The Blessed Hope (Rapture of the Church) is an event that has no signs or prophecies to be fulfilled before our gathering together in heaven. It can happen at any moment. The Bride of Christ will be taken up when we least expect it to happen. I could be going to the store in my car and I might be gone in a instant. We could be doing our job with our workers and suddenly we are vanished in front of them. On the other side of the world we could be sleeping and then the rapture could take place. That is a really good way to wake up. I'm sure the coffee in heaven is much better up there than down here. When God the Father gives the command to His Son Jesus Christ then we are all going to be snatched up to heaven if we are members of His body (Born Again Christians saved through the blood of Jesus Christ).
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.
The Blessed Hope is laid out for us in the Word of God. God has given us specific instructions in Scripture on how to look for the Rapture of the Church.
God gave us three commands concerning the Blessed Hope. The first is to WATCH for His coming,
The second command is to OCCUPY until He returns,
The third is to Wait patiently but with anticipation as we look for the coming of Jesus Christ.
If we take the first letter of these three words ------- WOW. This Blessed event will be a WOW.
We are given the command to Watch because when we do this we become more aware of everything around us in our world but only from the backdrop of the perfect control of God allowing current events to transpire on planet earth. Today we see several signs such as blood moons, strange things happening in outer space and much more that would probably take me five different articles to write. Being watchful keeps our minds alert so we can pick up on the spiritual issues in the Bible. Did you ever notice that almost nobody has discernment on the matters pertaining to what the Bible teaches?
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the Spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41. Staying out of the flesh as much as possible is good because when we are in the Spirit we can understand the Word of God. When we do not give in to temptation of the things in this world we remain pure before God and are more equipped to watch for the return of Jesus Christ.
Another command is to occupy and wait on the Lord. We are to go about our business bearing fruit for the Lord, loving our neighbor, helping people in need and doing our ministry in whatever gifts God has given us to do. It is very difficult in a sinful world to be a good Christian but we are to run the race just like Paul said because our reward will be great in heaven. The true prize is being with Jesus Christ.
One good passage in the Bible is, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thy heart: Wait I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14.
What kind of intensity should we have when we do these commands for God? Picture a unit of 20 soldiers completely surrounded by the enemy on all sides. The captain calls for help and explains the situation. Soon a whole army is coming to their aid after the soldiers were watching, waiting and occupying until they came. When they did they were happy and cheering so they could be rescued from their place. We occupy but we should be ready to leave at any moment.
Jesus is going to do the same thing for his Church. Remember when we least expect our Lord and Master to return ------ that is when He is going to take His bride home to be with Him for all eternity. Luke 12.
In Matthew chapter 25 the Bible talks about 10 virgins. They were all waiting for the Bridegroom to come. Five of the virgins had their lamps filled with oil. The other five did not have their lamps filled with oil.
The first 13 verses of Matthew 25 talk about the five foolish virgins and the five wise virgins. The five wise virgins were very diligent in keeping their lamps filled and the five foolish virgins were not. “ When the cry came. Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” Matthew 25:6.
The five foolish virgins were troubled because they had no oil in their lamps and asked the five wise virgins to give them some oil and were refused because they would not have enough oil for themselves. They were to buy their own oil but when they went out to buy oil the Bridegroom came and took the five wise virgins with him to the marriage and the door was shut. Matthew 25:8-10.
When the other virgins returned they said, “Lord, Lord open to us but He answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not. "Matthew 25: 11-12.
Please note the next verse in Matthew 25:13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherin the Son of man cometh.” Why were the five foolish virgins left behind? Most people would say because they did not have oil in their lamps. Oil has always been symbolic for the Holy Spirit in the Bible. The foolish virgins did forgot or maybe the better word would be foreclose a command God gave them which was to watch but even more important they were not filled with the Holy Spirit.
They were not watching for the Lord and were lacking in what they were supposed to do for the Lord which is WOW. Watch, occupy and wait for the return of the Lord with patience being filled with the Holy Spirit. When we are watching for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ the right way our focus is on Him.
When we are doing what the Lord commands us to do as we anticipate His return we will have peace in our hearts knowing that God is pleased. He will bless us because we are in his will. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart then by all means today is the day of salvation. Jesus will welcome you with welcome arms and the reality is He is coming very soon. Perhaps today.