Friday, November 30, 2012

The Escape From All Rapture

A quick note of encouragement for us today.  The escape from all is certainly coming.  People can call it whatever they want, rapture, escape whatever.  Fact is, whatever happened to Noah and Lot, something like that is going to happen for us as well.  That is a guaranteed fact.

The Lord does not tell us exactly when it will happen but He does tell us it will be "before the flood."  That piece of timing info is critical to our understanding.  When did Noah enter the ark?  BEFORE the flood.  And what was the flood?  Judgement.

So before judgement hits, we are out of here.  The judgement that is coming must be very severe because even now we see the earth being judged and some of the things happening to the earth today are frightening.

Here is what the Lord tells us:

Matt 24:36No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,f but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark39and 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. 40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come43But 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. 44So 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? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

It is this unknown day and hour we are looking for.  Notice the Words used in Matt 24:
42Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

and compare to this:

Luke 21:34“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

What do we see in both places?  Keep watch, unknown day of arrival of the Lord, escape from all, business as usual in the world up till the day Noah entered the ark.  That day will close on people like a trap.  Why?  Business as usual day after day after day and then WHAM, the trap shuts and those who are ready escape those who are not ready suffer.

Where else do we see this idea of readiness for an unexpected day?  Flip from Matt 24 to Matt 25 and there we have it again:

Matt 256“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

The virgins who were ready went in to the wedding and the door was shut.

We can be absolutely certain about this:  Noah escaped all the judgement in his day, Lot escaped all the judgement in his day, and we will escape all the judgement in our day if we are watching and ready.  Is that encouraging to you?  It is to me.

In the past I argued with the scoffers and deniers endlessly.  The days of debate are over. All of us do not have the same level of faith.  Some of us believe the Lord for alot more than others do.  Some of us believe the Lord for exactly what He promised.  Others just do not have the faith to take the Lord at His Word exactly as it was written.  If the Lord told us to pray for an escape from all,  then there must be an escape from all.  What the Lord said He would do, He absolutely will do.

People can continue to debate all they want.  The debates settle nothing.  You can't argue a person with little faith into having more faith, its just that simple.  And it is by faith that we take hold of the promises.

... so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who
through faith and patience inherit the promises.

So if the Lord promised an escape, and certain people do not have the faith to lay hold of that promise, do they still inherit that promise?  Not according to this Word above.  THROUGH FAITH and patience we inherit the promises.  Period.  As you believe so you receive.  Don't believe the promises?  Then you do not receive them.  A perfect example is right here:

Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed
it would
." And his servant was healed at that very hour

What happened to the centurion?  He received as he believed.  The Lord told him it would be done to him just as he believed.

So many Christians today believe they will not escape all that is about to happen.  The Lord told us to pray that we may escape all that is about to happen but because these people do not believe, they do not pray according to the command given to us.  What will the result be?  We will find out soon enough.

This writer believes that the Lord meant everything He said.  It is true that some things were written in plain language and others appear to be mysteries, but at a minimum we should believe the  things written in plain language as it was written.

What does "pray" mean?  What does "escape" mean?  What does "all" mean?  Are these not written plain enough for us?  It is written plain enough.

 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

People understand the words in their mind but they cannot lay hold of the promise because of their lack of faith.

Where are the faith preachers today?  I hear about everything else but faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Remember that.  Remember the Lord's rhetorical question as well:

And without faith it is impossible to please God,

Luke 18:8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and ...
... Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” 

As we believe, so we receive from the Lord.  Or were the apostles foolish for making this request to the Lord:

Luke 17:5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

If our faith is lacking what should we do?  Ask for more.  Ask, seek, knock, pray!  The Lord is faithful.

This post was written to encourage you.  As we see the day approaching, let us take the Lord at His Word.  If any of us doubt, let us ask the Lord to teach us.  He Himself will teach us:

New Living Translation (©2007)
1 John 2:27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.


There is an escape from all coming and we must pray for it.  If we are lacking in faith let us pray for more.  Who knows how much time is left?  The appearance of things is that time is short.  Lets also remember to be patient. 

grace and peace