Are You Prepared?

 

… the Word of God says in I Thessalonians 4 that it [the rapture] will in fact happen:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Again, in ancient Jewish wedding tradition, the bride was unaware of when the groom would return for her and therefore spent her time preparing for his arrival. In Matthew 25, the Lord gives us a parable on such preparation:

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten(the number 10 in the Bible speaks of perfection) virgins (represents those who belong to the Lord), which took their lamps (represents the light of Christ in all believers), and went forth to meet the bridegroom(Christ). And five of them were wise, and five were foolish (indicative of modern Christianity). They who were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them (began to live outside the domain of the Holy Spirit): But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps(a constant flow of the Spirit within their hearts and lives, which can only come about and be maintained, by one’s faith in Christ and the Cross [Rom. 8:1—2, 11]). While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept(does not imply by this that they were doing something wrong). And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him(the rapture of the church). Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps (but without the oil, the trimming was useless; it is religious activity without the Holy Spirit). And the foolish said unto the wise, give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out(it’s too late now!). But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them who sell, and buy for yourselves (proclaims the truth that spiritual energy cannot be derived from others). And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they who were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut (there will come a time, when it’s too late; today is the day [Heb. 3:15]). Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us(because they were religious, they thought they were saved). But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (millions presently are in the church, but not in Christ). Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh(our lives are to be lived as if Jesus would come today) (Mat. 25:1-13, “The Expositor’s Study Bible).

Anticipation

Part of this waiting and watching also includes working. Remember Rebekah – she worked hard drawing from the well that day, and Eliezer watched carefully as she drew pitcher after pitcher to witness whether or not the Lord had made his journey prosperous.

Likewise, I believe the Holy Spirit is watching us carefully to see whether or not we are drawing from the well to give the water of life to a lost and dying world. Are we letting the Holy Spirit lead us and allowing His gifts to work properly in our lives so that others will profit? Are we wearing the bracelets and the earring that He first gave to us—His righteousness and His holiness?

Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”

People want to know what else, prophetically, must happen before the rapture takes place, and the answer is, nothing. The Lord could return at any time. Are you prepared to meet the Lord in the air?

Remember how Abraham delayed in sending for Isaac’s bride. Even so, God the Father—in His tremendous grace and mercy has delayed in sending Jesus to catch His bride away. But in the Father’s perfect timing, Jesus will come. Soon and very soon, there will be a shout, and the trump will sound. Although the Bible doesn’t say, some believe that shout will be, “Behold the bridegroom cometh!”

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.

By Frances Swaggart

Source: The Evangelist Magazine, June 2018, Vol. 52 No. 6