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Linda Irish

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MAN I'M READY~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Are We Eagerly Waiting His Coming?

There are so many scriptures that talk about how we should be in regard to the coming of Christ Jesus. We are to love His coming 2 Timothy 4:8, to look for His coming, Philippians 3:20 and be ready for His coming Mt 24:44 and to pray for His coming Revelations 22:20.

So one year during a sermon by my pastor whom I greatly love, I was caught off guard to hear the words that he shared this day.

“How many of you are looking forward to the rapture ?” Hands go up all over the place. “How many of you are ready right now and looking forward to it right now, If Christ came for you today to be caught up in the twinkle of an eye?” I am still raising my hand, man I am ready. But then pastor says to us,

“Shame on you all! What about all those other people out there that are lost, what about them?

This really concerned me and I talked to God about it and was not released from the situation until God led me to talk to my Pastor. I didn’t want to. This was the first time in over ten years that I ever felt led to correct my pastor on any issue but the Bible clearly wants us to look forward to the the coming of our Lord and Savior in joyful expectation. I also knew that as a leader and pastor he was bombarded with criticism and complaints regularly and I did not want to be seen as part of this group. Still God was leading be to do so, and I made an appointment with him and went in to visit a few days later. I did not feel comfortable doing this, but I was obedient.

My pastor listened to what I has to say, which was basically, my understanding, that when Gods children were caught up in the twinkling of an eye…God still made provision for the rest of humanity to have the opportunity to call on the living God for salvation and receive Christ as their savior up until the very end of the tribulation.

When I was done, my pastor told me that he would not discuss this with me. His concern was that the body was divided on such issues as the timing of the “rapture” and it was not relevant.. I knew that I was obedient to God to come in and share with pastor and I had no ought against my brother…but I left feeling sad. Something was missing and I didn’t understand the situation. My pastor dismissed me before I had a chance to show him the scriptures that tell us to look forward to the coming of Christ, or for him to show me the scriptures that he believed supported his instruction that we should be ashamed of ourselves for eagerly anticipating Christ’s return. I left on good terms of course, with my pastor, but with an empty feeling.

There was nothing else to do really, but it was a puzzle for me. How could my pastor whom I have agreed almost perfectly on all things for ten years or so…how could he say and believe this thing that is so contrary to what I have learned in the Bible. A thing that ministered so clearly to my heart. And that thought was always with me like an unsolved puzzle. It wasn’t until much, much later that I realized that my pastor believed that Armageddon and the “rapture” happened at the same time, the end of the seven years of tribulation. Even now I can’t remember exactly how I came to this understanding but it immediately became clear.

It all began to make sense to me. At the time, It didn’t cross my mind that anyone believed that the rapture would happen at the same time as the end of the world. I believed then, as I believe today that what God was planning was a lot like Noah and the ark. Cause that’s what God tells us in Mathew 24:37.

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking , marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field. One will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.” Therefore keep watch, because you don not know on what day your Lord will come.

My take on this was that life was normal, they didn’t expect a sudden danger upon the earth They were not prepared but God had prepared Noah and his family and the Bible does not say that Noah kept it a secret…others just did not believe what he believed.

On the other hand, the coming of the son of Man is also described in another way…I believe that God is describing an event different from the one described above. This appears to be a distinctly separate event. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days (for there will be a great tribulation such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. ) the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from on end of heaven to the other.
Mathew 24:29

In the first scenario (two in the field or two grinding) the people seem to be experiencing everyday life and the sudden disappearance takes place. In the second scenario the whole earth will be able to see our lord coming in the clouds.

In the first event there is no indication of a horrible disturbance or war upon the earth…the people are just engaged in their everyday chores. I don’t imagine people will be working in the fields or grinding during the most horrible part of the tribulation….they will be hiding and fighting for their life. In the Holocost the chosen people went underground to hide from being captured and slaughtered by the enemy. I believe the tribulation will cause a lot of fear on this earth.

I am explaining this to show how I have come to understand God through His words but I have no problem with anyone having a different take on it. I am only sharing my story of how I came to understand why my pastor had such deep concern for the ones left after the “rapture”….he believed the two events above were at the same time….which if that be the case…he would be absolutely correct to lament the fact that time had run out for salvation for humanity.

But I believe that the rapture is a wonderful thing in that there will be millions of people around the world…maybe even on the verge of believing…just pondering that step of surrendering to God, when all the born again Christians are removed off the earth in a twinkle of an eye. This is time for all humanity on the earth to have the opportunity for salvation in Christ Jesus. The seven year tribulation is a horrible thing, but Hell is worse and eternal. God designed a plan not only to save humanity…but to passionately persuade the lost of the lost in the very end of times…the tribulation, that even then, there is still hope for eternal life in Christ.

Just as in the days of Noah….Noah was mocked. So is our faith is mocked in these end times as well, (and according to the word of God will become more and more horrible in these end times. Mathew 24:9) to but with Noah once the doors to the ark were shut….it was over. In the tribulation God is offering all people of the world a chance (even after the rapture) for all to come to Christ

So my pastor was right in that we not engage in argument about our different understandings of the word of God…but also I believe that a constant desire to know the truth is what we need to carry with us in our every moment. The truth helps us to understand others and we are sanctified in the truth of God.

If God comes for us in the beginning of the seven year tribulation, or the middle, or the end….It is not my job to convince anybody about anything…but it is my job to obey God. God is the Creator of the universe and all things….God can come anytime He pleases…praise God!!!!!!! But whenever that is…..man….I’m ready!!!!!

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I have the same understanding about the situation as you do, Linda. Your Pastor is a man, however, and perhaps he was not able to receive on that particular day about this truth because of other concerns. He may have thought you were trying to chastise him. And been offended. If you did what the Lord led you to do, and said what the Lord would have you say, then be at peace. BTW, I love the article, and I don't plan on taking part of what is coming on the earth for satan and his unbelievers.

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