photo from Christian forums.org
Rev. Sudha Mehta©
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John 14: 1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.(NKJV)
John 14:1-3 rendition from my grandson
From the beginning as a newly “born Again” child of God I had an intense hunger for the Bible. I had to hide the Bible in those days for I was in a very painful marriage. Every Bible I was given by my neighbor, (there were several) was taken away if found, and disposed of. This only fueled my hunger and thirst. I became better at hiding . . .
There were some very painful times in my past, yet in those times God so wondrously provided and manifested His presence that they have actually become very precious memories filled with miracles, revelations of God and His awesome works. I saw how “present” God was in my circumstance.
In such times this hunger for the Word led me very early to discover the Books of Thessalonians, and the passages about the Rapture. I found the promise of His coming to get me very comforting in my difficult circumstances. Since then I have been hooked on the subject of prophecy.
My three year old son received Christ on my knee, and I taught Him about Heaven our eternal home, and our soon-coming King right away. Then when my daughter was born, she too at the age of three received Christ on my knee, and she too has been raised to anticpate the Lord’s coming. Now my grandchildren have been instructed and are being raised in the same anticipation.
Rapture drawing from my grandson
People think it is a difficult subject, in my most difficult time it has been my comfort and my hope. My children are now parents themselves, but this hope lives on, and we all are students of prophecy.
It is easy for many to fall prey to the wiles of the devil thinking these prophecies are so old and nothing ever happens . . . that is what the enemy wants us to think, so that we give up hope, and lose faith. Peter warned:
2 Peter 3: 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”(NKJV)
However, if you are a student of the Word, you get to learn and see the patterns, and decipher the signs. You follow the roadmap laid out by God and you know that though it seems forever, He is never, ever late. He is always on time . . . perfect time.
2 Peter 3: 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.(NKJV)
What seems to be a delay, is in fact His mercy, for His desire is that no one end up in Hell!
So now I have lived almost half a century waiting for the Rapture, listening for the trumpet sound and my King’s voice saying “Come Up here!”
Have I ever thought of giving up? No!
Have I felt discouraged and thought “He will never come?” No!!
Have I ever been ready to throw in the towel and walk away from the faith? NO!!!
Photo from pinterest
If personal experience and emotion was to truimph over the Word of God, then the first century’s believers would have given up. They had much to lose and they did. They laid down everything including their lives, but to lose “Hope” was not an option.
The Church today is largely illiterate in the Bible and they have not grown in the hope of His return to begin with. The average Christian has not been taught prophecy or the importance thereof, even seminaries and Bible colleges today have for the most part given up on 25% of the Bible which is Prophecy. Then again, Jesus knew this would happen! That people would give up, water down, compromise, adulerate the Word; that they would follow strange gods and become tolerant of all manner of sin and not remain pure, holy and committed to the word is tragic . . . but . . . it too was prophecied!
True believers that have a full Bible world view today are very much the minority. We are indeed, as prophecied, in the last days of the Church age. We have become the Church of Laodicea of which Jesus said:
Revelation 3: 15“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (ESV)
What a dangerous place that is! If on Sundays you warm the pews of a church that is lukewarm at best, Get out of it! If you have a pastor who is excited about prophecy and teaches the whole gospel faithfully, encouraging his parishners to look up and stay ready, you are blessed. Stay in that church, and encourage others. A faithful servant continues to follow loyally.
I intend to keep my name and my family’s name on that list of faithful followers by living intentionally in complete readiness, occupying as He directed, staying busy, living life to the fullest in His service, and looking up with expectation.
Bible study photo from crosswalk
Many years ago a man came to my class on the Book of Revelation. He was curious enough to want to know some but he stated that this precious Book gave him the “heebie Jeebies!” He managed to sit through one session, but we never saw him again.
A young mother came to the same class with one question : “Will my children know me in heaven, and will we be a family there? When I said of course, she said “That is all I want to know, the rest matters not.” She also never returned. There have been others that also were excited at first but didn’t stay for one reason or another. The reasons generally had to do with answers they did not want to hear!
More than a few pastors choose not to teach on the subject because they feel inadequate themselves to address the subject. I believe God will hold them responsible for not preparing the Church for what is to come. As shepherds and Bible teachers it is their responsibility to teach the Word without neglecting 25% of it. It is also their responsibility to learn the subject first without making excuses if they feel inadequate. There are so many tools provided today by God, they will give account for neglecting the job they have been assigned.
Bible teachers and anyone that teaches the Word will be judged more strictly by God:
James 3:1My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.(NKJV)
It is not that difficult!
Pastors are especially leary of teaching this subject to the young children, and new converts. They are concerned people will get scared. I disagree entirely! My own children and my grandchildren were taught about heaven, the return of Jesus and the rapture of the church from the beginning. This has been our hope and our promise . . . learning heaven is our true home and that someday Jesus is going to rapture us out is the hope of the church.
1 Thessalonians 4: 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.(NKJV)
The apostle Paul didn’t think it was necessary to wait teaching this topic to new believers.
Acts 17: 1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” (WEB)
Paul stayed in Thessalonica for three sabbaths (equalling three Sunday services), bringing the gospel to those that would hear the message that Messiah had come, had died, was resurrected and had ascended, AND that He was coming someday to get them home to Heaven. On three sabbaths (equalling three Sunday services) he taught them about the antichrist, and the hard times coming upon the World. On these three sabbaths (equalling three Sunday services) these baby believers learned that they would be tried sorely but that they were to remain faithful; and that at the right moment they would be snatched out because God had not appointed them to wrath. On these three very important sabbaths they were told when things get rough they were to comfort each other in this knowledge that their God had not abandoned them.
Paul teaching photo from churchofjesuschrist
Just three Sabbaths (equalling three Sunday services) !
Think about it . . . brand new converts . . . Paul altered their world view, changed their paradigm, planted them anew on a fresh foundation, like new plantings they began to develop roots but they were still soooo young! In this short time frame he gave them understanding of the past history, pulled in a concise map their current world events; and gave them understanding of the yet unfolded future events that would test these baby Christians to the core. To these young believers Paul issued a warning of the dark times yet to come, but when he described it all, Paul reiterated the beauty of the promise that they would be delivered out of it.
They never saw it happen. many gave their lives for a promise that seemed a dream unfulfilled, but they did not doubt that at some point in the future, their children, or their children’s children would get to see the promise fulfilled.
The point is that Paul did not treat these believers as tender little spiritually young idiots that would not be able to grasp the tough teachings of the Word. No . . . he went full throttle into the teaching, packing it all in just three short sabbaths.
Two thousand years later we still use this as the inspired Word of God that is without error.
The revelation of prophecy is progressive. These young believers had no way of knowing how long it would be before the last trumpet would sound. They had no way of knowing that two thousand years of the Church age had yet to unfold before His promise could be fulfilled. They had no Idea that God had to bring in gentile Nations into the promise as well.
Now we stand at the very end of the Church age. Indeed nothing is left to be fulfilled prophetically speaking that holds the Rapture back. Seeing prophecy unfold and many signs of Matthew 24 fulfilled, we know the next expected step in prophecy is the Rapture.
The question is not: Is it True?
Rather it is : Will you be left behind?
I hope not!!
John 6: 40And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”(NKJV)
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