The Value of Expectancy
I remember when I was younger, I used to consider the Rapture of the church a matter of convenience.
I thought about it when I was either in trouble or facing a test for which I hadn’t studied! I realized that the very next item on God’s agenda for the advancement of His eternal purposes is the event when Jesus returns to “catch up” His Bride (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), the Church, and take us back to His Father’s house that He has prepared for us (John 14:1-3), changing us in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) so that we are fully conformed to His very image (1 John 3:2).
What exactly are the practical benefits in the life of the Christian who believes in the Rapture of the Church as taught in these verses mentioned? Here are several very profound ramifications of looking for His appearing:
- Perseverance: They are able to persevere, being comforted as they go through various trials, persecutions, difficulties and tests. They are also able to comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
- Evangelism: They will be diligently evangelistic, realizing that they must work while it is day for the opportunity to win the lost will quickly come to an abrupt and unannounced end (2 Corinthians 5:11).
- Sanctification: They will be committed to sanctification - seeking to purify themselves even as Jesus Himself is pure (1 John 3:3).
It is interesting that as the church distances itself from a firm conviction on the imminent Rapture of the Church that it wrestles with a withering of these three important elements of authentic Christianity. An unexpectant church tends to “give up” the fight, “give out” in spreading the glories of Christ, and “give in” to the lusts of our flesh. May we remain ever vigilant, looking for the blessed hope of the appearing of Christ Jesus for us!