"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads,
because your redemption draws near." (Luke 22:10 NKJV)
Opening prayer: Heavenly Father, it feels like this world has been in chaos for a very long time. Are we finally entering into the final stage of the world's rebellion against you? Open our hearts and minds to understand Your plan, that we might be ready for whatever happens next. Amen.
"Is it too late?"
If you can read this, it is not too late. If the Next Rapture Event hasn't happened yet (and you'll hear about it when it happens), there's still time to get aboard the first train to glory.
If you missed that first event, you can accomplish two important goals in the next few minutes: You can be 100% sure of your eternal salvation, and you can be 100% sure of being included in whichever general Rapture event happens next.
The first thing to realize is that God loves you and wants you to be with Him for eternity. He knew, before you were born, that you would not be capable of earning eternal life by your own good works. By now, you realize that God's opinion matters. So how can a holy God allow you into His presence?
Atonement, not excuses
Our vocabulary word for today is "atonement." Our English Bibles use that word to translate Hebrew and Greek words that literally mean "covering." We can't be perfect, so we need a way to cover up our imperfections.
Adam and Eve created a Fig Leaf Religion to cover up their imperfection. This neither fooled nor pleased God, who gave them clothes made of animal skins. God had warned Adam that sin would bring death. Adam didn't die right away, but an animal died to provide atonement (a covering) for his sin.
Even back then, God was telling us that blood sacrifices were the only way to atone for our sins. You and I have sinned, so somebody or something must die to pay for atonement of our sins.
Centuries later, the Lord instructed the Israelites to sacrifice Passover lambs and then apply the blood to the doorposts and lintels of their homes. If they did so, the angel of death would pass over those homes and the first-born children behind the blood would live. Notice that the requirements were for (a) an unblemished lamb, and (b) for the family to stay behind the door. The family did not need to be sinless or perfect as long as they peformed the sacrifice and ate the Passover meal behind the door. They were not allowed to get take-out deli sandwiches and put ketchup on the door.
A few weeks after that first Passover, the Lord gave Moses detailed instructions for specific types of blood sacrifices. The Lord expressed the underlying principle in Leviticus 17 verse 11:For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
Fast-forward to the early ministry of Jesus. and let's read from the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 29, where we read a startling declaration from John the Baptist:The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Jesus came into this world to be our Passover Lamb. He willingly gave His life as a blood sacrifice on our behalf.
Many years ago, I prayed the Sinner's Prayer and applied His blood to the doorposts and lintel of my heart. At that moment, the Holy Spirit came into my heart to give me a heart transplant -- an implant of the Lord's sinless nature that I could cherish and nurture. At that moment, I became born again. At that moment, I accepted the precious gift of salvation and eternal life.
At the end of this lesson is a sample prayer that you can pray to receive those same blessings.
I get that. But how does that relate to the pre-tribulation Rapture Event?
Jesus Himself predicted that a time of tribulation would befall the entire earth. The Gospels record two accounts of His warnings and promises:
- In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verses 4 though 31, Jesus explains the terrible events that will happen. Then, from chapter 24 verse 32 through the end of chapter 25, Jesus gives a series of warnings that believers should be watchful for the signs that the tribulation period is near. What most people don't immediately grasp is that Jesus spent twice as many verses telling us to watch for the beginning of these events as He did telling of the events themselves.
- In the gospel of Luke, chapter 21, verses 8 through 27, Jesus explains the terrible events that will happen. Then in verse 28, He makes the amazing statement that when these things begin to happen, "...look up, for your redemption draws near."
So those of us who believe in Jesus should remain watchful. But Jesus gave us further advice in Luke chapter 21, verses 34-35:But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
For those of us who are born-again and watchful, Jesus gives a wonderful promise in the very next verse, Luke chapter 21, verse 36:Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Note that Jesus encourages you to be counted worthy. Faith in His completed work on the cross is how you and I can be counted worthy.
And just to be sure we understand the nature of His promise, Jesus repeated that promise as part of His letters to the churches in the Book of Revelation. We read that promise in Revelation chapter 3, verse 10:Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
You can be 100% sure of your salvation
Jesus never spoke in shades of grey. Remember His words in the gospel of John, chapter 3 and verse 3: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
In His eyes, we are either born again by the power of the Holy Ghost or we are not. If we born again, we are saved and wise. If we are not born again, we are foolish.
The Good News is that foolishness does not have to be permanent. If you are able to read this, it's not too late to become born again. If you want to be 100% sure of your eternal destiny, and if you believe what the Bible says about Jesus paying the price on the cross for your salvation, you can settle the matter right now. Just pray a simple prayer like this one:
"Heavenly Father, I repent of trying to be good enough to earn heaven by my own works. I understand that Your Son Jesus was my sacrificial Passover Lamb; His shed blood paid the penalty for my sins. I want to be born again, as Jesus commanded. So please send Your Holy Spirit to come into my heart, to give me eternal life, and to begin the process of changing me into the image of Your Son, Jesus. Father, I thank you for this precious gift. Open my heart and mind to know Your will for my future, and bring me into Your Kingdom to live with You eternally. I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen."
If you prayed that prayer and meant it, a miracle took place in your heart. You became a new person. You have begun a new life.
If you prayed that prayer, please take a minute and send us an email by clicking the link below. If the pre-tribulation Rapture event hasn't already happened, we will be pleased to write back and see what we can do to help you get started in your new walk of faith.