13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16 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.
17 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. (NKJV)
Most faith-based Christians believe that the church of Jesus Christ will be evacuated to heaven in the very near future. It’s also generally believed that there will be seven years of tribulation with twenty-one Seal, Trumpet and Vial judgments on mankind and the physical world.
What is not generally agreed is the timing of the evacuation of the church to heaven. Some say it will be before the seven-year tribulation period; some say it’s in the middle of the period while others vigorously contend that it’d be at the end.
Jesus spoke about the rapture of His church before He went to the Cross.
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
37 “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
38 “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39 “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (NKJV)
In view of the above, the sanest thing to do would appear to believe in pre-tribulation rapture. If it turns out to be so, then you’d have made adequate preparations for inclusion. If it’s midterm or post-tribulation you’ve lost nothing. Your state of readiness and abiding in Christ should sustain you through the tragic last seven years of this era.
Imagine a situation where you’ve made no preparations whatever for the rapture and it comes upon you unawares the result could be disastrous for your eternal destination. Your provision of food, water and shelter to last you and close family for seven years (if it were possible to do so) would have been a wasted effort.
Whatever you believe as the timing of the rapture Preparation is the key component.
42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
43 “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
44 “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (NKJV)
You can be eligible to participate in the rapture of the church without being ready for the event but you cannot be ready without preparation. In the wilderness all the sons of Jacob were eligible to enter the Promised Land but only the tribe of Levi attained the high honour of Priesthood. Those who didn’t believe perished.
Preparation is pivoted on three commands of Jesus. It means to be watchful, fruitful and abiding in the Lord to the end.
If you are not ready you may still be raptured but you will never attain your expected end in heaven. That is the purpose of the judgment seat of Christ; a prize-giving ceremony to reward those who made themselves ready by being prepared for the event. It is not for God to get you prepared. It is not a prayer topic. It calls for deliberate action.
The mandate of Rapture Watchers’ Fellowship is to prepare the bride of Christ to attain full stature in heaven.
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