WAITING OUT THE RAPTURE                                                                                                   Andy Hollifield 2-25-17

1 Thessalonians 4:17 “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. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  (KJV)

It’s coming. It can’t be long. Just look at how things are, it can’t be long. I don’t see how God can let this go on much longer. Just look at the shape our country is in, it’s got to be close. All of those are statements that we have probably all heard repeatedly of late. The fact is that they are all true. So let’s all just stop what we’re doing and turn our faces toward the eastern sky and wait on his return. Wrong! There is another verse that we often forget about; Luke 19:13 “…Occupy till I come.” The definition of occupy is “to take or fill up,to engage or employ the mind, energy, or attention of. To be a resident or tenant of, to hold, to take possession and control of.” In the parable of the ten servants, the master had no intention of his servants sitting around and waiting for his return. He fully intended for them to use their time wisely and invest to gain with what he had trusted them with. Jesus never meant for us to just hang out looking east till he returned. He wants us to conduct business as usual but with a sense of urgency “and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25) Paul was encouraging the Hebrews in that scripture to “Fail not to assemble together” and to be “exhorting one another.” Jesus said in Matthew 24:44 “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

I remember a recent conversation with a good friend of mine that we were talking about the rapture. Both of us were in agreement that based on what we are seeing, it can’t be long. If you stop and look back at history, many times were there events going on that surely folks felt the same way that we do now? Granted, we are seeing wickedness at a whole nother level than what past generations have seen. If you think about it, when Hitler began his domination of Germany and began to call for the extermination of the Jews and began to degrade and destroy them, what do you think people must have thought then? Surely they must have thought that since they were the chosen people of God that it must have been the time of his return then. Also, when the US dropped the bombs on Japan, how many people of that day thought sure that was it? Before that, when the electric car began to replace the horse and buggy, it was a radical change from what had always been the norm. When television first came out, I have read where some of the most staunch old timers believed it was a “tool of the devil”. One thing is wrong with that. The devil has no tools of his own, he just corrupts the good things that God gives us. I have heard the same thing said of the internet, cable and satellite TV, and even Facebook. I wrote on this a while back when we were celebrating the life of Marconi and the birth of radio and the entire broadcast industry. James 1:17 says “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,…” As a matter of fact, the prophecy concerning the two witnesses in Revelations 11:9, I had always wondered how so many different nations and tongues would see their bodies lay in the street for 3 days. When cable TV became popular back in the ’70’s, it became clear how it would be possible.

My point is this, just because we see the day approaching is no reason to fold our hands and wait for him. We need to be working to get as many folks to God as we can while we can. Matthew 24:14 says “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come.” That preaching is happening now by way of TV, radio, missionaries, and the internet. And surely we are seeing the age of false prophets deceiving many and the love of many waxing cold. And surely we are also seeing the same things that Noah saw in his day. But the sad thing is that it also said in Matthew 24:39 “And knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” We have a lot of people who will not be ready when he comes. It is our job to warn them and try to get them to Jesus. We won’t win them all, but if we don’t try we won’t win any. As Jesus said in John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” I want to end on an encouraging note with the words in Luke 21:28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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