Better Stay Awake and Watch!

Keep Awake and Watch!

The photo inserted into this post was taken in Boulder, Colorado on a  November morning.

“But take heed to yourselves and be on guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose;  For it will come upon ALL who live upon the face of the earth.  “Keep awake and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of God”  (Luke 21:34-36–Amplified Bible).  The emphasis is mine.

I hadn’t plan to do any detective work today; just read and relax!  But the Holy Spirit had other plans.  I was dividing Dahlia tubers in the garage, storing them for the winter when the utility knife slipped, slicing my left thumb and bleeding everywhere.  After applying pressure to the wound and my wife dressing and wrapping my digit, I decided to stop working on bagging the tubers for storage and start “blogging” instead.

And then the Spirit spoke to my spirit and the investigation began; I’ve been reading and studying the Book of Luke for some time now and Luke 21 was laid wide open this morning.  So here we are, with three Scriptures, verses 34-36; discussing pre-tribulation rapture, pre-millenium, post-tribulation, mid-tribulation?  Let me give you what I believe on the subject and why I believe in the pre-tribulation rapture or “taken away” point of view.

A BRIEF WARNING

First of all, I want to bring up a question that has been imbedded into my mind of late.  Conservative Christians believe in the Blessed Hope (Col.1:27; 1 Thess.5:8) and often talk about the raptureMy question is, ‘Why don’t we hear it mentioned, or seldom spoken about from the pulpits in the churches anymore?  Is it just an “A-S-S-U-M-P-T-I-O-N that the congregation already has a grip on the topic?

I once had church leadership come to me and say, “Your children are all grown.  I don’t want to be raptured to Glory, I want to see my children grow, get married and have grandkids.”  A true story and that’s why we don’t attend that particular church any longer!

GOD HAS NOT “APPOINTED” US TO WRATH!

“For God has not appointed us to [incur His] wrath [He did not select us to condemn us], but [that we might] obtain [His} salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)”  (1 Thessalonians 5:9–Amplified Bible).

That verse is a good start to the Better Stay Awake and Watch! blog.  But there is more to look at!

THE “NOAH and LOT” EXAMPLES

Luke 17:2630 begins with Jesus saying, “And [just] as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the time of the Son of Man.  [People] ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, right up to the day when Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. [Gen. 6:5-8; 7:6-24].  So also [it was the same] as it was in the days of Lot. [People] ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;  But on the [very] day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed [them] all.  That is the way it will be on the day that the Son of Man is revealed [Gen. 18:20-33; 19:24, 25].”

Most people argue over the time frame of the events in Scripture; whether Jesus was talking about Pre-Trib or Post-Trib.  The people are missing an important point.  There are two circumstances Noah and Lot have in common:  the removal of the righteous first, then the judgement of the unbelievers.

A “PLAIN STATEMENT” of the PRE-TRIBULATIONAL RAPTURE (Luke 21:34-36)

As it was in the days of Noah and Lot, God is going to take care of us too while He pours out His wrath on the unbelieving world.  He predestined Noah and his family to escape the wrath of the world’s destroying flood; He permitted Lot and his family to escape the fire and brimstone raining down on earth, destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.

All of these things that will come to pass; all the events of the Tribulation period, will affect ALL the people living on earth!  Those who are reading this blog today, those who believe in the Post-Trib are probably saying, “YEP…the events in Scripture are going to affect believers and unbelievers alike!”  “For it will come upon ALL who live upon the earth” (verse 35).  What is coming, is going to happen to ALL those who live on the earth at that time.  But who is Jesus speaking to in the verses of Luke 21?  He is speaking to the unbelieving crowd.

Keep awake then and watch at ALL times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape ALL these things [taken together] that will take place”  (verse 36–Amplified Bible).

The Greek Word used for ESCAPE in this verse is, “ekpheugo”.  It means to “get away from destruction“, destruction that is coming to ALL the earth!  When we see these things begin to take place, then look up,: because redemption is about to happen:

“Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near”  (Luke 21:28).

God’s Word says, if we are worthy, if we are the righteousness of God, believers in Christ Jesus, we are to escape ALL things (get away from ALL things).  If that isn’t the case, instead of the words ALL things, it would have said SOME THINGS.

So by escaping ALL these things, where are we going to escape too?  The only way to escape is by removal from earth; in the ‘taking up’, or the Rapture.  This is not the language of God promising us protection from trouble, for people living in the Tribulation, but escaping from the whole thing.  It is a change in location from dwelling on earth, standing resurrected before the Son of Man in Heaven.

The only way to escape ALL things is Pre-Tribulational Rapture.  If it were a Mid-Tribulational Rapture or a Post-Tribulational Rapture, Jesus would only have talked about escaping some of these things.

He promises us, if we will be ready, we will ESCAPE!  We are not made worthy by our own Righteousness but because we have received righteousness of Christ by faith.

SO HOW CAN WE BE READY FOR THE “RAPTURE”?

PRAY and Receive Christ into your heart.

PROVE the genuineness of your faith by a changed heart.

If you prayed to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, let me know in your comments at the bottom of the blog. and I will give you further instructions in becoming another Word Detective!

Jesus said, “He who has ears, let him hear!”