In my post “SHOULD BELIEVERS IN JESUS CHRIST GO THROUGH JACOB’S DISTRESS (TRIBULATION)?” I shared that true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will not go through the Tribulation period, following the appearance of the Anti-Messiah who will lead nations to invade the land and the people of Israel in the final world-war, the war of Armageddon. Apostle Paul related to us in his letter to the Thessalonians assembly as follows:

2 Thessalonians 2: Man of Lawlessness

[1] Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, [2] that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. [3] Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, [4] who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. [5] Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? [6] And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. [7] For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. [8] Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; [9] that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, [10] and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

In my post “HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH?” I wrote the following observation:

“We are now seeing or reading news of strange happenings occurring throughout the world. While the people of the world are being baffled and terrified by the strange events and have no plausible explanation about them all, we, believers should be rejoicing.

Luke 21: The Return of Christ

[25] “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, [26]              men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. [27] “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [28] “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.””

These signs are beginning to manifest throughout the world. The following video “Strange Sky Phenomena Escalating Worldwide” reports and updates what had been predicted in the passage above:

So, how close are we to the Rapture of the Church? I would suggest that it is very close.

I know most of you think I am an End Time freak and may even mock me openly among yourselves. According to the scripture, in the Last Days, that kind of reaction had been predicted:

2 Peter 3: The Coming Day of the Lord

[3]         Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, [4] and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

Having said all that, allow me to come back to the title of this devotional: “DO WE HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE GATHERED TOGETHER (RAPTURED) WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST?”

First and foremost, we have to check if we are walking in the Spirit or in the flesh? The scripture comes fully equip with Spiritual mirror to show us our own true condition, to enable us to see if it lines up with the word of God.

Paul wrote to his congregation as follows:

Galatians 5:22-23 Walk by the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

So the person who shows the above listed traits, almost always has the fruitful tree, Holy Spirit, indwelling within them. I understand, like myself, some of us are still struggling with walking in the Spirit of God. For that, the scripture shows up traits to be overcome:

Galatians 5:19-21

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The person who shows the above listed traits, will be subjected to the law and will not inherit the kingdom of God. Will he be raptured? Not, according to the word of God.

Even the so called high caliber servants of God, who does not live according to the will of God, will not inherit the kingdom of God as well. Let us read what the Lord said:

Matthews 7: A Tree and Its Fruit

[15] “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. [16] “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? [17] “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  [18] “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. [19] “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] “So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Note: There is no denying it, for someone to be walking in the Spirit, it is noticeable.

[21] “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. [22] “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ [23] “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Do we have evidence of the above in the here and now? Yes.

Televangelist Scandals Involving Drugs, Hookers, And Money

Having witnessed what we “think” were huge transgressions among the so called servants of God, let us not forget what the Lord Jesus taught as “hidden” transgressions which are equally dangerous if we are not careful and identify them as working within us:

Matthew 7: The Narrow and Wide Gates

[13] “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. [14] “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Now let us review the following pitfalls which can distract us from entering the way that leads to life:

Matthew 5: Personal Relationships

[21] “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ [22]    “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell…

Note: I don’t know about you, but how many times I know for sure that I have done this.

[27]       “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; [28] but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. [29] “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. [30] “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Note: With all what we can watch on TV and through the internet, we are bombarded with pornographic shows etc., every second of the day and night. The internet is replete with unsolicited pop-ups of pictures with enticing topics to seduce and tempt people of all ages to commit adultery; at least in the heart!

[31] “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; [32] but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Note: Let us review the statistics from  China, a country, as far as I can remember shunned from the Western world past time of marrying and divorcing; re-marrying and divorcing at the drop of a hat, so to speak:

[33] “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ [34] “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, [35] or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.[36] “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.[37] “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

Note: Here the Lord Jesus refuted the traditional practices of making vows. Making an oath is not part of the Ten Commandments; therefore it is man-made and should not be obeyed. We are only to say “Yes” or “No” according to the calling of the actual situation; we are to maintain our integrity at all time. If we it carry beyond the true event, it is of the devil.

[38] “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ [39] But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.[40] “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.[41] Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.[42] “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Note: What is very interesting to learn that in line with Paul’s teaching which states that the Torah of Moses is no longer applicable to us believers, the Lord Jesus re-affirmed Paul by refuting the statutes of Moses in connection with “the law of getting even”: “But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise,  [Exodus 21:23-25] even teaching us to do the opposite of “getting even!”

[43] “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ [44]      “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, [45] so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. [46]”For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? [47] “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? [48]         Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Note: Again the Lord Jesus refuted the additional law “hate your enemy” made by and following the Jewish tradition. In the meantime, the Lord clarified the true intent of the Commandment “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” It goes beyond loving or not doing any harm to our fellow human beings; we have to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us as well. Heavy? You bet! In the Lord’s Prayer, there is another point which, if not obeyed, will lead us away from the kingdom of God:

Matthew 6:

[9]         “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

[10]       ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

[11]       ‘Give us this day our daily bread.

[12]       ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

[13]       ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

[14]       “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

[15]       “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

The point is, do not harbor any bitterness towards anybody; the sure result of so doing is, we forfeit God’s forgiveness upon our lives, and thus lose our salvation!

Are we rapture ready? Only we can answer that question.

But if you are like me, the loving God always have a way out to make wrong, right!

1 John 1:

[9] If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



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