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Rapture and Watching

Recently I listened to a well-known preacher on his TV program saying something to the effect that only those “watching” for Jesus will go to be with Christ in the Rapture. He defined “watching” as those Christians who are truly wanting for Jesus to return and that believe with great faith that He will call them to Himself in that great Rapture event.

This didn’t totally surprise me, because this particular preacher has, in my opinion, never been clear in his thoughts on the security of the believer—that is, the once saved, always saved doctrine, as the sometimes hotly debated term goes.

While his remark in making such a statement—to be watching is commanded by the Lord—is scripturally correct, I totally reject the premise that it is possible for even one truly born-again person to be left behind when Christ says: “Come up hither” (Rev. 4: 1).

I believe that the apostle Paul made very clear who will be taken in the Rapture when Jesus calls the Church. Paul, in revealing the mystery of the Rapture, said the following:

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)

Paul, given the key to this mystery by the Lord Jesus Himself, tells us clearly that all will be changed. It will take place in less than a microsecond. That’s the Rapture!

The word “we” is the pronoun that is all-inclusive as given in this context. The “we” here means all who are born again—the Church.

There is no room for any believer to be left behind in Paul’s declaration. Those who are truly saved—that is, who are in Christ Jesus, who shed His blood and resurrected to redeem all who will but received this free, grace gift, will go in that twinkling-of-an-eye moment.

Paul, under divine inspiration, further enlightens concerning the security of the believer:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Again, Paul uses a pronoun that is all-inclusive of believers in God’s way to salvation—Jesus Christ—the only righteousness God the Father recognizes. Paul, under that divine inspiration, says that nothing and no one will ever be able to separate “us” from the love of God.

Paul is undeniably talking about the born-again, because he goes on to say that this “love” of which he speaks is “in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The pronoun this time is “our,” meaning those he is talking about—including Paul himself—who are born again—that is, who are believers in Christ for salvation. 

The TV preacher then said that watching for Christ means one is “worthy” to stand before the Lord on that Rapture day. Again, implying strongly that unless one is watching, he or she is not going to go in the Rapture.

He used the following Scripture in that declaration:

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36)

Some years ago, I addressed the matter of being “worthy” in God’s holy eyes.

What does it mean to be “worthy,” as given in this Rapture example? Again, the answer is wrapped up in the same name as before: Jesus. Jesus is the only person “worthy,” in God’s holy eyes, to be in the heavenly realm.

Remember what Jesus said to a man who addressed Him as “Good Master”?

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. (Luke 18:18)

Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, was not seeking to chastise the man for addressing Him in this way. The Lord was confirming through this question that He is indeed God, the only good, the only righteousness. Righteousness is the only ticket to Heaven–either through the portal of death, or through the Rapture. Only through Jesus—being born again into God’s family through belief in Him—can a person enter the heavenly realm.

Jesus spoke to this all-important matter by addressing Nicodemus:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

God’s Word says about fallen mankind:

As it is written, There is none righteous no not one. (Romans 8:10)

And:

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 8:23)

So, Jesus is the only person “worthy” to enter Heaven. It is through Him that any of us are worthy to stand before Him in that heavenly realm. That is the truth found in the Scripture in question.

On a less magnificent scale, the word “worthy” in this passage means that we should be in a constant mindset of prayerful repentance. We should always want to be found “worthy”—cleansed of all unrighteousness, as stated in 1 John 1:9, so that we will hear our Lord say to us on that day:

Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:23)

Many of God’s children will doubtlessly lose rewards at the Bema (judgment seat of Christ,) for not being watchful and not listening for their Lord’s call in the Rapture. But, they will make that fantastic trip into Heaven, every single one, because of the Lamb of God who redeemed them.


19 Comments

  1. Wendy Saddler says:

    Very interesting. I have a feeling I know WHO this TV preacher is, but I don’t want to name names on here

  2. Faith Sisk says:

    I agree totally.which kind of makes me giggle..thinking how many of us will.be totally surprised …

  3. SRB says:

    You are right when you say that all that are saved will be called up hither in the Rapture….but I can’t help but think it would be nice payback to all those Christians who vehemently bash the Rapture and all those who believe in it, to be left behind, so they can actually fight and endure to the end during Jacob’s trouble like they say they want to.

  4. Karen says:

    Terry, in the past month I found myself asking God to settle this question once and for all in my own heart. I have not heard the pastor you mention. However, I have some passages in my heart for which I have no answer, yet. The bottom line question that I’m seeking to answer is why would Jesus warn us of the need to live in a certain manner that we not be caught unawares if it really didn’t matter? Live loosely, continue putting off repentance where you are convicted — or don’t give it any thought at all, because you’re going to go up in the rapture no matter how you live? Something doesn’t sit right here with me in light of Jesus’ warnings. There is a tract that is found at this facebook site that presents all the arguments far better than I have space here to share. So, please, for the sake of those saints who are still struggling between these two poles — please read and answer as best God would give you to share. Thank you so much, dear brother.

    • Terry James says:

      Karen,

      This person is confusing what being Rapture Ready is about.

      One is “ready” for the Rapture –that is to go in the Rapture, ONLY if one has been born again. Once he or she is born again he or she is saved, absolutely and forever (Rom. 8: 38-39, for example). He or she IS going in the Rapture, no matter what…

      To be “ready” for the Rapture for those born again, means they should be looking for and desiring Christ’s coming for them, to take them Home to Heaven (John 14: 1-3).

      If the born again isn’t ready, it means he or she is out of fellowship NOT out of God’s Family. This relationship is impossible to ever break.

      The tract is based upon a misunderstanding of exactly what is wrapped up in the terms Rapture, readiness, and salvation.

      Therefore, I don’t want it put on the blog.

  5. Karen says:

    For sure, if any of us is amiss in our understanding, the rapture will answer all our questions. Striving to enter in at the narrow gate, and so grateful for every single promise of God that is YES and AMEN in Christ, unto the glory of God BY US.

    • Nora says:

      Karen,

      Jesus Christ Himself is the narrow gate! He is our gate and our road to the Father. He is the Life and the Truth. He is the source of our life and our righteousness is imputed to us by the Father through Him and because of Him.

      The Lord is very clear in the Scripture: (just a sample of Bible verses for ponderation)

      “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14)

      “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephes 1:13-14)

      “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor 1:21-22)

      Could the Lord be even clearer?

      “But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrwes 10:12-14)

      “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:37)
      “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

      As the late Jack Kelley put it: “For a born again believer, God has separated the sin from the sinner. God sees our sins as a holdover from the old us and does not consider them to be part of the new us.”

      “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

  6. Yes, I pretty much agree that those who aren’t watching, but love the Lord, will be in heaven … but I also believe that there will be a difference between being a GUEST at the Marriage of the Lamb – or the BRIDE!

    • Nora says:

      The guests of the wedding supper are the tribulation believers and most likely the Old Testament believers. As for the Church: the members of the Church are those who are sealed by the Holy Spirit. All of them belong to Christ, all of them are parts of His Body, therefore all of them are His Bride! His Body, His Bride. He bought them all with the most precious and highest price in the entire creation and beyond: His own blood! The Scripture is clear on the topic of the “who is who in the Church”. Which one is more important? The eyes or the feet? The hands or the ears? The heart or the kidneys? All parts are vitally important! That’s what the Bible says about us. I’m not saying the following against you so please don’t take it personally! I’m saying it against *the notion*! The notion, which is one of the dreadfully horrible “ideas” circulating in the Church. According to that *notion* there will be a “super class” of believers within the Church who are the Bride and an “under-class” of believers (within the Church) who will be only guests… It is a LIE! Totally unbiblical, something that smells like the Deceiver cooked it up.

  7. Nora says:

    Amen, amen and amen to that article! There is only one thing which makes us worthy of Heaven and being taken in the rapture: the acceptance of Christ’s blood-sacrifice for us, His finished work on the cross! The notion of making ourselves ready to the rapture via our own works and performance is the same lie repackaged that says that we have to work for our salvation and we have to keep it via our own works and performance! Adding our own deeds and performance to the Lord’s perfect and finished sacrifice is making us as if we were “co-saviors” with the Lord in our own rescue from eternal damnation! We can’t add anything to the Lord’s blood atonement for us, not a thing! This is why we needed the Savior in the first place! As the Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) (The same goes for the idea that the Church has to go through Daniel’s 70th week for “purification”. Did the Lord not purify us with His own blood? Did He not wash all our sins away with it? Is He not the One who justified us and sanctifies us? He is! And He did all these things!)

    • Agreed, but far too many Christians don’t realize they haven’t cleaned the leaven from their lives and accept Pagan holidays, thinking they are celebrating something other than what they are. Christmas & Easter are both incredibly pagan celebrations, created at the Council of Nicea in 325 by Catholic bishops and not a single Hebrew or Jew was there. They decided to abolish the Lord’s 7th day Sabbath, created a birthday to celebrate the goddess Ishtar’s birthday (Easter) and I won’t even start about the Paganism of Christmas, but Jim Staley’s video on you tube called “Truth or Tradition” spells all of it out very well. It should be played in every denomination and every church there is! Yeshua wants a Bride without spot or wrinkle – or Paganism!

      When the Children of Israel went into the Promised Land, God told them to “clean it out” – right down to the livestock even! But they disobeyed … and they’re STILL disobeying – that’s why the enemy has mosques on the Lord’s mountain! That’s why the enemy occupies Gaza!

      • Nora says:

        Dorrie,

        “Agreed, but far too many Christians don’t realize they haven’t cleaned the leaven from their lives and accept Pagan holidays, thinking they are celebrating something other than what they are.”

        This is not a salvation issue, therefore not a rapture issue. (None of the issues brought up here affect the salvation of a person and their place in the rapture.) As for Israel, the Lord will solve everything in the right time. (And that’s the case with everything else.)

      • Nora says:

        p.s.: As I mentioned before, it is the Lord Himself who cleansed us with His blood, He cleansed the exact thing *leaven* represents: all the sins of our lives. He is the One who justified us and sanctifies us continually. Our righteousness is imputed to us by Him because of our acceptance by faith of the perfect and finished sacrifice of Christ. Even saving faith is a gift from Him. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. We should let Him to take the wheel and submit to Him out of gratitude and love. I believe so that He is delighted in helping us to do these things if we ask Him.

  8. Chris Batchelor says:

    I concur with everyone, but sometimes you need a hammer to crack a nut.

  9. Karen M Parrish says:

    Nora, I would like to respond to all the labors you made on my behalf. You surely search God’s word, as do I — for I know that there is only one truth and we must continue in God’s word in order to know the truth that will makes us free. I would like to correspond with you in private, as I do not think my current place of thought would be published on this page. If you would be so kind as to allow me to send you some further thoughts by personal email, please let me know. My email is 2bfaithful@comcast.net. Thank you.

    • Nora says:

      Karen,

      If you’d like to debate my position on *eternal security* I’m sorry but I won’t go into further argument over this topic. (I’m saying that with peace, no bad feelings!) All I could say, please seek the Lord, ask Him to lead you and help you by His Holy Spirit to know His heart and will concerning this subject!

      • Karen says:

        No, not at all, Nora. I know all Christians who have been truly born again are eternally secure, no matter what trials and tribulations we have to endure before we see our Lord face to face.e

        What I have come to understand is the place His grace works in these to be careful to maintain good works. We don’t work for our salvation. But God’s Spirit works in us after salvation to do good works, works He inspires and He sustains and then He rewards.

        For the Scriptures say God completed works in Christ Jesus before the world began, for us to walk in, and experience rewards for what He worked in us to receive. I’ve always thought that is going to be the most awesomely humble moment at the Bema seat. He is going to reward us for what He worked in us to will and to do. I know in some small measure how Peter must have felt when Jesus bowed at his feet, girded in a towel, and wanted to wash his feet.

        God has told us to be careful also that no man take our crown. 🙂 I’ve talked with some believers who have no idea of the various crowns God has in store for various services rendered to Him.

        So, I was wanting to have some time to see what you’r thoughts are on the works God desires that we cooperate with His Spirit in working out our salvation, with fear and trembling. That is the area of conversation I wanted to have with you.

        Blessings and peace to you in Jesus,

        Karen

      • Nora says:

        Hi Karen,

        “He is going to reward us for what He worked in us to will and to do.”

        Agree!

        “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

        “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

        I had a chat with somebody about this very topic today. Imo, when we submit to Him, letting Him to take the wheel and let His Holy Spirit guide us and prompt us, we could walk in the good works that He Himself prepared for us, the credit goes to Him. I believe so that these are the fruits that will remain as *gold and precious stones* and not burn as *wood and hay* at the Bema Seat Judgment.

        A bit more in detail: the *good works* are those which were done at His prompt, in His strength and out of love for Him.

        Many blessings to you,

        Nora

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