We learn about the rapture in Revelation, chapter 7. How believers and servants of God were given God’s sealing in their foreheads. On their heads, these people are marked from every tribe of Israel. These are Jews, of whom number one hundred and forty-four thousand. Do they remain on earth? The Bible says Yes, but for a time longer as we hear more about them in Revelation, chapter 9. Angels were sent to each one of them before God could hurt the earth and sea. These verses read, “and after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Revelation 7:1-4) Wow! It would be awesome to receive this sealing from God on my forehead. But I am not a Jew, but a gentile, who has been grafted into the fold of Christ. Praise be to God that I am saved with the Jewish people.
In Revelation, chapter 6, we learned that with the sixth seal, the sun became black, along with the stars and moon not giving light in the sky. And because of what was happening in heaven, the earth began to shake also, as meteorites began to hit the earth. Read that chapter to know exactly what happened next. It was after this great tribulation ended, is when the angels came and took the hundred and forty-four thousand up to heaven. But not just them, but many others, as we will learn in the next message. To help us understand that the righteous are being called up to heaven, we will read what Jesus said next. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31) This is what we call the rapture, but only the beginning, for every person of faith who is living and dead will also rise to be with Christ. Amen.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that people will look to You in faith even more so now than ever before. If I am right, and we are living in the great tribulation, Your return is at the door. In saying this, I don’t understand how people can play around with their salvation, instead of being serious for Your kingdom. There are so many people that tell me to lighten up and enjoy life, while giving in to things like alcohol, and more. How a little bit of the evils of this world won’t hurt a person. To these people, I call to repentance and to become watchers for Your sake on earth. I wish that people would understand that we can’t bet on tomorrow. Sure, Your return, Lord, could be years to come, but our lives could end tomorrow. And what will people say who delayed the day of their repentance, while living a worldly life now, and died. Surely, our time is now to believe in and follow You while we still have breath. We aren’t promised tomorrow. For this reason, will I continue to do as You command me Lord. What other people say about my obedience to You means little, for they don’t understand the need to abide in You, Jesus, at all times of our lives. This is not salvation by works, but salvation through real faith that leads to doing good works for Your kingdom. Yes, God, Your fruits are in me and I give You glory. I love You, God. Amen.