The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

March 22, 2014

As a thief in the night

ENID, Okla. — “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thess. 4:16-17)”

On March 8, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, vanished over the South China Sea. There were 239 people on board that plane, when suddenly, without a trace … it just vanished!

It makes you wonder — is this just a thimble-full of what the world will experience the day after the rapture of the church?

Make no mistake, my friends, the Bible is very clear. That day is coming, and very soon, when Jesus will come back to gather to Himself all those — dead and alive — who have put their trust in Him. And on that day, the world will be asking “Where have all the people gone?” Not just 239 of us, but millions of us.

Anne Graham Lotz said in her daily devotional: “On that day, with millions of people directly impacted by their own missing friends and family members, in the midst of overwhelming shock and helplessness, of questions and confusion, of fear and grief — when the world searches for clues, how easily will they find the answer in what I leave behind? Instead of an oil slick, will there be traces of His grace and glory and truth?”

Beloveds, I am no authority on the rapture or the last days, but I do know that what I read in Matthew, chapter 24, is as close as the nose on your face. Verse 44 warns us, “You also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” He will come as a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2).

The rapture will be mystifying, an ‘unprecedented mystery,’ a phenomenon ... but it will not be a secret. It will happen right before our eyes. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Hallelujah! Luke 17:26-29 helps us to understand that this ‘thief-in-the-night’ moment could happen, literally, at any minute.

You can rest assured ... it will happen, suddenly, upon a world doing business as usual. “I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed, one will be taken and the other left; two women will be grinding grain together, one taken and the other left; two men in the field, one will be taken and the other will be left,” (verses 34-36) Are you ready?

In Luke chapter 21, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. A question is asked about the signs of the times: “Teacher, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

In verse 8, Jesus begins to tell them what to watch for:

1. Watch out for doomsday deceivers, for many will come in My name, claiming “I am He.” Do not follow them! (verse 8);

2. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (verse 10); Wars and rumors of war (Matthew 24:6).

3. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilence in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven (verse 11). Signals of these last days are definitely coming to pass, my friends. But, we are assured in Luke 21:28, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

“But of that exact day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” (Matthew 24:36). Jesus is coming my friends ... without warning. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, millions of people will disappear and chaos will reign supreme.

If you know Jesus as Savior, and you are ready to meet Him in the air, the question to you might be, “What are you leaving behind? Will there be traces of His grace and glory and truth left for others to find answers and take comfort in?”

If you don’t know Jesus as Savior, or you aren’t sure where you would go if you were to fall over dead right now … or the Lord sounds that trumpet … whichever comes first. The question to you is, “Are you ready? Do you want to know my Jesus?” Time is short, people. We are going to live forever ... somewhere.

It’s the word of faith that invites God and the Holy Spirit to go to work in our heart and lives. Romans 10:8-10 says, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart; that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Verse 13 promises us “For whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And we must not leave John 3:16 unsaid, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” You are that whosoever, my friend.

Jesus loves you and He gave Himself for you. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal savior, these four simple steps will get you there:

1. Acknowledge in your heart that Jesus is Lord.

2. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.

3. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised three days later.

4. Repent of your sins and get baptized in the name of Jesus.

Oh yes, and don’t forget to thank Him. Welcome to the family of God.

Now, you’re ready.

Keep the Faith and worship somewhere today.

Sorrels is News & Eagle editorial assistant and can be reached at psorrels@enidnews.com or at (580) 548-8140.

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