or she loves God.

" Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord." James 5:7. James urges Christians to have a patient spirit as they watch for the rapture. There are no biblical principles in the Bible that involve our spirit being passive. Even turning the other cheek involves application. This includes a patient spirit.

"For the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5:8. James may have been referring to the imminent return but at the very least he was saying that each and every day draws closer to the rapture.

"To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." 1st Peter 1:4. When we get raptured our inheritance will be incorruptible and will never die.

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 1st Peter 1:7. Our suffering for Jesus Christ will be the most precious experiences we can give to Jesus Christ at The Judgment Seat for Believers after the rapture.

"Be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1st Peter 1:13. Being sober is thinking sound in a biblical way. We are supposed to have faith and hope in Jesus Christ until the rapture takes place. This special grace that Peter is talking about is revealed at the rapture of the Church. After the rapture we will not need faith or hope in heaven.

" And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."1st Peter 5:4. In this verse The Chief Shepherd who is Jesus Christ seems to be giving a special crown to those who were faithful as they taught the Bible in a sound way to fellow Christians. They looked after those that were under them and made sure they were feed through the Word of God.

"There shall be false teachers among you, who prively shall bring in damnable heresies." 2nd Peter 2:1. This is a sign that the rapture is at hand.

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts." 2nd Peter 3:3. This is a sign that the rapture is at hand.

"And saying, where is the promise of His coming?" 2nd Peter 3:4. There will be many mockers right before the rapture that don't believe this event will happen.

"The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." 2nd Peter 3:10. Jesus will come unexpectedly.

"Seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless." 2nd Peter 3:14. The rapture of the Church should be motivation for pure living. The other point is that the peace of God should be resting in our spirit. We should give it our best to keep peace with people in our surroundings.

"When He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." 1st John 2:28. The rapture of the Church should be motivation for pure living. John also seems to be saying that at the rapture we do not want to be doing something foolish.

"When He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." 1st John 3:2. True Christians will be like Jesus Christ but I must say we will all have different faces. Some people believe we are all going to have the same face in heaven.

"And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure."1st John 3:3. The return of Jesus is a motive for purity.

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment."1st John 4:17. If the love of God is made perfect in us or manifested in our spirit then we will truly have confidence at the judgment seat after the rapture.

"That we lose not these things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward." 2nd John 1:8. It is the desire of God that we receive a full reward, not a partial reward.

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Jude 1:21. It is hard to keep ourselves in the love of God. It is where we should be in Jesus Christ. We look for mercy because this is how we became saved. It was not through our merit. Jude says we are to be living this way as we look for the rapture unto eternal life.

"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy." Jude 1:24. As Christians live their life, Jesus Christ should be their true strength. After the rapture, we as the glorious Bride will be presented holy and blameless before God.

"That ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Rev.2:10. A crown seems to be promised to Christians for their fidelity and conflict through their faithfulness. Martyrs seem to get a special crown after the rapture.

"But that which ye have already hold fast till I come."Rev.2:25. Christians are urged to endue in holy living until the rapture.

"If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."Rev.3:3.Jesus seems to imply that He will catch some Christians unprepared because they are not watching for the rapture.Of course there are different interpretations regarding this verse.It is interesting when I hear Christians say in one way or another, that to watch for the rapture is foolish. If you know somebody like this, show them this verse. Jesus wants us watching.

" I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world." Rev.3:10. This verse clearly says that the rapture will take place before the tribulation.

"Behold, I come quickly." Rev.3:11. The rapture will take place fast and sudden. This is the event that I am looking for. I am expecting our blessed hope to take place at any moment. I am very excited!

Bob D.

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