By Joseph DeGraft-Amanfu, PG2ALL
May 19, 2011 8:30a.m. EDT
Saturday, May 21, 2011 will not be the end of the world and neither will it be the day of the Rapture, nor the second coming of Jesus Christ to begin His millennial reign on earth.
True, there will one day be the rapture of those in Christ. The word Rapture does not appear in the Bible, but this exclusion is no argument for the unreality. When the apostle Paul used the phrase, “caught up” in the quotations below, he meant exactly the meeting of the living and the resurrected dead together with the risen Savior in the air.
Read the following:
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (Mathew 15:51-52).
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Further, it is true, that Jesus the Christ will return to earth with the saints who were “caught up” in the air (all who are born again are saints). At the end of this age, Jesus shall return to bring to completion the work He begun in His ministry, death, and resurrection. He Himself said:
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him” (Revelations 22:12).
Language has no meaning if Jesus Christ is not returning as He said. Again, read the following:
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mathew 24:44).
“Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mathew 26:64).
“And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62).
“Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
“So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7).
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 1:14-15).
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelations 1:7).
Furthermore, it is true that in the distant future, the present earth will be reformed:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelations 21:1-5).
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21).
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Peter 3:13).
But, the time when each of these events will take place, no man knows. Just when the above events will take place is unknown, and we are warned against attempts to set an exact date for Christ’s return.
The general signs of its approach have been given, but the precise moments (day or hour) knows no man, not even the angels. Only the Father knows the time of Christ’s return since it has been set by His authority (cf. Acts 1:7):
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Mathew 24:36).
Nevertheless, the Bible admonishes us all to be ready for we know not when Christ would come, or when any of us would be called home (die).
It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; hence, let us pray to God to help us number our days and to redeem the time (cf. Hebrews 9:26-27).
Information: Joseph DeGraft-Amanfu, author and president of Preach the Gospel 2 All. You can find out more about Pastor DeGraft and his books by visiting the above link.