After these things I looked
(1) "After these things I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard, like that of a trumpet talking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things. (2) And immediately I was in the Spirit : and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne." Revelation 4:1 - 2.
We need to take note the church has been the main theme of Revelation chapters one to three. Starting with Revelation chapter four the word church is not even seen until Revelation chapter nineteen and even at that the word "Church" is not mentioned in this chapter but the reality is implied because the bride of Christ is seen coming back with Jesus Christ to earth. This is the second coming after the seven year tribulation period. Then we see the Son of God reign as King of King and Lord of Lords. How come the church is not even mentioned in these interlude chapters? Where is the Church? The true believers in Christ are raptured in Revelation 4:1 - 2.
This group of people will never die but will be changed from mortals to immortals. I already quoted in the previous article 1Thessalonians 4:16 -18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51 - 52 so obviously I am not going to quote the verses again but the "When" issue is found in Revelation 4:1 - 2. I do not know the day, hour or even the year when the Blessed Hope will happen but it would have to be comforting to know that true believers in Christ are not destined for the wrath of God. We will be persecuted so just remember there is a difference between the words persecution and wrath. Christians are destined for persecution but we are not called to the wrath of God. "And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Je'sus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
In those rapture verses that I quoted notice Jesus will raise the bodies of dead believers and simultaneously change living believers to immortals. The word caught up means to snatch up so you may hear some Christians refer to this event as the great snatch. Rapture is a Latin word and I hear people say, "Oh the word rapture is not mentioned the Bible" but that is not true if you have a Latin Bible. Remember it is a Latin word.
The reason we are promised to be part of the catching away is because God is Holy and when rebellious mankind becomes so sinful a judgment so terrible is going to be implemented on planet earth. The wrath of God is not for His people but reserved for those who have rejected Jesus Christ in one way or another. Remember the sin level will be at an all time high at this point in prophetic history.
When Jesus was speaking to the Philadelphia church He gave them a promise. This particular church was the only true authentic body of believers totally pleasing in the sight of the Lord. There was not even one bad thing rebuked to this Christian gathering. "Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." Revelation 3:10.
The rapture is an event that happens in the air because it is a thief in the night but the second coming is the Messiah returning in power and majesty to the earth with every eye seeing Him.
It is true that the verses I just quoted at the top of this article (Revelation 4:1 - 2) does not specifically say this is the rapture but notice the apostle John 's departure for heaven takes place after the church era closes in Revelation chapter three before the day of the Lord begins in Revelation chapter 4:1. The seven year tribulation begins in chapter six. It is obvious that Revelation 4:1 is describing the catching away of the church.
Do you know how many times the word church is mentioned in Revelation chapters one to three? Nineteen times but the word church is never even mentioned once from chapters four to nineteen. Some people may ask why and that is a good question. It is because these are the chapters that describe the great outpouring of the wrath of God.
There is another distinction in the first three chapters compared to Revelation chapters four to nineteen. In the first three chapters seven different times the phrase he who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The phrase is different in Revelation chapter thirteen because hear John writes if anyone has an ear let him here. Notice the word church is left out. If we were still on the earth during these devastating judgments God would mention the word church.
Remember back in the days of Noah they were eating, drinking and going about their business but failed to heed the warnings. My point is we need to be ready. The same principal that was applicable in the days of Noah is relative to us and the rapture of the church. What did the people in the days of Noah do is light of the righteous truth they heard with their ears? They rejected the prophetic warnings of God and His offer of forgiveness. The flood was a judgment that came upon an unbelieving world. What most people do not understand is unbelief to Jesus Christ and sin will harden the heart. I am just one person that is beckoning and warning people urging individuals to repentance.
In Luke 17: 20 - 36 the Bible teaches two angels told Lot that God was going to judge the wickedness of Sodom. Same principle different time period. God must have really been angry because Sodom is still on fire as we converse right now at this very moment. First we receive a prophetic warning then God removes His people and finally judgment falls on unbelievers. Do you really believe if the rapture is going to happen at the end of the seven year tribulation people will be eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, marrying or sleeping? No because this time period is going to be so bad that normal business will not even exist because survival will be the norm of that future day.
More messages are now prophetic than any other time frame in this age of grace. There are many signs that tell us that Jesus is coming soon in the rapture. The signs are horrible but in one sense of the word they should give a true believer comfort because Jesus Christ is coming soon.
In Matthew twenty four Jesus tells us there will be wars and rumors of wars. Nations are rising against nations. The world has mass famines all over the earth. There are exponential increases in earthquakes all over the world. There is a vast increase in pestilences. These are just the beginning of sorrows. Christians are being persecuted and martyred all over the world. False prophets are rising up at an alarming rate with a distorted gospel. Sin is increasing to the point when people in the last generation would have never even thought of and the love of many is waxing cold. Drugs, pollution, a one world religion, a one world government, lawlessness and global weather changes are taking place now which are preludes before the seven year tribulation period.
Many times in the New Testament the rapture is equated to hope. It is only "Hope" for people who are ready by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in salvation and are abiding in Him.
(40) "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (41) Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (43) But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. (44) Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Matthew 24:40 - 44.
In Revelation 1:2 John went into the Spirit, saw a throne and the One that sat on the throne. I already quoted verses in Revelation chapter one. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." Revelation 1:10. To prepare John for the vision a trumpet was sounded and he was called up into heaven. He was in the Spirit, saw a throne and the One that sat on the throne. This was worth repeating because the purpose was to show this apostle a sight there of the things which were to be hereafter. He was placed in the Spirit to prepare for this vision. This Spirit was possessed with the spirit of prophecy but the key is he was under divine influence.
When the apostle John saw the throne and the One that sat on the throne this is a seat of honor, authority and judgment. All earthly thrones are under the jurisdiction of this particular throne that is set in heaven. He observed a glorious One on the throne. He saw God.
It is obvious that the apostle John went on an amazing heavenly journey to see the future of planet earth. God was able to do this because He created time and can see the past, present and future. For all practical purposes we need to ask ourselves a logical question. What are we going to do with our life for eternity in light of the soon return of Jesus Christ? The first thing a person has to do is accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all their sins and invite the Son of God into their life.
That is just the beginning because the Bible calls us to live a holy and obedient life before God. This is difficult because if we sin we need to repent and forsake our sin/sins. In Matthew chapter twenty five we are called to be guided by the Holy Spirit and to be the profitable servants for Jesus Christ for the glory of God.
When you find out what the will of God is for your life then engage in this obedience. John chapter fifteen is very clear that we are to continue to abide in Jesus Christ. All these practices require diligence.
We are saved by grace and kept by grace but doing works for God for the right reason is strong evidence that we are truly redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The love of the Holy Spirit in our hearts drives us to serve God and this outpouring not only pleases God but ministers to other people. When I see people stop at past tense salvation they have not studied the Bible. The most important part of our life is after we get redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. If you did made that past tense salvation decision do not neglect your present tense salvation. Once again this takes diligence and an obedient spirit to God through His Son Jesus Christ in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
God bless you,