For the past several weeks, we have looked at the fact that the Bible teaches the rapture and that it is clearly a pre-tribulational event. What then are the practical implications of the rapture? What does this mean to us personally today? How does it work itself out our lives? Three things come to mind.
The Rapture Brings Comfort
First, the rapture brings comfort. Paul recognized this when he said, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17–18). As we look at the world, we see it moving rapidly toward judgment. As we think of the magnitude of the judgment, contemplate the multitude of people who will perish, and think of the horrors ahead, we are comforted to know that we do not have to go through this time of destruction! As we go out to evangelize and speak to people about our faith in Jesus and warn them about the wrath to come, we can also comfort them with the promise of deliverance for those who believe.
The Rapture Promotes Holiness
Second, this teaching promotes holiness. The apostle John said:
Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (1 John 3:2–3).
If you are living with the conviction that the Lord could return at any time, this conviction will definitely affect the way you live. You will want to always live in a way that would please the Lord, should He suddenly appear. The teaching of the rapture promotes holiness: “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” If we know that any moment of any day we could suddenly be caught up into the presence of the Lord, we are going to live in a way that pleases the Lord. Some are dabbling around with sin and thinking, “Right before it (the rapture) happens, I will get right with God.” You will not have a chance; it will have been here and gone before you even realize it. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, suddenly we are in heaven. We will not have time to think about anything. We will not have time to repent. One second, earth is our reality; the next second, we will be standing in the presence of Jesus Christ. Living with that understanding will promote purity in our lives.
The Rapture Creates an Urgency
Third, and finally, the belief in a pre-tribulational rapture will create in us an urgency. Because we realize that this could happen at any moment, we are going to have an urgency about our lives. We are not going to be getting distracted with this world because we realize Jesus could come at any moment, and we want to be pleasing Him. We want to make sure we are doing what He would want us to do when He comes. Paul said it like this:
Therefore … be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).
That is it! “Always abounding,” doing all we can for the Lord.
A Glorious Promise
The rapture! A glorious promise. What a great and wonderful truth: that God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation. Let us live in the light of these facts. Let us conduct ourselves based upon the reality that at any moment of any day, we could suddenly be caught up into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ!