Elation and Empathy as the Rapture Nears

Blog note. Occasionally, I post an article or letter written by another Christian that I believe is ‘spot on’ regarding his or her assessment of scripture as applied to prophecy or things of the ‘end times.’ The following is one such article that I think is extremely accurate in terms of how scripture is applied to today’s events, circumstances and the general conditions in our country and on earth. You are welcome to disagree or agree with this person’s assessment and comments. These are not my comments, but I tend to agree with them and feel urged or motivated to share them. As is my practice, I blog and post many articles and ‘proof’ regarding the accuracy of the ‘season’ in which we live and of the unfolding developments which lead to the Tribulation. As a watchman, it is my job to report what I see and apply it to God’s word as provided in scripture. I’m not a theologian or a seminarian. However, my goal is to discern what I see as happening and apply the ‘proof’ of what I see against what God says/said would happen. The amount of ‘proof’ occurring today is astronomical. More so, than I believe any time prior. Other ‘watchmen’ see the same things. We all can’t be wrong. Yes, perhaps some of our interpretations are off, after all we are human. However, God asks some of us to be ‘watchmen’ and to sound a warning or alarm.  That time has come. Maybe some in the church will ‘wake up’. Thank you for following my blog. I pray that the Spirit will help you discern these things. Be a “Berean” and research these things yourself. Come to your own conclusion about the truthfulness of these things. Don’t take my word for it. God gave all of us intellect and minds capable of understanding His word and applying it as appropriate. Thank you Ms. Lane for sharing your insight and comments. Today, it takes strength and courage to share the gospel and scripture as it is related to the ‘season’ of the end times. End of note.

Elation and Empathy as the Rapture Nears – By Ronda Lane

This is a study of the conflict between the elation of the rapture in comparison to the empathy for those who have not yet accepted Christ, knowing they will soon enter the most horrific time period ever known to mankind. We believers are witnessing the last hours of the age of grace, and how all future end-time Bible prophecy is aligning. Current characteristics foretold of the last days are prevalent (2 Tim.3:1-5, Rom. 1:18-32, Jude 1:18, 2 Pet. 3:3-7, 2 Tim. 4:3-4, et al). We witness these things, knowing that the rapture is imminent (no date is given, no preceding events which must occur prior to). Yet we know all that was foretold to occur AFTER the rapture, and we recognize these things are aligning in rapid fashion.

 This gives most of us conflicting emotions.

First, we are thrilled and excited that we will soon meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-18), that we will soon receive the promised resurrected and incorruptible bodies (1 Cor. 15:49-53), and those glorified bodies will be like Jesus’ very own (1 John 3:2). God truly knows how we long for this, how “we groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23). This longing and expectation grows stronger every day. God’s word calls this an “earnest expectation” (Rom. 8:19), and says we are to wait “with patience” (Rom. 8:25). We are told (and understand) that we are waiting for righteousness. “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith” (Gal. 5:5, KJV). We know that, although we are saved, as long as we are still in these fleshy bodies so does sin also dwell with us (Rom.7: 14-25). It’s a constant battle to die to self and to submit to the Lord’s leading.

This “hope of righteousness” is what we desire even more than the promised eternal bodies, even more than being reunited with fellow believers who have gone on before us, even more than to enjoy the promised rewards. We will never be tempted to sin; sin will no longer dwell with us (or with anyone else in heaven). No, we can’t fully comprehend what that means since, for all of our lives, we’ve had sin dwelling and present with us and with all those around us. We witness all the world’s woes that are because of sin.

Imagine… no more sin! Only righteousness! It’s no wonder we believers are so fired up and excited about the rapture. After all, what’s NOT to love about our soon catching up out of this evil, vile, sin-filled cesspool? That is what this article is about. The ONLY thing that most of us are grappling with is those who have yet to come to Christ.

We women are more emotional and/or nurturing than men. God Himself made us this way for a reason. Yet we ALL (both men and women) are admonished to be empathetic to the sufferings of others. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (Rom. 12:15). There is more scripture devoted to how we are to behave towards others. But even more so, we (believers) have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who also leads and guides us into all truth (John 16:13). He brings to our hearts and minds the empathy and consideration for the suffering of others. We recognize their current and/or physical suffering that we can witness with our eyes and ears, but we also recognize what is soon to befall the unbelieving world. The suffering to come (for them) will be horrific.

How could our hearts NOT break over this, especially if we have loved ones and relatives who have not yet come to Christ for salvation? We can share the gospel with them (if they are even willing to listen at all). We can beg and plead with them, reason with them, pray for them (as we should), and yet… it’s up to each individual to make that one most important decision of all: whether to accept/believe in Jesus for salvation, or whether to reject/deny Him (John 3:18). We can’t make the decision for them. God gave us all free will for that very reason. He loved us ALL so much that He gave His only begotten Son as a propitiation for our sins. Jesus, who never sinned, is the only One acceptable payment for our sins (Rom. 3:25, 1 John 4:10, John 3:16-18, et al). There is no other way (John 14:6).

We believers recognize how wonderful a gift He has given. What an opportunity to be grafted in as mere wild olives (Romans 11) and yet to be joint heirs with Jesus Himself! (Rom. 8:17, Titus 3:7, and others). It’s so difficult for us to comprehend how anyone would NOT want to accept and believe in Christ for salvation. I admit there are times when I just want to shake some and yell “WAKE UP.” We wonder how could anyone “neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3).

 The most common reason for those who reject salvation is that they believe they are ‘good’ people. Sadly, they compare themselves to others, and that is the standard by which they measure their sins and good deeds (2 Cor.10:12), when instead, it’s the righteousness of God Himself that we must hold both our sins and good deeds up to, as our very best is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3).

They do know in their hearts that we are ALL sinners (Rom. 3:23). Yet, that’s where their desire to comprehend stops. For if they were to allow themselves to truly consider that no matter how ‘good’ they think they are, it could never come close to the righteousness of God. The only way to deal with sin is to have it removed, washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 1:5, 1 John 1:7-9, 1 Cor. 6:11). “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil. 3:9).

And this is where the biggest struggle comes in. The one thing that stands in the way of the sinner and salvation is PRIDE. No wonder! Pride was the downfall of the devil (Isaiah 13:12-15, Ezek. 28:11-17, et al). Sadly, he had been given beauty, brightness, every precious stone as a covering, and an anointed place; and yet he chose willfully to sin. So as pride was his downfall, so too it’s what he uses to lure mankind in. Many may go so far as to admit being a sinner (if they even get that far), but to admit that they cannot, themselves, meet the righteous requirements of the One Holy God? That is the very thing they refuse to acknowledge. Why? To admit this is to admit that they are enjoying the sins they wallow in, and they have a deep fear of being convicted of the sins, preferring to continue in those sins rather than deal with them in the only one way possible-through Christ alone. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19-20).

In summary: It breaks our heart to see the unsaved world reject salvation in Christ. Some are our friends, relatives, parents, or adult children. That truly is a hard thing because we know the horrors to come in the tribulation, and we don’t wish it on anyone, especially not loved ones. We also know how precarious life is… we never know how long a person will live. Many die young; not all live to be aged on earth. Don’t give up sharing the gospel, even if it seems they aren’t listening. And don’t despair when they refuse to listen. I know it’s easier said than done. But we are to take EVERY care and concern to the Lord (Phil. 4:6-7, 1 Pet. 5:7, et al).

And for us? We (believers) should continue giving the gospel to the unsaved world. We should remain vigilant (1 Pet. 5:8), waiting with patience for the Lord (1 Thess.1:10; Rom.8:19, 23, 25; 1 Cor. 1:7-8; Gal. 5:5; 2 Thess. 3:5, et al). We should study His word (2 Tim. 2:15, Acts 17:10-11). We should comfort fellow believers (1 Thess. 4:16-18, Rom. 1:12, 2 Cor. 1:3-4, 1 Thess. 5:11, and others). Pray (much scripture devoted to that), and also put on (and keep on) the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18). That is plenty enough to keep us occupied with the Lord, as we eagerly await the rapture, rather than 24/7 entertainment of the worldly.

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