Be Rapture Ready!
PREPARING FOR THE RAPTURE; OUR HEARTS AND OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
BIBLE TEXT: LUKE 17:20 – 37
INTRODUCTION: The Lord Jesus had foretold of series of events that will usher in His Second Coming and consequently, the end of the world. These events will start with the sudden, unexpected and unannounced ‘Taking-up’ of the believers, both dead and alive, to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ in the air. This ‘Taking-up’ is called the Rapture. It’s therefore very important that we (Christians, believers) get prepared, so as not to be caught unawares and unprepared at His coming. May the Holy Spirit teach us and help us get prepared in Jesus’ name.
WHAT, WHEN AND TO WHOM IS THE RAPTURE? The rapture is the sudden catching up or sudden disappearance of holy and faithful saints from the earth to meet with our Lord and Saviour in the air. It is also referred to as the translation or translocation of believers – 1 Thess.4:16-17; 1 Cor.15:51-58.
The exact timing of the occurrence of the rapture is not known –Matt.24:42,44; Matt.25:13; 1 Thess.5:6. However, it shall precede the tribulation – 1 Thess.1:10, 5:9; 2 Thess.2:12.
Those that will be raptured include: those who are in Christ at His coming – Jn.1:12; 2 Cor.5:17. Those who earnestly desire His appearance – Titus 2:13; Phil.3:20. Those who love the Lord supremely – Phil.3:7-10; Jn.21:15-17; Jn.14:15; Mk.16:15-18; Lk.19:12-13. Those whose citizenship is in Heaven – Phil.3:20-21; Eph.2:19. Those who will live holy even as He is holy – 1 Pt.1:16; Heb.12:14; 1 Jn.3:1-3. And those in whose hearts the Kingdom is already established. Luke 17:20-21.
PREPARING FOR THE RAPTURE; HOW, WHERE AND WHEN DO WE GET PREPARED?
To be prepared for the Rapture, you should first and foremost ‘Take heed’ to yourself. Believers and unbelievers alike are charged to take heed. 1Cor.10:12; Rom.11:20.
The preparation for the rapture starts to happen, and settles in the heart. Luke 17:21. The heart of a man is the director of the identity of that man Prov.23:7. The heart is the control centre, the command centre, the control room of a man’s life. It’s your heart that says who you are, the real man beyond the physical being. It is the aspect of man that reflects the image of his creator. The quality and condition of the heart determine the quality of the whole being. You are not better a man than the value and the content of your heart, Prov.23:7, 4:23; Matt.12:34; Mark 7:21.
The Lord Jesus said the greatest commandment is, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Matt.22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27. Even loving God is a matter of the heart.
Right from the old to the New Testament and till now, the Lord has been checking the heart of men, to the extent that; if a man must amount to anything before Him, the man’s heart must be so right in His presence, Psa.24:3-4. In fact, what will make God to either bless a man or make Him ‘require’ the man’s soul depend on the man’s heart condition, Gen.18:17-19; Luke 1:5-25, 12:16-20. You see, no man can amount to anything before the Lord with a wrong heart condition. And it’s from the heart ‘within’ that those other things that make a man ‘without’ is conceived.
You cannot be a better person ‘without’, than what you are, ‘within’. “Like space programs, particularly the relationship between the spaceship and the ground control Centre, the heart is that part of us that recognizes and responds to divine stimuli outside of ourselves. When that contact is broken, the spaceship is said to be out of control drifting aimlessly into or in space! Similarly, at fall, the heart of Adam recognized as soon as it disobeyed God and prompted him to go into hiding on the approach of God. Since then, the heart of man has been adrift and its natural pull is to go out of control” (MANAGING THE HEART; Emmanuel’s Daily Reflections). That is why certain things are not even allowed to settle or take hold of your ‘within’.
Sins should not be allowed in your heart irrespective of how insignificant you may think it is, Luke 21:34. Neglecting, leaving or forsaken God should not even be an option to consider, in your heart Heb.3:13-19. Sin will separate the sinner from his Maker, Isa.59:1-2. The Lord rather expects you to come to Jesus, for the renewal of your hearts, in preparation for His second coming. Rom.12:1-2; Luk.17:20-21.
The preparation for the Rapture/the Kingdom of God is not a one-off kind of preparation. It’s a continuous, consistent and constant kind of preparation. We are to be consistent in holiness, righteousness, faithfulness, watching and waiting for the glorious return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, lest any time our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, so that day comes upon us unawares. Luke21:34. We should watch and wait, for we do not know the hour, when the coming of the Son of Man shall be.
If any man tells you that once saved is forever saved, do not believe them; it is not biblical. Rom.11:20-22; Heb.3:6,14; John15:2; 1Cor.15:2.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE RAPTURE/THE SECOND COMING OF THE KINGDOM
- The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Luke17:20-23.
- There will be no change in anything physical. The children of God will not need to physically learn how to fly.
- Satan will not stop Church; he will definitely adulterate Church content. In fact, when Jesus would have come and gone, some ‘church-goers’ will still be in the Church praying all kinds of prayers of death over their enemies, financial breakthroughs, etc.
When the Lord Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming, the content and condition of your heart will be the determinant, either you will go with Him or not. Will you ask the Holy Spirit to please quicken you heart, and make you ready for the Masters return? If you have not surrendered your life to Christ, now is the most appropriate time to do so.
- Father, I thank You for making me hear this message.
- Father, I am ready, please empty my heart of every irrelevances to Your Kingdom.
- Father, please fill my heart with the requirements of the Kingdom, in the name of Jesus.
- (Add your prayer requests as led.)
God bless you.
Bro. Olalekan Sam. Olaposi