“Will you experience the Rapture or the Tribulation?” September 16

 

tribulation

There will be a day when, “… the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout … we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air …” (1 Thess. 4.16-17). There will also be those who think they’re OK with God because of all the things they have done. They may be religious, but will realize too late that they were not truly saved and that they have been left behind. What about you? Will you experience the Rapture or the Tribulation?

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 23 & 24
Psalm 107.10-22
Proverbs 25.17
2 Corinthians 8.1-24

 

Will you see the Rapture or the Tribulation?

 

Isaiah 23 & 24:

God will one day judge the world!

 

Chapter 24 changes the pattern in this book. Instead of talking about God’s judgment on specific nations, the prophet begins to speak to the inhabitants of the earth. This prophecy is more general in nature.

It certainly had near future meaning, possibly either the devastation brought about by Sennacherib and his Assyrian army or by Nebuchadnezzar and his armies from Babylon.

But it also has yet future application concerning the period of history called the Tribulation. The book of Revelation talks about the incredible destruction that will take place during those horrible, terrifying seven years: fires, earthquakes like the world has never seen, pestilence and wars, among other things.

The next few chapters of Isaiah will continue talking about God’s judgment on the world, but there is also comfort contained in many of the passages for God’s people. Even in the worst of times, God cares for His own! And as for the Great Tribulation to come, I don’t believe those of us who have made a decision for Christ now will be around to see that time. I believe that time will be proceeded by the Rapture of the church:

“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. 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” (1 Thess. 4.16-17).

But there will also be those who attend church, but who have never made a personal commitment to Christ and who will realize too late that they were not truly saved.

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13.5).

 

What about you?

If you cannot say that there has been a time in your life where you recognized your need for a Savior because you were utterly helpless to save yourself, a time when you accepted Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross for you personally and surrendered your life to Him, cry out to God now and ask Him to save you.

I’ll be praying for you! If that’s you, please let me know. You can add a comment at the bottom and, if you don’t want it published, just let me know.

But what if, you have prayed a prayer or had an emotional experience at some time in your life? What does it mean to “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith”?

First, there is no magic in praying a prayer. We are saved by God’s grace through faith. So while many are saved as a result of praying a prayer, it’s still a work of grace as saving faith comes alive in your heart.

Second, if you’re saved there will be fruit. Is there the fruit of a changed life? “Fruit” or good works can’t save us, but Ephesians says we were saved by grace through faith for good works (Eph. 2.8-10). Good works should be the result of the inner change brought about through salvation (2 Cor. 5.15, 17).

If you don’t see fruit in your life, talk to a Pastor or mature believer.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 107.10-22:

He Saves Those Who Cry Out to Him

 

If you are still not sure about what I’m saying, look at verses 10-13:

prayer woman

10 Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons—

11 Because they rebelled against the words of God,

And despised the counsel of the Most High,
12 Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.

That is a picture of all of us apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “Bound in affliction and irons,” unable to save ourselves because no amount of good works or religion can save us, only Christ can do that. But “then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.”

It doesn’t mean that believers in Christ never have difficulties, but we can have peace and joy in our hearts knowing that we have peace with God (Rom. 5.1), that He is in control (Rom. 8.28-29), will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13.5), will walk with us though every event in life (1 Cor. 10.13), and that our eternity is secure (1 Jn. 5.13).

 

Proverbs 25.17:

Don’t Wear Out Your Welcome

 

“Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.”

As my mother used to say, “Don’t wear out your welcome.”

 

2 Corinthians 8.1-24:

He Gave It Up for Us

 

Verse 9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”

Jesus set aside all the riches of heaven to come to earth as a baby, clothed in human flesh, just for you and me, so that we might enjoy the riches of a relationship with Him here and now and for eternity.

Have a great day in the Lord!
Donna

 

Make Bible reading an ongoing habit

bible 2I pray many of you are continuing to work your way through the Bible. We are almost three quarters of the way though. I hope you are beginning even now to think about doing this again next year. Each time we do, God opens more and more truth to us, and as we become more and more familiar with the Scriptures themselves, it’s like spending time with an “old friend.”

 

Follow me and sign up

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The value of reading good, theologically sound books

You’ll notice that I often add links to books and resources at the bottom of my blogs. Maybe you’ve never been a reader or you think you don’t have time to read. I just want to say that no one has extra time these days. And many people I know were not readers growing up, but once they saw the value of reading materials that would help them grow in their relationships with Christ, have better marriages, and be better, more godly parents, they became readers.

It’s been attributed to a couple of different people, but it’s true no matter who first said it, “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years, except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet.”

 

Today’s Featured Resources on Kindle or in Books:

About The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness by Jerry Bridges:

Believers often take for granted the great act of salvation provided to us by the work of Jesus Christ. Beginning with the Old Testament sacrifices and the prophecies that foreshadowed Christ, authors Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington guide believers through the biblical overview of Christ’s atonement. The Great Exchange helps believers see how the Old Testament practices tie in with the New Testament discussion of Christ’s great work of salvation.

As believers work through these principles, they will begin to recognize that even though we deserve condemnation and punishment from a holy God, he has given us the opportunity to experience his great riches through his Son, Jesus Christ. The clear gospel message presented throughout the entire book offers a great appreciation of Christ for believers and an opportunity for salvation for unbelievers.

Eternal Security by Charles Stanley:

Do you ever find yourself wondering . . .
•Is it actually possible to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am going to heaven? Dr. Stanley answers that question.

Agents of the Apocalypse: A Riveting Look at the Key Players of the End Times by Dr. David Jeremiah:

Who Will Usher in Earth’s Final Days?
Are we living in the end times? Is it possible that the players depicted in the book of Revelation could be out in force today? And if they are, would you know how to recognize them?

In Agents of the Apocalypse, noted prophecy expert Dr. David Jeremiah does what no prophecy expert has done before. He explores the book of Revelation through the lens of its major players—the exiled, the martyrs, the elders, the victor, the king, the judge, the 144,000, the witnesses, the false prophet, and the beast.

One by one, Dr. Jeremiah delves into their individual personalities and motives, and the role that each plays in biblical prophecy. Then he provides readers with the critical clues and information needed to recognize their presence and power in the world today.

The stage is set, and the curtain is about to rise on Earth’s final act. Will you be ready?

Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins

An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold.

Yes, it’s a novel, but it is an interesting take on what the Tribulation may very well be like for those who are “left behind.”

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4 thoughts on ““Will you experience the Rapture or the Tribulation?” September 16

  1. I’ll see you on the way up, Donna! Great post. It is true, many just go through the motions of attending church. I used to be one of them. So broken and confused. I am so thankful for His everlasting mercy and lovingkindness. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

  2. I often wonder and worry if I’m truly saved or if I’ll be one that He says he never knew. I know Jesus came to save me from my sins and I believe in him. I believe he saves me through his grace as I’m completely undeserving. But, I just feel inadequate. I feel that I don’t know him like I should. I don’t want to just do the motions. I wanna know Him like people talk about knowing him. I don’t know what I’m missing to make me feel like I’m not saved or maybe it is the devil just working hard to take that from me. I don’t know how to express my thoughts differently but I guess I just want to know how I know for sure. I too attend church regularly and I grew up in the church but I know that can’t save me. Christ alone. Just wanna be sure. I certainly down want to be left behind.

    • Heidi, God definitely wants you to have that assurance (1 Jn. 5.13). But the thing is, none of us is adequate in ourselves. No amount of going to church or doing religious things will save us. We can’t be good enough to deserve heaven on our own.

      But, it’s grace through faith that saves us … His grace, our faith. It sounds to me like you are putting your faith in the right things, what He did for you on the cross. And while doing Christian things won’t save us, the desire to go to church, to read our Bibles, to love and please Him, and to love others are all part of the “fruit” of a believing (Christian) heart.

      A Christian will also experience conviction of sin. And when we do we need to go back to the cross (not to be saved again, but to remember that He died for all of our sins; 1 Jn. 1.9).

      Several things can keep us from having “assurance of salvation.” One is some area of sin that we have not truly repented of … that is confessed to Him and turned away from (often we’re saved, but the devil uses it against us in our hearts and minds). So I would encourage you to pray and ask Him to examine your heart (Ps. 139.23-24), confess anything He shows you and receive His forgiveness and grace (Rom. 8.1).

      Another is thinking that while we’re saved by grace, we somehow must earn or keep ourselves saved. Remember, we couldn’t do anything to save ourselves and we can’t do anything to keep ourselves saved. It’s all His grace!

      Then I would encourage you to read through the book of 1 John, praying that He will give you that assurance.

      There is a little booklet called, “A Gospel Primer” by Milton Vincent that might be helpful, too.

      If you continue to struggle, email me at donna.soulsurvival@yahoo.com and we’ll talk some more. God loves you. Blessings, my friend.

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