Theologians call it “The Rapture”; that day described in 1st Thessalonians when Christ Jesus returns in the clouds and those, living and dead, who belong to Him rise to meet Him in the air. Rapture entails the ultimate crescendo of joy impending for those who name Jesus as Savior and Lord; but weeping and gnashing of teeth for Jesus-naming-evil-cloaking-hypocrites and woe for the world that denies Him. The Day when Jesus returns in the clouds (just as He left the world over 2,000 years ago) hangs imminently over a sinful, dying world. That Day which none can predict will strike like lightning, when Jesus comes for His own and then to judge all others. I wonder, “What will I be doing when Jesus comes?”
I am weak, living in a body of flesh and blood. The carnal me has appetites, begging to be fed, that contradict God’s Will for me. Always on a diet, I wrestle with flesh-and –blood desires and with God’s help, I win but when I go-it-alone, I lose. I wonder, “When Jesus comes will I be doing well or sleepily, indulging my sin?” Jesus is strong! I turn to Him and I beg, “Jesus be strong in me and help me prevail in this horrible war that rages inside of me! Please, come in that hour when I’m doing well and let me not be found among the hypocrites, weeping and gnashing my teeth! Jesus please, always keep me in your presence and turn my joy into rapture when you come for me!” This is my daily plea. This is the prayer I pray as I struggle against the sin that won’t let me be!
I look into the clouds, looking for Jesus and see only clouds; I again wonder “What will I be doing when Jesus comes?” When I look at carnal me there is not much hope offered but when I look up to Jesus I see, with God all things are possible. Trusting in the work that Jesus is faithfully completing in me is my only hope of being found worthy of rapture when Jesus comes. By His strength and by His might, I will win the war with my sin and know everlasting peace with overflowing joy, when I meet Jesus in the air and this long, hard battle is won! Truly, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Rapture waits for those who in the midst of battle, don’t give up but look up and patiently wait for His imminent return. Hope rebounds and in thankfulness I pray, “Come Lord Jesus, on the Day that Father God has set and claim your spotless bride! That perfected bride, washed clean in your own blood, shed in sacrifice for me, for all who believe and by trust in you are kept faithful!”
Matthew 24 and 1st Thessalonians 5