Every day we hear of someone whose life was suddenly and unexpectedly cut short. They may have been fishing, teaching a class, driving to the grocery store for some milk, riding a bicycle, digging a trench, or “keeping the peace” in some distant land. Without warning, their life on earth has come to an end. For Christians, we can be assured that such an event will bring us into the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the lost, such an event seals their fate, wrought by their refusal to recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We also look towards an event that will take believers from earth in an equally sudden and unexpected way.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus will return without warning – like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2) – to take His children to be with Him. In Matthew 24:36-41, Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 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.” Unlike the tribulation period and Christ’s return to set up His millennial Kingdom, the rapture is a sign-less event – nothing in prophecy will warn us of its impending occurrence. In fact, as I write this, I am aware that I may not be around to finish this article. As Christians, we know that unbelievers should be aware that their time remaining to decide whether to follow Jesus is unpredictably brief. But as Christians, we should also pause to examine our lives and our churches in this light.
Every now and then I consider that I could die suddenly, or we could be raptured just as suddenly. I then consider how ready I am to stand before my Savior. Will He find me doing His will, or will He find me living selfishly, ignoring my duties as a servant of Christ. When I face Him, I want to be unashamed of how I am living. I want to be busy doing His will. From the passage above, Jesus went on to say, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:42-44).
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SOURCE: Contender Ministries