For you do not know
what hour your Lord is coming.”
The Rapture will happen quickly “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye”
The Bible warns of a coming day when all who are found waiting in faith for Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach in Hebrew), will be removed from the Earth “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” . . .
What is this strange, bizarre, mysterious, Bible prophecy all about?
The Scriptures warn us Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, will return . . . TWICE:
First, “As a thief in the night” . . . FOR those who waited in faith
Second, “Every eye shall see” . . . WITH those who waited in faith
It might help to understand WHY God feels it will be important to remove this remnant (or ‘body’) of believers from the Earth in such a decisive and startling way. We find the Rapture is somewhat analogous to a loving Bridegroom yanking His young wife (‘betrothed’) off the railroad tracks just as the train goes thundering by …
Prophet after prophet in the Bible warns us of a very specific period of time referred to by many names, including the “The Day of the Lord’s Wrath,” “The Time of Israel’s (Jacob’s) Trouble,” “the Great Tribulation,” and the “Apocalypse” (which actually refers to the ‘Revelation’), when God is going to “pour out” His wrath on a “morally corrupt” and “violent” generation who has turned its back against Him and His Word in arrogance and unbelief. We are also told all those who sincerely believe in Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, and humbly wait for Him in faith, are not “appointed” to this coming ‘Apocalypse’ which will one day engulf the whole world . . .
“And to wait for His Son from Heaven,
whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus (Yeshua),
who delivers us FROM the wrath to come.”
(1 Thessalonians 1:10)
“For God did NOT appoint us (believing Christians) to wrath,
but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah),
who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep,
we should live together with Him (in Heaven).
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another,
just as you also are doing.” (The Rapture is called our “Blessed hope!”)
(1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
“The prudent (man or woman)
sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
(Proverbs 22:3 & 27:12)
Note the word “hide” or “hidden” is used four times in the Rapture verses further below.
The actual word “rapture” is not found in most Bibles. The original Greek word “harpazo” which was translated “caught up” in many English translations could have been, or should have been translated, “to seize, to pluck away, or to take by force.” The original Greek word “harpazo” was later translated in the Latin as “raeptius” or in some cases “rapturo”. So, the term “rapture” comes from the Latin translation.
There are at least TWO precedents in the Bible …
Both Enoch (the 7th from Adam in the book of Genesis) and the prophet Elijah were taken up (‘raptured’) before they died.
The Rapture” IS controversial …
The “Rapture of the Church” is controversial. So, before we get started, please remember one important thing. Whether you believe the body of believers will be “snatched away” before the great and terrible Day of the Lord, or in the middle of it, or if you just don’t know, doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is that you don’t get left behind. The door will be shut. This prophecy, or any prophecy, should not be a point of contention between believing Christians.
It should be noted, though, that you might hear the Rapture of the Church is a new concept brought forward by a man named John Darby in 1830. A diligent study of ancient and early church writers (and modern writers and teachers who have documented these early Christian writings) will reveal that the concept of the Rapture, where Christ could return at any moment with no prophetic signs required beforehand (also called the doctrine of “Imminency”), can be found throughout Church history, starting around 110 AD all the way through the 18th Century.
However, it is an interesting prophecy. The belief expressed here is that the Lord will suddenly remove all those who sincerely believe in and trust in His Messiah (Jesus Christ) from the Earth before the coming Apocalypse. Many of us also feel the generation which is alive today is the generation of the Rapture, and a worldwide body of faithful believers will be abruptly removed before the person or the identity of the coming Antichrist (a ‘counterfeit’ messiah) will be, or even can be, revealed. And since many feel this man (the coming Antichrist) is probably alive today, it is worth the time to look at some of the verses found in the Bible which directly, or indirectly refer to this strange, forceful, prophetic event which we simply call, “The Rapture” …
“Behold, I tell you a mystery:
We shall not all sleep (die a bodily death),
but we shall all be changed
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet.
(See the “trumpet of gathering” Numbers 10:11-14)
For the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised imperishable,
and we shall be changed.”
(1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
“For the Lord Himself
will descend from Heaven with a shout,
with the voice of an archangel,
and with the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain
shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.
And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
“For in the Time of Trouble (The Great Tribulation … the Apocalypse)
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
in the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a Rock.”
(Psalm 27:5) (We are told Jesus is “the Rock”)
“Come, MY people,
enter your chambers,
and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
until the indignation (the great Tribulation) is past.
For behold, the LORD comes out of His place
to punish the inhabitants of the Earth
for their iniquity (the coming Apocalypse);
the Earth will also disclose her blood,
and will no more cover her slain.”
(Isaiah 26:20 – 21)
“Seek the LORD,
all you meek of the Earth,
Who have upheld His justice.
It may be that you will be hidden
in the Day of the LORD’S anger.” (The coming Apocalypse)
“Because you have kept
My command to persevere,
I also will keep you from the hour of trial
which shall come upon the whole World,
to test those who dwell on the Earth.”
“Behold, I come quickly (suddenly)!”
“But of that day and hour no one knows,
no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
“Then two men will be in the field:
One will be taken and the other left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill:
One will be taken and the other left.”
“WATCH therefore, for you do not know
what hour your Lord is coming.”
“Be dressed and ready (in readiness),
and keep your lamps lit.
Be like men who are waiting
for their master when he returns
from the wedding feast,
so that they may
immediately open the door to him
when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those slaves
whom the master will find on the alert
when he comes.
Therefore you also be ready,
for the Son of Man is coming
at an hour you do NOT expect.”
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren,
you have no need that I should write to you.
For you yourselves know perfectly
that the Day of the Lord
so comes as a thief in the night.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-2)
and pray always
that you may be counted
worthy to ESCAPE
all these things
that WILL come to pass.” (The coming Apocalypse)
Who will get “Raptured” (and who will be left behind)?
To simplify things, let’s divide all of the people in the world into four groups:
1. Those who sincerely believe and trust in Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. All those (both Jew and Gentile) who believe Jesus Christ willingly and lovingly suffered and died upon the Cross for all of our sins, was buried, and then rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15). Those who have sincerely accepted Him as their Lord and Savior (who saves us from our sins and from Hell). The Bible also promises all those who are “eagerly awaiting” His return in faith will be “counted worthy to escape” (be removed or raptured from) the coming Apocalypse.
2. Those who call themselves Christians, but don’t really believe these things, and have no real faith in Jesus, God, or the Bible. Those who don’t believe they will need a Savior to get into Heaven. Those who have never willingly opened the door of their hearts to invite Jesus into their lives and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. Those who don’t believe, or take the Bible (or Christ’s return) seriously, and will not be ready to go with Him when He returns suddenly, “as a thief in the night.” For the Bible warns that no regular church attendance or crosses around our necks can ever save us without Godly repentance (acknowledging and turning away from our sins) and placing all of our faith and trust in Jesus Christ’s completed work on the Cross, where He demonstrated His perfect love for us.
3. “The World.” Those who do not believe, and who ridicule, scoff at, or despise those who do. Those who deny Jesus as Lord and willfully reject His loving offer of forgiveness and His freely offered gift of eternal life in Heaven. Those who think all of this Bible stuff is just plain crazy. These will not escape, but will enter into “The Day of the Lord” … the coming Apocalypse.
4. Israel. Those children of Jacob (Israel) who have not yet accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as their promised Messiah have a clear prophetic destiny. Watch Israel. Israel is God’s timepiece in Bible prophecy, and all the prophecies of the coming ‘Apocalypse’ revolve around the tiny nation of Israel … the only nation which God calls His own.
It appears that only those believers in Group 1 will be “Raptured,” and thus safely removed and hidden before the coming Apocalypse. Many churches, pulpits, synagogues, and pews will still be filled. Many people will be left behind. The Bible warns of a coming world leader who will be revealed sometime soon after the Rapture. This coming world leader has been given many names and titles in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testaments … one of his ‘titles’ is the “Antichrist.” There are some who feel this coming world leader may even powerfully convince those who are left on Earth after the Rapture that this missing segment of global population was kidnapped or removed by a much different kind of alien “force.”
A Prophetic Chronology?
The Bible warns “The falling away” (when churches and church leaders “depart from the faith”) … “the Rapture”… “the Antichrist” … and “The Apocalypse” (“the Day of God’s Wrath”) are ALL CLOSELY LINKED …
Paul wrote Second Thessalonians because the Thessalonians had received a false letter claiming the Apocalypse (“That Day”) had already begun and they were terrified because they thought they had missed the Rapture which Paul revealed to them in 1 Thessalonians which is to safely remove Christian believers (the bride of Christ) before the coming Apocalypse which is also called “The Day of God’s Wrath” …
“Now brethren, (Paul is warning believing Christians)
concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our gathering together to Him … (The Rapture!!!)
(The Last Trumpet of Gathering – see Numbers 10:7…1 Cor 15:52)
Let no one deceive you by any means,
for that Day (The 7-year Apocalypse … after the Rapture)
will not come
unless the falling away (of churches) comes FIRST …”
(Apostasy of churches – just like we are seeing now!)
And the man of sin (the Antichrist) is revealed,
(After the Rapture/Gathering and before the Apocalypse)
the son of perdition (another title of Antichrist)
who opposes and exalts himself above all
that is called God or that is worshiped,
(A terrible “one-world” religious system is coming)
so that he (the coming Antichrist)
sits as God in the Temple of God,
(a new Jewish Temple WILL be built in Jerusalem)
showing himself that he is God.
(This triggers the Great Tribulation … final 3 1/2 years)
Do you not rememberthat when I was still with you
I told you these things?”
(Important! Paul was only with them for 3 weeks!!)
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-10)
WHEN will the Rapture take place?
We do not know, and we are told that no man will ever know the day or the hour. However, there doesn’t appear to be anything left in prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the Rapture can take place, so, it could easily happen any day . . .
“But of that day and hour NO ONE knows,
not even the angels of Heaven,
but My Father only.
for you know neither the day nor the hour
in which the Son of Man is coming.”
The Lord says it could happen at any moment, “In the twinkling of an eye!” He says it will happen at a time when the world will least expect it. We are told we should always be prepared by simply believing in Him and “eagerly” waiting for Him in faith. We are also taught we should help prepare others.
However, prophecies do tell us the “Antichrist” will not be revealed until sometime AFTER the Rapture …
“For the mystery of Lawlessness
is already at work;
only He who now restrains (the Holy Spirit)
will do so UNTIL He is taken out of the way. (The Rapture)
And THEN the Lawless One (Antichrist)
will be revealed,
whom the Lord will consume
with the breath of His mouth
and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
The coming of the Lawless One (Antichrist)
is according to the working of Satan,
with all power, signs (miracles),
and lying wonders”
(2 Thessalonians 2:7-9)
We are also told the coming Antichrist will be revealed (to those who are left on Earth) when he enforces a coming Peace Plan (“covenant”) upon nation Israel. This specific prophetic event will mark the exact day the 7 years (2,520 days) of the Apocalypse will begin. Since there are many who feel this man is probably alive today, it seems to be a good time to learn what the Bible has to say.
God provides prophetic insights into the attitudes of those who will be found living “In the last days” . . .
“Knowing this first:
That SCOFFERS will come in the last days, (Many will be churchgoers)
walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘
Where is the promise of His coming? (The coming Rapture)
For since the fathers fell asleep,
all things continue on as they were
from the beginning of Creation.’”
(2 Peter 3:3-4) (God warns many will “scoff” at the prophecies of His Return)
From Peter’s prophetic warning, it appears these “scoffers” will include churches, plus many who go to church.
From GotQuestions.org we find the following definition of the Hebrew word for “Scoffer” …
“The word translated “scoffer” in English can mean “one who mocks, ridicules, or scorns the belief of another.” In Hebrew, the word translated “scoffer” or “mocker” can also mean “ambassador.” So a scoffer is one who not only disagrees with an idea, but he also considers himself an ambassador for the opposing idea. He cannot rest until he has demonstrated the foolishness of any idea not his own. A scoffer voices his disagreement, ridicules all who stand against him, and actively recruits others to join his side. In the Bible, scoffers are those who choose to disbelieve God and His Word.”
Yet, God graciously answers those who sincerely ask, “Where IS the promise of His coming?” or, “It’s been around 2000 years, why hasn’t He returned yet?”
“The Lord is not slack concerning His Promise, as some count slackness,
but is patient (longsuffering) toward us, (All Mankind … both Jew and Gentile)
not willing that any should perish (in the Apocalypse or in Hell)
but that all should come to repentance.”
(2 Peter 3:9)
God is patient. We are told He has waited this long because He loves us and wants us to “repent,” which simply means to turn away from sinful activities and turn back to Him and His ways, which are good. He is filled with patience, forgiveness, and mercy. He will protect and shelter all who will draw close to Him before the coming time of trouble. He warns us through prophecy so we will realize how perilously close we are to the end. He wants us to realize how far from Him and from His protection we have wandered, and to run back to Him as we sense the danger we are in.
Also remember, the Bible teaches us that to God “A thousand years is as one day”… (Psalm 90:4 & 2 Peter 3:8). So, we are just around the “third day” since Messiah was sent forth to save sinners. God has patiently waited for the good news (“gospel”) of His Son’s victory over “sin, death, and Hell” to slowly be carried into every nation around the world. And once the Gospel has reached the farthest ends of the Earth (which it has now), Mankind (whom He created) has been given the free will to make their own decision whether to accept it or reject it.
After the Rapture . . . the door will then close
A Warning: The Parable of the Ten Virgins
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven shall be likened to ten virgins,
who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom.
Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Those who were foolish took their lamps,
and took no oil with them,
but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
While the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight a cry was heard,
‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said unto the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are gone out.’
But the wise answered, saying,
‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you;
but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came,
and they that were ready went in with Him to the wedding;
and the door was shut.
Afterward the other virgins came also saying,
‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’
But He answered and said,
‘Verily I say to you,
I DO NOT KNOW YOU.’
for you know neither the day nor the hour
in which the Son of man is coming.”
Note: Throughout the Bible, certain symbols are used consistently as “idioms” or “types.”
– The Bridegroom represents Jesus Christ (who will return for His betrothed at the Rapture)
– The 10 virgins represent those who call themselves Christians
– The oil represents the Holy Spirit
– God promises the Holy Spirit to all who sincerely believe and are “born again” (see below)
– The wedding is “The wedding supper of the Lamb” in Heaven (Revelation 19:6-9)
Interestingly, if you search the Scriptures you will find at least FIVE other passages which (in their own way) ALL refer to this same critically important prophetic warning and coming event …
This is the exact same prophetic warning as we read in Matthew 25, but Luke modifies and condenses it for his Greek-Roman audience which would not know the Jewish Wedding Rituals (unlike Matthew who was writing to a Jewish audience).
“Be dressed and ready (in readiness),
AND KEEP YOUR LAMPS BURNING,
as though you were waiting
for your master to return home
from the wedding feast,
then you will be ready
to open the door and let him in
the moment he comes and knocks …
Therefore, you also be ready,
for the Son of Man is coming
at an hour you do NOT expect.”
Song of Solomon Chapter 3 and Chapter 5
In summary, you will find the Song of Solomon is an allegory of a Bridegroom and His Bride based around TWO dreams. These two dreams together represent the exact same prophetic warning we read in the Matthew 25 prophecy of The 10 Virgins.
In the FIRST dream (in Chapter 3) we find the virgin Shulamite bride anxiously awaiting and dressed for her Bridegroom. When he does come and knocks she is “dressed and ready” and she immediately leaves with him for the wedding feast. This dream would represent the 5 wise virgins.
This is her perfect dream come true.
In the SECOND dream (in Chapter 5) we find the virgin Shulamite bride had already washed her feet for bed, put her pajamas on, and gone to bed. When the Bridegroom does come she is not dressed and is not ready to leave with him for the wedding feast. She considers her predicament, and then decides to get dressed. By then, he is gone and she goes out to try and find him. This time the “watchmen” patrolling the area viciously beat her and possibly kill her (myrrh is a burial spice which always represents death.) This dream would represent the 5 foolish virgins.
This is her worst nightmare.
This also represents the millions of men and women (sometimes called the “Tribulation Saints”) who will one day miss the Rapture because they were not “eagerly waiting” His return, but soon after, many will search the Scriptures and become strong believers (and martyrs). We are warned in prophecy these people all over the world will be arrested, beaten, tortured, and put to death (by the political “watchmen” who will rise at that time) for REFUSING to take the “mark of the Beast” (which will one day be legally required to buy food and clothing for their families). In God’s eyes, taking this mark or number of the Beast will spiritually “betroth them” to the Antichrist and Satan, thus destroying any chance of ever entering into the Kingdom of Heaven.
God will take the “sting” out of their deaths, and there are special blessings which are promised to them for all eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven for refusing to bow down to the Antichrist (a coming world leader and his powerful “religious” partner) and for refusing to take his mark or number on their hands or foreheads.
What is also very interesting (and I didn’t know until reading a Bible study from Moriel Ministries entitled “Dressed and Ready” which helped bring understanding to these prophetic passages through Jewish eyes) was that the children of Israel all around the world read these passages from the Song of Solomon every year during the Passover Feast!
It might seem a little strange or odd why God would link these Song of Solomon passages to the Passover Feast for all generations, until we notice the following in Exodus 12 …
In this Passover passage, God orders the children of Israel to be “Dressed and Ready!” for the Passover (which would come sometime in the middle of the night), with their households covered and protected through “the blood of the lamb.” We find all those who obeyed and placed their faith in God’s Word were spared and sheltered from danger (or in our later fulfillment, “raptured” and removed from the danger). These represent the 5 wise virgins.
While all those who didn’t obey or have faith in God’s Word and weren’t ready (and covered by the blood of the sacrificial lamb) went through great torment, death, and distress. These represent the 5 foolish virgins.
“Eat it (the Passover) with your traveling clothes on,
prepared for a long journey, (The Rapture will also take us on a long journey)
wearing your walking shoes and
carrying your walking sticks in your hands;
eat it hurriedly …
The blood you have placed on the doorposts
will be proof that you obey me,
and when I see the blood I will pass over you (or remove you from the coming Apocalypse)
and I will not destroy your firstborn children
when I smite the land of Egypt …” (Egypt represents “the World” during the Great Tribulation)
(Exodus 12:11,13 TLB)
The book of Revelation (“Apocalypse” in Greek) is the only book in the Bible that promises a special blessing for those who teach and those who study (or listen to the words) of this book. In Chapters 2-3 of the book of Revelation we find seven letters written to seven churches. These letters are written by Jesus Christ. While these letters contain many practical guidelines for churches (and people) to follow, they are also prophetic. The order these letters are written follow the chronology of Church History. Each church represents a particular period of Church history. You could not rearrange these letters in any other order for them to fit so perfectly. The last two churches, the church of Philadelphia and the church of Laodicea represent the two sets of churches and “Christians” who will be found in the generation living around the time of the coming Rapture and the coming Apocalypse.
For the church of Philadelphia will find the door into Heaven is opened to them (for the wedding feast). We find these people and churches have little strength but have stayed faithful to the Word of God. They have “persevered” (meaning they remained “dressed and ready” for His return). They have not let the powerful opinions of their generation seduce or deceptively lead them away from believing and trusting in what’s “right or wrong” and what’s “good or evil” according to what God’s Word teaches in the Bible. They have not allowed any people or churches to convince them that Christ’s (the Bridegroom’s) return is just symbolic, fanciful, or for some time in the far distant future. Even though it is late at night, and the time is now in the second or third watch of the night, this church has stayed awake, dressed, and ready for the Bridegroom to return.
The Church of Philadelphia: The 5 Wise Virgins
“And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is Holy,
He who is true, (this is the Bridegroom speaking)
“He who has the key of David,
He who opens and no one shuts,
and shuts and no one opens”:
“I know your works. (He knows this group)
See, I have set before you an OPEN door,
and no one can shut it; (No one can keep this Bride from the Wedding Feast)
for you have a little strength,
have kept My Word,
and have not denied My Name …
BECAUSE you have kept My command to persevere, (and stayed “dressed and ready”)
I also will keep you FROM the hour of trial (His Bride will be removed before the Apocalypse)
which shall come upon the whole World,
to test those who dwell on the earth. (The wise virgins won’t go through the Tribulation)
Behold, I am coming suddenly (quickly)!”” (At a time we least expect!)
The Church of Laodicea: The 5 Foolish Virgins
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen,
the Faithful and True Witness, (the Bridegroom is now speaking)
the beginning (head) of the Creation of God:
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.
I could wish you were cold or hot.
So then, because you are LUKEWARM, (in love, faith, trust, and obedience to the Bridegroom)
and neither cold nor hot,
I will VOMIT you out of My mouth.”
In Greek, Laodicea can be translated “Peoples Opinions.” In John 1:1 and Revelation 19:11-19 we find one of Jesus Christ’s “Names” is “The Word of God.” The whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is the Word of God. We find the Laodicean style churches have put “The Word of God” (Jesus) outside as they teach, preach, and believe their own “opinions” as to what is “right or wrong” and “good or evil,” even if it “denies” or opposes what God’s Word actually says. Here, we find Jesus (the Word of God) has been placed outside these churches and He has to knock to get back in.
But, then we find in the verses just following this warning, Jesus Christ provides a wonderful offer and promise to any individuals within these lukewarm churches who will humbly open the door and invite Him into their lives. These people then become one of the 5 Wise Virgins, and with open arms and with tears of joy will be welcomed into the Wedding Feast (Marriage Supper) of the Lamb!
Jesus closes this prophetic rebuke with the following offer and promise …
“As many as I love,
I rebuke and chasten.
Therefore be zealous and repent. (zealously turn back to God’s Word)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If ANYONE hears My voice
and opens the door,
I will come in to him
and dine with him, and he with Me.
To him who overcomes (the world’s desire to despise, reject, or be ashamed of Jesus Christ)
I will grant to sit with Me on My Throne (in Heaven),
as I also overcame
and sat down with My Father
on His Throne. (What an awesome promise)
He who has an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Just like the 5 foolish virgins we found above in Matthew 25, these people consider themselves Christian, but then, just like the Laodiceans, they are putting peoples opinions above God’s Law in direct opposition to His statutes, commandments, and rules. Their beliefs reflect a lukewarm obedience God’s Word and His Law which were given to protect and save us. These people are not eagerly waiting His promised return.
Just like the 5 foolish virgins, Jesus says He doesn’t know them …
who says to Me (Jesus), ‘Lord, Lord,’
shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. (Or the coming Wedding Feast)
(These people consider themselves Christians)
MANY (‘most’ or ‘majority’)
will say to Me in that Day
‘Lord, Lord, have we not taught (prophesied)
in Your Name,
cast out demons in Your Name,
and done many wonders in Your Name?
(They may have been very busy in church)
And then (when the Bridegroom comes for His bride)
I (Jesus) will declare to them
‘I NEVER KNEW YOU, (exactly what He told the 5 foolish virgins)
DEPART from Me (out of Heaven)
you who practice Lawlessness.’”
(Matthew 7:21-23) (“Doing that which is right in their own eyes” in opposition to God’s Law)
What DOES “Born again” mean?
Nicodemus, a powerful Jewish religious leader (who we find later did come to believe and accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah) came secretly to speak with Jesus one night . . .
“Jesus answered and said to him,
‘Most assuredly, I say to you,
UNLESS one is born again,
he CANNOT see the Kingdom of God.’
Nicodemus said to Him,
‘How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’
Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you,
UNLESS one is born of water AND the Spirit,
he CANNOT enter the Kingdom of God (Heaven).
That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’”
We had no choice concerning our first birth (“of the flesh”), but to be born again of the Spirit and into the Kingdom of Heaven requires a conscious choice and decision on our part. The Bible says if we believe, sincerely and in faith, that Jesus (“the Son of God”) lovingly and willingly shed His blood and died on the Cross for us (as God’s “sacrificial Lamb” which takes away all our sins “once and for all”), was buried, then rose again the third day (through the awesome power of God), and sincerely (and lovingly) accept Him as our Lord, invite Him into our lives, and turn back to God (and turn away from our sinful ways), then we are “born again” (and are called “a new creation”). This time, we are born of the Spirit and are told we will be “indwelt” by the Holy Spirit (which we can’t see but the evidence is reflected in how our lives begin to change). This is God’s Word and His Promise. Then, even while facing the difficult tests and trials we will find in our earthly lives, we can rest knowing our eternal destiny is assured … and since we now have the hope and promise of eternal life through our “second birth” (in Heaven) we no longer have to fear the “second death” (in Hell).
Be dressed and ready waiting for the Bridegroom …
Blessed are those invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
“And the angel said to me, “Write this:
Blessed (happy) are those who are invited
to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”
And he said to me,
“These are the true words of God.”
AFTER the “Rapture” the door of escape will be closed . . .