Getting Ready or "While we wait"
So what do we do while we're waiting for the Lord to come and get us? Does the Bible tell us anything about how we should be preparing for the rapture? I believe the bible actually has quite a lot to say about it. Let's look at just a few things for now:
1 Peter 1:13-17 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
For those of you who have the KJV, the first line is stated in a very old fashioned way but means the same thing:
1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
So how do we prepare our minds for action? Remember, we should always let God's Word interpret itself, that way we're not putting our own meaning on things. God tells us over and over how we are to do this, and it's really quite simple. It's the daily practice of it that is difficult to get into, especially at first, but it's imperative that we do so!
2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
We are to study and reflect on His Word and strive to become mature in Christ. If we do not do this, then we simply will not be able to fulfill His will for us here. We also will not be ready for Him when he comes back for us which is a real shame. In the verse above Paul tells us that if we study then we will not be ashamed of ourselves when Christ returns for us. Remember the first passage from 1 Peter he says that we are to: "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." How can we do that if we don't understand it? How can we understand it if we don't spend time with Him and in the study of His Word? In Romans he tells us that God's Word was written for us for a reason:
Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
So the Lord, knowing we would need encouragement, endurance and hope, gave us His Word and He expects us to make use of it and to know it well.
The only way we can "prepare our minds" is through spending time with the Lord and through the study of His Word. How can we be obedient, or handle His Word correctly or do His Will if we don't know what His Word says or if we don't understand His Word? How can we truly look forward to the rapture even if we don't really understand what is going to happen at the rapture? It would be like telling a baby about Christmas and expecting them to get really excited when they won't have understood a word of what you're saying. It's the same with the rapture and the rest of God's Word.
The more we study and learn, the more excited we get because we have a better understanding of what's going to really happen.
God doesn't lie to us. He says that He came to give us life and give it to us more abundantly.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
He tells us not to fear, not to be anxious, not to worry etc and the Bible tells us that as Christians we really shouldn't be having to deal with those kinds of feelings. Yet many still are. I'm not saying that Christians don't have trials and problems, we do! At the same time however, Christians shouldn't be getting super depressed, worried anxious, and stressed out because of them. So why are we? It's because we don't know and understand His Word! He meant those things and He still does!
Even Paul got frustrated because the people weren't learning:
Hebrews 5:11-14 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
We wonder where God's blessings are but the greatest blessing He could ever give us, sits gathering dust in our homes.
We sing the song, Christ is my All in All, meaning every word, and yet for someone who is supposed to be our All in All, we spend very little time with Him or His Word. If you made up a chart showing what you talked about every day in general, what percentage of your daily time would be spent talking about your "all in all"? If you had a chart showing who you spent your days talking to in general, what percentage of your time every day would you generally spend talking to your "all in all"? If you had a chart showing how much time you generally spent every day in doing things like "being at work, " "cleaning house", caring for your children, and studying God's Word, what percentage of your time would you be spending daily in the Word of your "all in all'? Kind of eye opening isn't it?
Do you know the Truth of these words? Do you experience them in your life, or are you still dealing with depression, anger, worry, and anxiety?
Philippians 4:12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
That is a good picture of someone who could really say, "Christ is my all in all"! Paul kept his eyes on Jesus which is what we should be doing. He studied God's Word and spent time reflecting on it and spent time with the Lord. He didn't "just believe", he "knew" what his hope was! He knew what his future held because he really truly knew the One who held his future! Join me then and let us take his advice and follow his example:
Philippians 3:17-21 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Let us resolve to truly make Christ our all in all this year so that we can be prepared and make Him proud of us, when he returns!