Heaven’s next big Agenda
Pastor E. A. Adeboye
Memorise: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”- 1 Thessalonians 4:16
Read: 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV)
1 Corinthians 15:51-58:
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Bible in One Year: Exodus 17-19, Jeremiah 33:12-26
Going by the Lord’s revelations to His church and comparing these to the events happening around the world today, many Christians believe, as I do, that the rapture is heaven’s next big agenda (Matthews 24, Luke 21:5-36). The rapture is an event that forms part of the Lord’s Second Coming, in which the bride of Christ which is the Church, will be caught up to meet Him in the air, and they will be transported from earth to heaven.
Only those who are saved and ready for the Lord’s coming will partake of this event, which will happen shortly before the beginning of the great tribulation. The great tribulation is a time of great distress on earth which will be supervised by the antichrist himself.
Although no man knows the exact time that the rapture will occur, the Bible gives us signs through which we will know that the time is near (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:28-29). These signs include suffering, war and destruction on an unprecedented scale (Matthew 24:6-8), as well as moral decadence and high-level of corruption (Matthew 24:12, 2 Timothy 3:1-6).
Why is the rapture important? It is because this event will reveal those who really belong to Christ. It is an event in which the wheat in God’s kingdom will be separated from the tares (Matthew 13:36-43). Those who will be raptured are blessed because they will not partake of the events which the Lord describes in Matthew 24:21 as “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”. (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
At that time, they will be in heaven celebrating the marriage supper of the lamb (Revelation 19:5-9). Who are those qualified to partake in the rapture? The Holy Spirit answer this question in Ephesians 5:27, which says:
“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Christ is coming for a Church that is holy and without blemish. The reason why He washed us with His Precious Blood and cleanses us with His word is so that we can meet this standard (Ephesians 5:27, John 15:3). In other words, only those who are made pure by being washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, can be raptured.
If you are not yet washed in His Blood, today is the day of your cleansing. Confess your sins to Him, accept the work of redemption He did on your behalf, and ask Him to cleanse you with His purifying blood. You will then become as white as snow, ready for the rapture (Isaiah 1:18-19). May the Lord count you worthy to partake in the rapture in Jesus’ Name.
Father, please grant me grace to continually live a life that meets the standard of the Church Your Son is coming for in Jesus’ Name.
Hymn 17: Hold The Fort
1 Ho, my comrades, see the signal, waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”
2 See the mighty host advancing, Satan leading on;
Mighty ones around us falling, courage almost gone!
3 See the glorious banner waving! Hear the trumpet blow!
In our Leader’s Name we triumph over every foe.
4 Fierce and long the battle rages, but our help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander, cheer, my comrades, cheer!