Monday, February 3, 2020

Is rapture imminent?

Is rapture imminent?

Important Notice: This week's article has been written by our beloved Brother Thomas John who is doing a good job in the mission field for the Lord in Bangladesh and some other areas. This precious brother and his team are fearless and selfless warriors of the Cross who preach the gospel in areas where their lives are in constant danger. We therefore urge you brethren to pray for them in Jesus name. As a ministry, we have been warned by the Lord not to set dates relating to His coming. Therefore the dates suggested below may or may not be accurate and these are not endorsed by this ministry.

Vision of a selfish Christian (02/02/2020). 

I (Brother Glenn) had a vision from the Lord on above date. I had a conversation with a known pastor in our area and the Lord showed me that this man had sin in his life which he did not even hide from others. While this and I were conversing, i heard the Lord saying, "This man will do nothing for others unless he stands to benefits from it". End! (Colossians 3:23-24).

We therefore encourage you brethren, let us not do good to others for self-gain, or self-glorification but as humble servants doing it to please our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 17:10; Matthew 25:40).

I have no doubt that we are living in the last days foretold in the scriptures thousands of years ago. I am very excited to be living at this crucial period in history. I believe the next great event in human history is going to be the rapture of the church. The vast majority of the unbelieving world will be caught unawares when this event will finally occur. However for the small band of true believers in Christ, it is going to be a day like no other.

At no time in history have we seen prophetic puzzles falling into place at such a speed. It is all happening right in front of our eyes. This is the most significant period in world history as the prophetic time clock is ticking faster than ever before. So many things are falling into place. So much is converging so fast! And yet many don’t pay attention. The sad truth is there are so many Christians today who have no idea how close they are to this great event. Unfortunately many of them aren’t studying the word and are not interested in the Lord’s return. A good number of Christians don’t even believe the rapture is ever going to occur. It has become just like the days of Noah. There is so much of unbelief and belligerence. In most churches there is no serious preaching on the Lord’s return. Sadly so many in our churches are not rapture ready!

Is it possible to know?

Jesus had clearly stated in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows the day or hour of his coming. Does it mean that we will be totally in the dark regarding Christ’s return for his church? What Christ said was that no one knows the ‘exact time’. That doesn’t mean we cannot know the ‘general time’ of rapture. The overall timing might remain a mystery. However we may be able to observe some general indicators when key prophecies are fulfilled.

The same Jesus who said that no man knows the day or the hour of his coming, however, was very angry with the Pharisees and Scribes for not discerning “the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:3) and not knowing the "time of their visitation" (Luke 19:44).

Jesus did go into detail about the end times in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. When the disciples

asked what would be the signs of the end of the age, he explained in-depth. The whole chapter is devoted to us knowing what the times would be like and what are the things to come. If He did not want us to know what to look for, He would have told the disciples that they

do not need to know. It is in fact the complete opposite. We can know the general time of his coming by discerning the signs of the end time. The Bible talks about signs that point to the rapture. It is our ignorance of these signs that deter us from knowing the truth and becoming rapture ready.

Major signs

In Matthew 24 we find the disciples asking Jesus a very profound question, “When this will happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” and this is what Jesus told them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:7-14).

Nations today are armed with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Many are at war with each other. The situation is chaotic in many places around the world. The Middle East is more combustible than ever. We are almost on the verge of a third world war. It has never been like this. Our world is at a tipping point.

Persecution of Christians is on the rise around the world. Today Christians in many nations are targeted, hunted down and ruthlessly murdered. According to one estimate, a Christian is martyred every five minutes. The unprecedented rise in persecution of Christians across the world is a sure sign that we are drawing closer to tribulation and subsequent events.

We are seeing an increase in the frequency and intensity of earthquakes all over the world. Jesus in his Olivet discourse predicted that this would be a major sign just prior to his return to earth.

It must also be borne in mind that our Lord Jesus knew that the global media would cover most of the events He mentioned in Matthew 24:7 and the new diseases being reported around the world are signs we need to take note of.

The increase of sin is another major sign. The moral degeneration that we witness today in the world is unprecedented. Morality is overwhelmed by shameless behavior. It was Ruth Graham, the late wife of Billy Graham who once said, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” It isn’t just America but the entire world is witnessing a rapid degradation of morality. Evil is rising around the world.

Today there may be only few people in the world who haven’t heard the name Jesus. It is true that many Islamic nations do not allow religious freedom. In some countries people risk the death penalty for changing religion. But the Internet and some social media platforms is changing everything. It is much harder for governments to control. The gospel message is going out to the world. Unreached people group doesn’t necessarily mean that a particular group hasn’t heard about Jesus or Christianity at all. Gospel has reached almost every place in the world.

Written by Brother Thomas John and reviewed by Brother Glenn