Our Blessed Hope
Titus 2:13-14 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
I quite honestly have never really understood why others don't accept the pre trib view when it's so obviously biblical, at least to me. I think the only one that I've ever come even close to understanding was the mid trib view. Now though I think I've finally realized the crux of the matter for all of them and it's really surprising in a way because it's a mistake I made too for a very long time.
Most of us when we think or talk about the rapture, we are thinking of it being God's "rescue mission" in a way. We're thinking of it in terms of the whole purpose of the rapture being to rescue us from having to go through the Tribulation, but that's only a part of what the rapture is all about!
The rapture is the culmination of our spiritual journey. It's the completion of our salvation as the disciples called it. That's why it's called "our blessed hope!" This is the part that all the other views are missing as well. They're not taking this into consideration with everything else, which is why many of them don't understand what it means when we say it's "our blessed hope". In fact, I think many of us didn't understand why the rapture was and is our blessed hope either.
When we accept the gift of salvation, we are saved, 100%. This is when we are given the new nature, which is also referred to as a new spirit. This is our eternal incorruptible spirit which the Lord gives us; a spirit that cannot die, cannot be damaged or corrupted by sin in any way.
However, because we already have another spirit/nature, we are constantly being torn between the two of them. The old spirit doesn’t just “disappear” when we receive our new ones. It will remain with us until we die or are raptured. At that time, because it is corruptible, it will die and that will leave us with only one nature/spirit. The spirit we will be left with is the incorruptible spirit, the one that can never die.
So now here we are, we’re saved and we have that incorruptible spirit to prove it. It will live forever, which means that we too will now live forever. It is pure so it will live with God which means that we too will live with God, but something else still has to happen first before we can live there physically. We must get rid of that corruptible spirit and we must get our incorruptible bodies.
This is the “salvation” we are eagerly waiting for. It’s not just that we will immortal bodies, fly through the air and escape the tribulation, although that’s usually what we focus on. We cannot have those perfect bodies until the old spirit is gone. So what we are waiting for as well is the final death of our old spirit so it will no longer plague us.
As we’ve said, the death of our old spirit happens either at our physical death, or if we are still alive at the time when the Father sends Jesus to get us in the rapture, then it will happen at that time. In an instant, the twinkling of an eye, our old spirit will die, so we will only have the one perfect one left, and our old physical bodies will be remade to match our new spirit. We will finally be “whole” and our salvation will be complete. We will be ready for heaven!
This then is the time line if you will of salvation as seen if the person dies before the rapture:
- the instant we are saved we receive a new spirit; we become a new creation
- we then spend whatever time we have left in this lifetime studying to show ourselves approved and doing our best to please the Lord, denying ourselves and making our lives our sacrifice to Him; preparing ourselves for our eternal lives.
- We die leaving this corruptible body behind and when we die, our old nature also dies so it will no longer plague us. We are in heaven immediately on death in our spiritual bodies enjoying heaven and the Lord. We are free of sin forever!
- The rapture happens and in an instant we receive our incorruptible physical bodies which match the incorruptible spirit we received so long ago when we were first saved, and our salvation is now complete and we live with the Lord forever in our new bodies.
Obviously if the rapture happens before we die, then at the instant of the rapture we receive our new bodies as it says in number 4 and our old spirit dies as it says in number 3. Either way, whether we die first or are taken in the rapture, we along with all other believers will receive our physical incorruptible bodies at that point in time.
This is why the rapture is our blessed hope. When we die we do get rid of our old nature, but we do not yet have our incorruptible bodies. It is at the rapture that our salvation becomes totally complete; totally finished, because at that moment we are both rid of our old natures and receive our new bodies and we will be like Him! That is our blessed hope, that we will finally truly be like Him! Not divine as some heresies would have us think, but complete, immortal, sin free, and living with Him forever!
I find God’s plan for us more and more amazing as I read and study God’s Word. The studies, no matter what subject or book in the bible that I’m studying, have shown me over and over how His plan for our redemption began at the beginning of creation and ends with the rapture. It’s also shown me how very very important our lives right now are. Now is the ONLY time we have to prepare for our eternal lives that we have ahead of us. There will be no second chances for that either, just as there are no second chances after death for salvation. If we don’t make the best of this life after our salvation, to prepare for our real lives, then we will miss out on a very important and very necessary part of our training that will not be available for us again. Whoever made up that quote that this life is like school for us was not far from the truth. I don’t know about you, but I want to come out at the top of my class so I can have even more to do and enjoy in my real life!
Romans 8:23-24 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
Galatians 5:5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.