Almost eight years ago I wrote:
“The fact that I am actually writing these thoughts on October 22, 2011 is significant…and, for some, shocking. Maybe you are aware of it, but a radio preacher had predicted that the rapture would happen yesterday. (The rapture is the return of Jesus in the air to gather together His followers and take them to heaven.) But I am still here on earth and able to write. The rapture did not take place. We can chalk this recent date prediction up with scores of others that didn’t come true.”
I guess I am a bit cynical when it comes to such predictions. I don’t believe that God intended for us to be able to pinpoint the rapture. But, in my cynicism, there is a reality that I need to embrace more wholeheartedly:
God wants Christians from every generation to anticipate the imminent return of His Son.
I am not sure that many of us live with that anticipation. Today, generations after the first coming of Christ, we are put to shame by the mindset of those in the first generation after His ascension. Thessalonian believers so embraced the imminence of the rapture that they thought believers who had died would miss out! They considered this event to be so near that they had not even calculated in the possibility that someone could die before it happened. To them, it was clear that it would happen in their lifetime.
At the other end of the spectrum, are we marked by a mindset that suggests that the rapture, though certain, will not happen in our lifetime? If so, we are missing out on a key biblical truth that motivates us today towards personal purity and evangelistic passion.
But, this passage outlines events that could happen TODAY:
- Christ will descend with a shout, an angelic voice, and a trumpet sound.
- The dead in Christ will be bodily resurrected.
- Living believers will be caught up with them.
- We will be with Christ forever.
Man’s rescue includes an evacuation plan. It could be today!