In a lot of my friend circles at the moment the hot topic is the rapture. I know that the Bible says nobody knows the time and day that the rapture will happen. However so many people around me are speculating and saying that it will be soon, and in our life time. It is very hard for me to think about without getting anxious. I am going to college and would love to think about living a Christ filled life on earth instead of being taken home to Christ. Is this wrong to think? How can I ease my anxieties?
Thank you for reading
@lopezserina4, thanks for sharing. It is true that we can easily get anxious over the last days and the accompanying signs but we must not forget that we are not to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:4-8). In my own perspective, I don’t think desiring to live a Christ filled life is wrong but at the same time we are to live as though He will be coming in the next second; not anxiously but with perfect peace and love for Him.
Let me try to symbolize what I mean using a story or parable;
Imagine a young servant who loves his master, and works diligently with a smile, and just excellence and loving gestures while the master is around. Say the master travels and asks the servant to look after the home and all his affairs without stating when he will return from his journey. If while the master is away, the servant chooses to misbehave and has a change of character and persists in this new character which is wrong until the day the master returns, he’ll end up kicked out of the mansion. But if the servant, while attending to the affairs of the master, makes mistakes; he may frown at his mistakes and try to correct them and not repeat it, yet with a peaceful and loving gesture. Nevertheless, if he continues this way, though with the master out of sight, then he truly shows high regard and love for his master. When the master returns in an hour and day he is not aware of, finding him still diligent and faithful, the master will certainly award such servant with great honor and dignity.
Taking this story into your situation, which model of the servant do you prefer to be like? I prefer the second model, because I am all out for Him, irrespective of Him coming today or anytime soon or later, I prefer living each day for Him until He returns. I may make mistakes but those mistakes are not to define me. Only He is worthy of defining who I am and by His grace, I will rise from every mistake like a phoenix from the ashes, to be more beautiful and better in His sight while He tarries.
The deal is, He should return to meet me faithful in His ways and not otherwise. That alone is best than seeking to know when He will return or what signs accompany His return. Because, His return is certain, and like He said;
‘…It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’ Acts 1:7-8 (NKJV)
So, while He tarries, my duty is to witness Him to all around me and beyond by my lifestyle (Lifestyle Evangelism - winning souls in intentional christian living and without consciously wanting to speak directly with a person) and of cause in practical kingdom evangelism (Gathering of souls consciously). So @lopezserina4, I believe you are okay to desire to live a Christ filled life and God wants us to be intentional about it, so don’t get anxious over it but just live, and live for Him.
Sorry, it’s quite long, but I hope you’ve learnt a lesson or two from it.
God Bless, Shalom.
@lopezserina4 This is a great question. I would encourage you that you desire to serve Christ with your life. That is extraordinary and God has certainly worked in your life. I would also encourage you to read the book of Philippians as it gives great insight into how Paul, a man who was giving His life to Christ as you also desire, viewed death or the rapture (the end of his life on earth). I would also encourage you to read through the book of Revelation and to consider what life will be like after the rapture for you. I believe that God will work through His Spirit as you engage with His word, and I pray He will help you to be both excited to serve God and excited to meet the One whom who are serving on the day He returns.
Personally, in my time reading Philippians and Revelation (along with other books of the Bible which talk about the rapture and heaven such as 1 Thessalonians) I can’t help but be excited for Christ’s return. We are spending our whole lives serving this Master who has saved us and has transformed us, and the rapture is when we finally get to meet Him face to face. It will be a beautiful moment that will last for all eternity. There is a reason that Peter in his writings in 1 Peter 1:13 says “set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” When we endure suffering as Christians or we are just working really hard to glorify God, we can have hope that there is a better future because when the rapture happens and Jesus Christ returns, we are going to experience the fullness of His grace, glory and love over us!
In conclusion, you don’t have to pick one or the other. In fact, if you are truly living for Christ, than it will make the moment you meet Christ that much sweeter! I pray that God would release you from any fear of the rapture as John writes in 1 John, “perfect love drives out fear”, and the moment that Christ returns we will surely be in the presence of Perfect Love, Jesus Christ Himself.
Thank you Bassey for your response. I definitely would prefer to be the second one as well. I appreciate the time you took to respond. I like the perspective of living day by day, that is something that I have to work on.
You are welcome @lopezserina4
I unfortunately have no advice but I want to let you know I often share these anxieties so it is nice to know I am not the only one !
Thank you for sharing
This is an awesome point. The future is just that. How, when and what is happening when the rapture happens is so far out of our control that it can give anxiety even to a seasoned Christian, like myself, I am 55. Anxiety comes when things are happening that are beyond your control. So what does Jesus say about that? What can you do?
In the gospel of Matthew 6:32-34 "For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. "
So the real message is “follow me.” Today, follow Jesus. Show your love for Him in obedience, love your neighbor. You will be so much more at peace.
We can search the scriptures about the future, but we cannot know exactly what will take place. We have some pieces of the puzzle. So, don’t be afraid. If it gives you anxiety when your family or friends wants to ponder the future, challenge them with the present. Challenge yourself with the present. I truly want to live for Christ today. If my heart keeps beating and I get another day on this earth is really NOT in my control. But I can obey now.
I am sure the message of the gospel, that our Jesus is alive brings joy to your heart. Think of that. Ponder that. Share that. You will push out that anxiety and be filled with joy.
I will pray for you today for that very thing. Glad you are on the front lines at school. Give 'em joy!
Anxiety is the emotional response to uncertainties. Why should you be worried when your future is guaranteed to be with Christ for eternity, (as I assume you are)? Christ’s return should not worry those who have that assurance. In Philippians 1:21,23 Paul says that for him being with Christ is “gain” and “is far better” than even his earthly ministries. May you take the same perspective as Paul did: all of life’s experiences and endeavors are just moments to cherish and learn from. Life as God intended it neither begins at birth, nor at 40; it begins with Christ.
Serina, I am a believer in the Rapture, some of my Christian friends are not. They believe that God will protect them “through” the difficult times. Ive studied both sides, and have come to one conclusion, We will be WITH CHRIST, where ever, and however that occurs. That is our comfort, and a way to ease any anxiety we might have. Being with Christ will be immeasurably greater than any experience we might feel we are “missing out on” here on earth. As you go off to school, keep seeking, and hold on to the faith that is in you. Scott
I think this is like the saying that everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. Are we somehow not being Christian by rejoicing in this life? I don’t think so. He said that He came so that we can have life and have it more abundantly. He loves us.
That’s not just more stuff but more depth, a richness of life that involves wisdom, beauty, and love. (John 10:10) We embrace each day with hope and our hope brings joy for tomorrow here and for eternity there, always with Him.
However, when we think about human trafficking, persecution of Christians, sickness and disease, the potential for the outbreak of world war at any time, so much suffering…it leads us to say “Come quickly, Lord, Jesus!”
We can’t boast of tomorrow. Who knows what it will bring? But we can/must be thankful for each day that He sends us and find peace that He will provide for and protect us through whatever comes.
Just out of curiosity, where in the Bibe is the rapture taught?
I’ve never read those scriptures.
I think the verse 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “…shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air…” is the support…the word “rapture” being substituted for “caught up”. While some believe: a. that He will have His faithful remnant here at His second coming at which time we will be caught up, some believe b. that the “catching up, i.e. rapture” of the church will be before then, after which things will get bad. I’ve always been taught the former, shown as “a”, above, so I believe we must be ready to trust Him and not be afraid of whatever comes on the earth until the end when He returns or calls us individually home, but for those who believe the latter, shown as “b”, above, being ready and trusting Him is still required. I hope that helps.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
There is also a great answer from Johanna that talks about the verse from 1 Thessalonians
Are you saying that the rapture happens before the second coming of Christ? Is it a seperate event?
I believe that the rapture happens in concert with/as part of His second coming. Why does it look like two separate events? I believe because the experiences will be totally different between the saved and the unsaved.
At the same time, when He appears, we will be caught up to meet Him and transformed when we see Him. The second coming will be a glorious event for us…a terrifying event for the unsaved.
At the same time, for the unsaved remnant, “them that had received the mark of the beast” (Rev 19: 20), they will be destroyed by the “sword of Him that sat upon the horse…” (Rev 19:21). The saved will be caught up to meet Him at His appearing, the unsaved remnant experiencing the opposite of salvation, again, at the same time.
I don’t believe that a rapture will create chaos in the world for an evil remnant, but will bring the final order…no one being left behind who can still be saved.
I hope I cleared up my beliefs. If not, please let me know and I will provide more of the foundational verses upon which I have based my beliefs on the rapture.
I understand the anxiety that comes with what will happen when and whether I will be able to have a full, life-long opportunity to live a vibrant Christian life here on earth.
I just want to share something that the LORD has taught me this past year and is still reminding me of it. Because I am a rather sentimental person myself, I have had a big habit of holding onto my past (whether positive or negative past memories), yet at the same time, I very much tend to gaze into the future and the unknowns and uncertainties that automatically come with it. Finally, after quite some time, the LORD lovingly but firmly got my attention. I felt Him tell me, “Christina, you are going through these kinds of pressures and emotions that are distracting you from wholeheartedly doing what you are supposed to do…because you are holding onto the past, not My hand; and you are gazing into the future, not My face.” Thus, I was tending to live in a “makeshift world”, because I was living in what was not right now at this present moment. It is one thing to remember things and look forward or get ready for things, but I found myself living IN both worlds, without living in the NOW. Years are made up of months, months are made up of days, days—minutes, minutes—seconds, and seconds—MOMENTS. Moments. It was as if a broom hit me on the head at that time. For life was made up of moments; therefore, because I was not living in the moment (Holding onto God’s hand and looking to God’s face), I was respectively living in an unreal world constantly. I was missing life. Again, it is very important to heed to the lessons from the past and preparation for the future. But, because I was consistently living in those worlds, before I knew it, I could not focus clearly on my emediate assignment in life from the LORD. I was missing life in the moment. It was impossible for me to wholeheartedly invest in where I was because of it. And when I realized that, it was as if my glasses prescription was upgraded. I had a new outlook on life. And once that took place, it drastically started to change the way I view the moments, seconds, minutes, days… Even my attitude changed. The question was “Am I ultimately bringing honor and glory to God right now?” For whatever we do in each moment are the building blocks for our lives.
I am so thankful that when God has something under control in any aspect of life, my job is to hold onto His hand, not the past; and look into His face—His heart—His thoughts—His Word, not the future. And that is when my heart can safely rest in His as I seek to follow Him, one step at a time❤️