Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Rapture: Is It Near?

Matthew 24:36

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

fullsizeoutput_ffeI first posted this devotional thought on May 21st – 2011. According to fundamentalist Harold Camping – that was the day he predicted for the Rapture. The Rapture is a belief that the saints of Christ – true believers – will be raised before the end of time arrives. A key passage some use in their teaching about the Rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. I agree with this train of thought – Christ will return – Christ will receive His church (true believers) and the end times will unfold. I just wasn’t sold on Harold Camping’s prediction in 2011 nor of anyone’s ability to predict the date today. It will come like a thief on the night according to Jesus (see Scripture reference below).

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 – 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

endofearthThe Rapture will occur as part of the end-time events. The question is – can we know when it will occur – by predicting the day and hour as some have tried – and been wrong in the past as Harold Camping was in 1994 and in 2011.

A passage that teaches about the end times is Matthew 24:29-31.

Matthew 24:29-31 – 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’  30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

I do not question that Christ will return – He will. I do not question that the end-times will come – they will.  I do not question that true believers will be raised – they will. I believe a number of the things that Harold Camping teaches. I just don’t believe that he or anyone is able to predict the day and hour (in 2011 he predicted the rapture on May 21 at 6 pm – as that time travels around the globe).

Let’s look at today’s passage in context.

Matthew 24:36-46 – 36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.

I believe no one but the Father knows the day and hour. I also believe that it could happen in a few moments – a few days – a few months or whenever. As Christians we need to be ready – to live a life seeking after the Father’s will. If nothing else – Harold Camping caused some to think and rethink their views of the Rapture. Maybe he has even awakened some of us to think about how we are living our lives. What IF Christ returned today for the true believers? Would Christ find us busy at His Kingdom’s work or not?

Romans 13:11-14 – 11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

The Rapture is coming. Are we prepared? Seek His face and desire His grace! I believe – as I view the world today – that the time may be just around the corner. Jesus could return any day for His church. Maybe He’ll return on February 23rd 2019 or on the 26th? We need to be ready!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

October 24, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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