There are all kind of rumors circulating regarding what's going on in the world. Who knows what's true and what's meant to make us fearful.
Always remember that in times like this we know the Lord is in control. Nothing is happening that He isn't allowing to happen.
Whether we're a few weeks from our exhilarating departure, or a long time, God has us here for His purposes. I believe He's given us special insight in the times. So we should boldly share what we know, while we can.
The article is about Rapture, always a fun subject. Enjoy!
The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1Cor. 1:25
I Can Only Imagine
I love the lyrics of the song, I Can Only Imagine. Bart Milard wrote the lyrics when he was inspired by his dad’s death—wondering what it must be like meeting the Lord in heaven. The song strikes a chord with a lot of people, including me.
I too wonder what it’ll be like the first time I’m surrounded in heaven by the glory of Jesus Christ, our Creator God.
I do know, whether I transition at the Rapture or because my appointed time is completed on this earth, it’ll take just a nano-second to move from this life to the next.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 1Cor. 15:52a
So it will be instantaneous…here one moment, the next moment in heaven. Believers don’t die, we just change places. Something to look forward to.
At the Rapture, I don’t think it’ll be like all those Rapture paintings showing people lazily floating up to heaven. I think it’ll be more like when Jesus moved the disciple’s boat to shore…in a nano-second.
Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:19
Similar to salvation, once they received Jesus, they were immediately where they wanted to be.
Or another example of God moving people instantaneously to another place was Philip when he was witnessing to the Ethiopian eunuch in Gaza. After baptizing the Ethiopian (Acts 8:27) Philip was inexplicitly zoomed up the Mediterranean coast to Ashdod, some 25 miles away (as the crow flies).
So God has a history of moving people around similar to "Beam me up, Scottie" on Star Track. Although at the Rapture we'll get a new change of clothes—which means my wife will want to examine the color and thread count. Just kidding. Not really. But certainly possible! I digress... (I've been reading too much C&C!)
But with the LOUD booming Rapture, we'll not only fly away to the heavens, we'll immediately be with the Lord. And we have some interesting reactions in scripture of people first seeing God.
First Seeing God on the Earth
Job could hardly talk when he found himself convicted of sin in the presence of the Lord.
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6
Peter felt the same conviction as Job:
But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” Luke 5:8
John the Apostle didn’t mince words about his feelings when he saw Jesus on the Isle of Patmos.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. Rev. 1:17
First Seeing God in Heaven
Isaiah seemed to be quite awed when he was taken up to the throne of God in heaven. He immediately realized he’d arrived in his sinful condition—his sin yet to be atoned.
I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Is. 6:1b
Then I said,“Woe is me, for I am ruined [“undone” or “brought to silence”]! Because I am a man of unclean lips [a sinner], and I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Is. 6:5
Once Isaiah realizes he’s in the presence of the Lord, his impure human sin is all the more evident. Interestingly, it took a seraphim taking a coal from the altar and touched his lips before he could remain in the presence of God.
I’m guessing our first time coming directly into God’s presence in heaven, regardless of what precipitates our arrival (Physical death or Rapture), will be a moment in our eternity that we’ll remember forever.
The difference for Church Age Believers is that when we arrive, we’ll come fully vested. God will look at us but see no sin.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psa. 103:12
In our post-cross arrival, we’ll be able to talk. We know this because of the description of those Believers in heaven who were martyred in the Tribulation.
And they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Rev. 7:10
I like that I can get excited and shout to the Lord! I can relate to that too. So I can imagine that at my sudden arrival at the pearly gates*, I’ll have a quite giddy twist-and-shout moment. No selfies needed. I'll remember that moment forever.
What do you imagine?
To head off some email— Yes, I know there are no pearly gates in Heaven with Peter standing behind a podium. Calm down, it's just a figure of speech!
But just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 1Cor. 2:9