After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (NIV)
We live in a throw away society today. It seems everything is disposable now, from our cell phones, to grocery bags, even clothing doesn’t last as long as it once did. But we are not supposed to be that way ourselves, physically and spiritually. For generations, people have been watching and waiting for the rapture of the church. The scripture above describes what will happen sometime in the future and it has given hope to thousands of people since the Apostle Paul penned those words close to 2000 years ago.
But, there have been people that have read this verse and have gotten hope from it. But that hope for some gets snuffed out quickly. In Matthew 13, the parable of the sower describes four different people who hear the Word. Of those four, three of them are describes as losing the word and hope in Jesus coming. For some, they hear it and it is snatched away quickly, for others, it doesn’t take root and they lose it and for the third group of people, they get caught up in all the worries of life and lose hope. The fourth group described not only understands the Word and have hope, but produce fruit.
What does that mean? It means this; they have hope in the rapture, they know it is coming someday, but they know that we must be about the Lord’s business until it comes. It requires patience. In Colossians 1:11, it says being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. So, we wait patiently for the rapture, while we also reach the lost.
What other ways has God given us hope? In three of the gospels, the disciples ask Jesus what are the signs of the end of the age. Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 all describe all of the signs of coming of the Lord. I believe we were given these scriptures for a very specific reason. We are to understand the past, know what is going to happen in the future, so we can plant seeds with people in the present. That’s producing fruit that leads people to Christ. Yes, we would all love to have the rapture occur right now, but we have to be patient. God the Father knows when it will occur; we have to patiently wait for His plan.
We don’t know how many people will end up in heaven, but the Lord knows the number of people that do accept Jesus as their Savior. God knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7) and God even knows the number of people who will be martyred during the post-rapture tribulation (Revelation 6: 9-11). Even then, they are told in verse 11 to wait a little longer until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed had been completed. We have to be patient and wait for the Lord. God knows who that last person is that will accept Jesus as his/her Savior. We have no idea who that person is, if they have been born yet or maybe they have not been reached with the word yet. This should give us the motivation to outweigh our impatience to plant seeds with people. What if you knew who that person was? Wouldn’t you want them to hear the word and accept Jesus? That is what God is doing with us right now. He’s giving everyone a chance to come to Jesus, because He does not want any to perish. In 2 Peter 3:9, God gives us hope to carry on The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but to come to repentance.
Father God, help all of us to be more patient. Help us to be patient in understanding that You have a better plan, we may not understand it all, but Your words give us Hope. You have not forgotten us, but have a plan for us. Help all of us Lord to be patient, to be about your business doing Your will to reach the lost. We know that someday you will call us home, and our Hope is in that day
In Jesus name,