BEMA Seat of Christ

 ‘7’ I Don’t Know When the Rapture is (and I’m ok With That)

1st Corinthians 3:10-15

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by ‘7’ fire; and the fire shall try every ‘7’  man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If ‘7’ any man’s work abide which he hath ‘7’ built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If ‘7’ any man’s work shall be burned, he ‘7’ shall suffer loss: but he himself shall ‘7’ be saved; yet so as by fire

 ‘7’ I Don’t Know When the Rapture is (and I’m ok With That)

 Hillary  Monday, October 31, 2022  UNSEALED

When will the dead rise and the living be caught up? Will we know in advance? Great questions. The rapture, and the timing of it, has been studied and debated for years among skeptics and the faithful alike. It’s one of the most contentious discussions among rapture-conscious believers. Some spend days, weeks, and months analyzing scripture and Stellarium; others struggle to keep Mark 13:32 in context while helpfully reminding everyone NMKTDOH (along with some emojis).

Better scholars than I purport that we WILL know the day and hour, because Jesus offers this warning to the church: “…Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev. 3:3) Catch the implication? If you don’t watch, you won’t know, but if you do watch, you will know.

That makes sense to me. I’m watching with all my might. But as of now, post-midnight on October 31, I do not know the day nor hour, and I don’t know any fully-human-being who does. Soon, we say. I don’t know when, but He is coming soon.

But to tell you the truth, I no longer ask when. Folks pore over elaborate spreadsheets and record YouTube videos about their theories—probably good ones, too!—then share them on Facebook, and I pass right on by. Predicting the moment of the rapture, if it is possible, is not a pursuit of mine. The Lord woke me up to something so serious, so shocking, that any and all curiosity drained out of me to the point I almost don’t care. (Stay with me.)

It was right in front of my face, this more important thing. I don’t mean the gospel; that’s paramount, of course, and where I direct most of my energy, passion, and time. But this other thing is close. It’s also basic Christianity 101, so the revelation humbled me down to the ground and left me kind of embarrassed. Panicked, weepy, a pray-er of desperate prayers, and embarrassed. 

Here’s what happened.

Over the last few weeks I’ve placed several orders to Christianbooks to add to our growing collection of bedtime stories for my son. They had a good sale going on, and free shipping, so I tucked in a few titles  for myself. One in particular caught my eye. I’m an entrepreneur at heart and always curious about faith-based business management. Especially from those who have adhered to godly principles while achieving immense success. So when David Green, founder and CEO of the multi-billion-dollar Hobby Lobby, released “Leadership Not by the Book—12 Unconventional Principles to Drive Incredible Results,” I bought it right away.

Now, confession time. Here’s something to understand about me. I’ve been so focused on these perilous days we’re in, and my wholehearted belief that the rapture WILL be soon, like, in a few days / weeks / months / definitely-my-lifetime soon, that any other effort, outside of the gospel and mothering my son, seems trivial. Like, why even? What’s the point? Earthly things hold no appeal. I’ve consistently battled a sense of futility regarding anything that resembles investment. Or that gets built and grows slowly over time, like launching a business, actively maintaining my health, or trying to save money. (Cringe.) I’m not proud of this one bit; it’s humbling to admit, and I think there’s some spiritual warfare around it, too. I thank the Lord for His forgiveness and grace. It’s one thing to be sober and watchful while living faithfully, but it’s another to be trapped in inertia and futility, like I have been, hiding your talent in the ground while waiting for the master to return.

Which has always been one of my biggest fears, being that guy.

For most of my life, literally, the parable of the unfaithful stewards haunted me. My adolescent journals contained nervous attempts to exegete its meaning, and my adult years echoed those earlier terrified sentiments. Is it me, Lord? Am I the unfaithful steward? That’s me. I know it.

I know, now, that a parable spoken to the lost sheep of the house of Israel may not apply exactly the same way to a redeemed, sealed-by-the-Spirit member of the body of Christ, but I have ears to hear wise principles. As I attacked the pages of David Green’s book with my yellow highlighter, and read his insistence that he was not the owner of Hobby Lobby, God was; and that he was a steward who will, one day, stand before God to give an account for his stewardship, it was like scales fell off of my eyes.

This. This matters way more than knowing the day of the rapture. It’s knowing, and I mean really internalizing the knowledge, that we will stand before Jesus and give an account of what we did with His things. His money. His time. His possessions. His food. His home, even if it’s a rental. The people He made in His image. It’s knowing that once we leave this body, via the rapture or death, it’s final; there’s nothing more we can do more of, or fix, or change. What’s done is done. Remember Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright? He forfeited his blessing and was rejected when he wanted it. He could find no place for repentance, meaning, he could not change his father Isaac’s mind, although he sought it diligently with tears. (Heb. 12:16-17

Did you know the saints will not all be equal in heaven? One’s position, authority, and service in heaven is directly dependent upon their faithfulness on earth. (Luke 19:11-27Matt. 25:14-302 Tim. 2:16-261 Cor. 3:9-15) Did you know that we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ and we—the saints—will ALL receive according to what we have done, whether good or bad? (2 Cor. 5:9-11What we do matters. What we do for the Lord matters for all eternity.

This isn’t about salvation—believers are assured of eternal life. Salvation is just the beginning, though. Jesus reminds again and again of the rewards He plans to bestow and warns of the loss that is possible through poor stewardship and unfaithfulness. (Matt. 10:42Mark 9:41Col. 2:18 NKJV1 Cor. 3:14-15) He says, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11)

There is a certain sense of holy dread when contemplating the significance of standing before Christ and realizing there are no do-overs. No second chances. We won’t get another opportunity to give alms to the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, or visit the sick or the incarcerated. Once we are caught up to be with the Lord, the door on this earthly life is shut. Of course, it will be a time of joy to be with the Lord in our glorified bodies, and we know that God will wipe every tear from our eyes. But Scripture is crystal clear:

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Gal. 6:7-9)

Sobering, isn’t it? And it floods our days with motivation and meaning. The rapture will happen soon and the door will shut for eternity…but now, NOW, we still have the blessed ability to send treasure on ahead.

David Green’s book contained a reference to another which piqued my interest. “Managing God’s Money” by Randy Alcorn came to my doorstep a few days later, and once again, I was devastated and shaken. In his book, Alcorn dives deep into the concept of stewardship versus ownership, and reiterates the seriousness of standing before God to give an account. And then, without meaning to, he explains the parable of the stewards to the journaling adolescent that I was and the fumbling adult I have been and the quaking, trembling person I am now. And of course, it brings us right to the topic of the rapture.

“The parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) shows that we’re each entrusted by God with different financial assets, gifts, and opportunities, and we’ll be held accountable to him for how we’ve invested them in this life. We’re to prepare for the Master’s return by enhancing the growth of his Kingdom through wisely investing His assets.

“The parable of the ten minas (Luke 19:11-27) shows that those with comparable gifts, assets, and opportunities will be judged according to their faithfulness, industriousness, and wisdom while investing in God’s kingdom. Consequently, in God’s eternal kingdom, they’ll receive varying positions of authority, which Jesus describes as ruling over cities, apparently on the New Earth…..”

Then a few paragraphs later, he asks,

“Are we ready for the Owner to return or for us to go to him? A man went to visit the caretaker of a large estate with an absentee owner. Noticing how meticulously the caretaker performed every chore, the visitor asked him, “When do you expect the owner to return?” The caretaker’s reply: “Today, of course.”

“Like soldiers ready at any moment for a barracks inspection, servants are constantly aware that this could be the day of the master’s return. If they knew the day or hour of that return, they could waste time. They might “borrow” some of the master’s money, intending to replace it before he comes back. When they cease to expect the master’s return, embezzlement or squandering becomes a great temptation. But if the stewards know that the master is a man of his words they live each day as if it were the day of the master’s return. Because one day it will be.

“Either Christ’s second coming or our deaths bring us to stand before the Lord. Either event marks the end of our current service as his asset managers. At that moment, our service record irrevocably “freezes” into its final form, to be evaluated as such by our Master at the judgment.”—Randy Alcorn, Managing God’s Money

You won’t be surprised if you are expecting him, even if you don’t know the day or hour. The question is, are you ready?

I’ve heard this so many times it goes in one ear and out the other, most days. Yes, I’m ready. I’m saved! I’ve got my nose pressed to the glass, watching and longing for His appearing. Rrrrready!

Well, but am I really? If Christ came today, would I be able to stand before Him satisfied and confident that I did everything I could to lay up treasure in heaven and receive His blessing and reward? Rewards are His idea, by the way, another point made by author Randy Alcorn. The Lord wants to give them to us and wants us to look forward to them and be motivated by them, as we see in the letters to the seven churches in Revelation. Am I ready? What more can I do? Oh, so much more! This brings up the most tender of things, the grief. I am in my forties. I have lived many, many years in service to myself or others in unhealthy, ungodly ways. I have made foolish, self-indulgent choices with my money, my time, my health, my things. Is it too late? Is it too late for me?

The Lord is so gracious and merciful. Reading these books convicted me deeply and revealed my lack of faithfulness in crucial areas. I must make the most of what time I have left. (Eph. 5:15-16) As I cried out to Him, is it too late? He instantly brought to mind another parable—

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’

“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” (Matt. 20:1-16)

I don’t know what time it is. It might be the sixth hour, or the ninth, but I think it’s possibly the eleventh, and maybe even the eleventh-and-a-half. But I do know the landowner. And He is good. And He gets to decide what to do with his own things. He gives me the grace of today, and the grace of this body, this breath, this hour, and with these I can serve the Lord, heartily, knowing that from the Lord I will receive the reward. (Col. 3:23-25

Do you need some encouragement and maybe a little motivation? I didn’t know how much I needed it myself. The most important thing, of course, is sharing the gospel with the lost. Souls are the most valuable eternal treasure we can send on ahead. But the everyday things matter, too. Do we believe that God is the owner of our possessions, money, house, children, time, body, businesses? And that we are the caretakers of all He has left in our hands? Our Master will return very, very soon. And He will call us to account for our stewardship. What will say to Him? What can we do differently now? How can we make wise investments into eternity using what He has entrusted to us? How can the gospel go forth from our homes? How can our businesses or finances be used to invest in heavenly things? How can we honor the Lord with our bodies and time, using these resources faithfully in the days we have left? How can we plant seeds of the gospel into our children and train them to serve faithfully with eternity in mind?

There is SO MUCH WORK to be done, and so little time, saints! I don’t know the day nor the hour of Christ’s return, and I don’t have time to figure it out. 🙂

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb. 10:24-25

Grace and peace.

Much love to all who put time and effort into studying the whens of things. This isn’t meant to disrespect your calling by any means. I’m just sharing where the Lord has me right now.

But how can they call on him (Jesus Christ) to save them unless they believe in him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they believe in him (Jesus Christ) if they have never heard about him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they hear about him (Jesus Christ) unless someone tells them?” —Romans 10:14

In His Service,

Night Watchman

Paul Rolland

Night Watchman Ministries

Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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