The Rapture: When Will It Take Place?

I would love for you to go back and review what we have studied thus far about two topics: The Rapture and The Day of the Lord. Here are links that will allow you to do that:

Go HERE to find every single post in this Revelation series.

 

Go HERE to find the first post on The Rapture.

 

Go HERE to find the first post on The Day of the Lord.

 

Go HERE to find the second post on The Day the Lord.

 

Go HERE to read the second post on The Rapture

 

Did you read The Left Behind series of books that were written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins? I read every single one of them and really enjoyed them. In case you did not, the Left Behind series is a collection of fiction novels that focus on events that might take place when the Rapture happens. The characters are interesting and very relatable. The events are catastrophic, and likely, very realistic. The ultimate goal of these books is to point the reader to the need for a relationship with Jesus by using the coming Rapture and other end-time events to point out that salvation through Christ is the only way to heaven.

In our post today I want to give you my assessment and thoughts about the timing of the Rapture. I could be wrong, and I know that many people have a different interpretation of these events than I. But, after a great deal of study about this topic under more learned teachers, this is where I fall on the topic. No one can know for sure when and how it will happen, but the Bible seems pretty clear that it will take place at some point, and Scripture gives us sign posts that we can watch for on the journey toward that day.

 

 

When Will the Rapture Happen?

 

 

Let’s summarize what we know about the Rapture from our previous discussions:

From 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 we learned:

  • The Lord will descend from heaven
  • The dead in Christ will rise first (the bodies of those who have died as Christ-followers)
  • Believers living at that time will be caught up together with the dead in Christ in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (this is NOT the second coming of Christ)

From 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 we learned:

  • A trumpet will sound
  • Dead will be raised imperishable
  • Those who are alive will be changed, too

In 2 Thessalonians 2 we learned a few things that must take place before the Day of the Lord:

  • An apostasy/rebellion/falling away
  • The ‘restrainer’ must be taken out of the way
  • The man of lawlessness (antichrist) will come on the scene in a big way

 

In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul teaches on the rapture before he teaches on the Day of the Lord. Although we cannot write it in permanent marker, is it possible we can assume that the rapture precedes the Day of the Lord on the timeline of end-time events? I think it is highly possible.

Also in 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul, in teaching about the Day of the Lord, adamantly proclaims that believers in Jesus Christ are not appointed or destined to wrath. Scripture places the wrath of God within the events of the Day of the Lord, which begins at or shortly after the 7th trumpet. So, again, it seems that the rapture might take place before the Day of the Lord.

Although we have not studied the 7th trumpet yet, Scripture tells us that the man of lawlessness will be revealed at the 7th trumpet. (Revelation 13) So, it is reasonable to assume that the Rapture occurs prior to the 7th trumpet, perhaps?

Most people refer to the last 7 years/Daniel’s 70th week as the tribulation, and make no mistake, there will be horrors and tribulation. However, the judgments that come on the earth and on mankind ramp up significantly during the final 3 ½ years of this period. Matthew 24:21 records Jesus as saying there will be ‘great tribulation’ during this final 3 ½ year period. It seems that the trigger for this final 3 ½ year period are the events of the 7th trumpet.

 

It is my sincere belief, after much study, that the Rapture takes place just prior to the sounding of the 7th trumpet. Could I be wrong? Of course. Are there other rational explanations and timings for the Rapture? Absolutely. This is only my opinion, and my opinion is only worth what you paid for it. I do not write this in permanent marker,, and neither should you.

So, am I a pre-tribulation person? Well, yes, if you consider the last half of the 7 years to be the Great Tribulation. Maybe I am a mid-tribulation person. Yes, if you consider the entire 7 years to be the tribulation. Am I a pre-wrath supporter? Yep, if you believe that the wrath of God begins at the 7th trumpet and the 7th trumpet sounds in the middle of the 7 years. I am clearly not a supporter of the post-tribulation wrath hypothesis.

What I am is a woman whose faith rests in knowing that God has it all figured out and timed perfectly, so there is little reason for me to stress over the semantics and timing of the Rapture. I hope this teaching on the rapture has been interesting and informative for you. I strongly encourage you to search the Scriptures for yourself and formulate your own opinions on this, and other, end-time events. I also encourage you to give grace to those who belief differently from you.

Thanks for taking this journey through Revelation with me. We will continue our study back in Revelation 11 with a look at the events of the sounding of the 7th trumpet soon.

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Eat Your Veggies….and Your Dessert!

 

Eat your vegetables, and then you can have dessert.

It is mantra of moms everywhere. The plate is colorful with broccoli, carrots, corn, and a side of cornbread. Oh, and don’t forget the meatloaf. Definitely eat the meatloaf! And if you eat all of everything that is on your plate, then you can have dessert.

 

Eat Your Veggies and your Dessert

 

 

It is bribery of the highest order. That delicious coconut cake is sitting in the corner, calling my name, tantalizing me so much that my mouth waters just looking at it. But, in order to get to that little slice of heaven, I must wade through the green, orange, and yellow on my plate. Every bite of those vegetables is a little bit of torture for a girl with an incurable sweet tooth. Yet, because I am a Type A who has to do everything well and right, I rip my gaze from the coconut cake and focus on the vegetables and meat loaf. Let’s get ‘er done!

Carrots. Check!

 

Broccoli. Check!

 

Corn. Check!

 

Meatloaf. Check! Check! (I do love me some good meatloaf.)

 

Now, the pièce de résistance. Coconut cake!

 

For a girl who is very much a productivity addict the idea of ‘finish your vegetables before you eat dessert’ can be crippling?

Oh, I see you frowning and wondering how I turned vegetables into a handicap. Let me explain.

As you know, if you have been around these parts for more than a few days, I am on a journey toward rest (it was my OneWord 2016) and observing Sabbath regularly. Part of that journey is navigating the tension of completing my checklist of things to do each week before my Sabbath begins on Saturday evening. I’m doing really well at it now, but that has not always been the case. You see, as a productivity junkie I reasoned that there were things that needed to be accomplished (i.e., all the veggies eaten) EVERY. SINGLE. DAY or the world might implode!  So, while I desperately needed a day to rest (coconut cake), the veggies that needed eating (tasks on my to-do list) never ended. Which meant that I never set aside a day to rest (enjoy my piece of coconut cake).

Is that clear as mud? What I am trying to say is that the eat-your-veggies-before-you-eat-cake principle works well with a child, but for an adult with a need to always be productive, it doesn’t work so well. There has to be a point at which I say, ‘enough veggies!’ and settle down to enjoy my coconut cake.

May I share with you the part of all of this that makes me clap my hands in praise to my Jesus?

When I am obedient to carve out that Sabbath rest, the world does not implode, nor does my to-do list become an unmanageable Goliath. In fact, quite the opposite takes place. I am much more able to do what needs to be done in six days, and I do it with a greater measure of peace than I had when I was frantically striving seven days a week.

No one on the planet has ever had a greater agenda and to-do list than God:

Monday – Create light

Tuesday – Create the heavens

Wednesday – Create the earth and the seas, plants and trees

Thursday – Create the sun, moon, and stars, and set the seasons in order

Friday – Create sea animals and birds

Saturday – Create livestock, beasts of the earth, creeping things (eekk!), and Man

 

Then, on Sunday, the seventh day, God blessed His work and rested. If God decided to rest on the seventh day, who in the world am I to decide that I do not need rest? The Sabbath is for me, not for God, because He knew that I would need that rest. And oh, how desperately I need it! I need that time to slow down so that I can hear His voice in the stillness and silence of rest. I need that time for my physical body to decompress and relax. I simply need that time…..and so do you!

I want to encourage you to make Sabbath rest part of your week. I promise you will be glad you did.

Tell me about your Sabbath observance. How do you prepare? What does it look like?

 

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

I am linking to two books that have been great influences on my life this year in regard to making good choice and to observing a Sabbath rest. I hope you will check them out!

 

Setting the Scene for The Rapture

Time gets away, doesn’t it? I looked back at the date of my last Revelation post, and holy moley, it was June 26th. I think it is time to get back to our study of The Revelation. I would love for you to go back and review what we have studied thus far about two topics: The Rapture and The Day of the Lord. Here are links that will allow you to do that:

Go HERE to find every single post in this Revelation series.

 

Go HERE to find the first post on The Rapture.

 

Go HERE to find the first post on The Day of the Lord.

 

Go HERE to find the second post on The Day the Lord.

 

In the last post I wrote I said that in our next time together we would finish our look at 2 Thessalonians 2 and the Day of the Lord. Hello! Here we are. Let’s refresh our memory about this passage.

 

1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,

2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

Setting the Scene for The Rapture

 

There are three things that must happen before the Day of the Lord:

  1. A restraining influence is removed (we dealt with this in our last post)
  2. The rebellion
  3. The man of lawlessness is revealed and responds

 

Let’s consider the rebellion. The Greek word used here for rebellion is ‘apostasia’ and it means defection from truth, falling away, forsake (Strongs).

Okay, so I see someone’s hand waving wildly in the air. Yes, you are right! We just might be living in the apostasia because we are living in a culture that calls good, evil and evil, good. Our culture has fallen away from, or forsaken, the truth of God’s Word. Even the church of the Living God has succumbed to the temptation to approve of things that the Scripture clearly calls sin. Paul said these days would come in 2 Timothy 3. Let’s take a gander at what they might look like. People will be:

 

  • Lovers of self
  • Lovers of money
  • Proud
  • Arrogant
  • Abusive
  • Disobedient to their parents
  • Ungrateful
  • Unholy
  • Heartless
  • Unappeasable
  • Slanderous
  • Without self control
  • Brutal
  • Not loving good
  • Treacherous
  • Reckless
  • Swollen with conceit
  • Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
  • Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power

 

It does kind of make one wonder if we are living in the rebellion, doesn’t it? However, I don’t think we have seen anything yet. I think the world will grow more and more evil. I know. Aren’t you glad you stopped in today?

Let’s turn now to the third thing that must happen in order for The Day of the Lord to come.

The man of lawlessness must be revealed and respond. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 tells us that this man, whom we believe to be the antichrist, will exalt himself above every other person, god, and thing. He will set himself up on a throne in the Temple in Jerusalem and demand to be worshipped as God.

There currently is no Temple in Jerusalem, so we can be assured that this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, but only after a temple has been built in Jerusalem. Guess what? Preparations are being made daily in Jerusalem to build another temple. The Jewish people do not know when that will happen, but they are prepared.

Let’s put a bow on this next time and see if we can figure out when the Rapture MIGHT take place in the whole scheme of the Revelation. Mind you, I am NOT saying that we can pinpoint a date. Nope, only God knows that, but we can watch for the signposts along the way. I’ll see you back here next time.

That Weekend When Jesus Met Us at Come Away {retreat}

I want so very much to write about the weekend at the Come Away retreat, but how in the world do you even begin to put into words an experience that was so intimate and precious?! I feel a bit like Mary must have felt when Scripture tells us that she treasured up things about her pregnancy and the birth of Christ and pondered them in her heart. And so, I will probably share less rather than more in this space because some things simply need to held closely.

 

Come Away Wrap Up

 

 

As you know I have been praying into and planning this retreat for a very long time…almost a year. I knew that God was calling me to this work, yet I had so many doubts about whether I was physically and emotionally able to do it. Doubts about my calling to ministry, and whether I could offer anything that would speak into the hearts of other women. I wondered if anyone would come, and if they would be glad they had come when all was said and done. Almost daily I begged God to let the women be glad they came. I was not sure that anyone would pay $300 for a retreat, because Y’ALL, $300 is a lot of money! If there was a doubt to be had about hosting a women’s retreat, I can assure you that it passed through my mind over the course of the past year. The only thing I did not doubt was the sufficiency and willingness of Jesus to make this retreat happen if He had a mind to do it. Of that I was certain.

 

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I had space for 7 ladies. God sent 6 women who walked eagerly through the door of Tippy Canoe, expecting Jesus to meet them there. In fact, one of the things that we consistently laughed over were the words of one woman’s preschooler. For quite sometime, she had been telling her children that she was going away in September to have a weekend with Jesus. On Friday when her husband came home from work to report for ‘Daddy duty’, her little one went running to him and told him that, ‘Mommy is going to meet Jesus!!’. He said, ‘Oh, please don’t say it like that!’ So we laughed all weekend about this sweet woman ‘going to meet Jesus’.

May I just tell you that we all met Jesus this weekend? The Holy Spirit was incredibly present with us, doing the work that only He can do in hearts that are tuned to His frequency. We worshipped, we studied, we prayed, we laughed, we cried, we shared our hearts, we cooked together, and we ate.  Of course, we ate!

 

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The focus of the retreat was not only to help the ladies carve out a time to come away with Jesus, but also to understand how deeply loved they are by Jesus, and how safe their hearts are with Jesus. To that end, I taught from several different passages over the course of the weekend….John 8:1-11, Psalm 139, Psalm 51, Romans 12:1-2, and 2 Samuel 9. I wanted them to understand that an intimate relationship with Jesus does not happen by accident. It requires intentionality and work, being diligent to lean into Christ through regular prayer and Bible study. I poured out everything I had, hoping they would catch the fever for a relationship with Jesus.

 

Come Away 2017

 

Satan fought hard to keep the ladies from coming, and to keep me from teaching, but He did not win.

May I share some comments from the women?

Come Away fanned the fire that I knew was still in me, but had been affected by the circumstances of life. 

 

Come Away was a breath of fresh air. I was impacted by the Word of God; encouraged by other women. I am trusting Him in a deeper way and being led to take steps of faith. 

 

Come Away showed me where I need to be with the Lord, and what it is going to take to be close to Him again.

 

Come Away has given me a ‘booster’ to help me get back to where I need to be. Spending time in the Word is vital!

 

I feel like I have a fresh love and desire for Jesus because of my time at Come Away.

 

I feel at peace and know it is well with my soul. I feel Jesus near. 

 

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These sweet women made sure I understood that there would be another Come Away retreat next year! They also asked for it to be a three-day retreat rather than just two days.

Over and over the Lord moved and worked this weekend, not only in the hearts of the women, but in my heart as well. He reminded me that His calling is irrevocable and that where He calls, He equips. He encouraged me with the words of Isaiah 55:11, reminding me that when His Word is proclaimed it will accomplish the purposes for which it was intended. He blessed and encouraged me through the words of the ladies as they shared what the weekend had meant to them.

I waved good-bye to each lady on Sunday morning, trusting that God would continue to use the time at Come Away to draw them into a more intimate relationship with Jesus.

Today is a day of rest for me; a time to ponder, pray, offer thanks, and simply abide with Jesus. And do you know what? I feel the smiling nod of God over Come Away and my faithfulness to be obedient to God’s call.

I stand amazed, yet again, that God would use someone like me, a woman who has been in a ditch of sin more times in my life that I can count, to do much of anything in His Kingdom. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you!

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

I am linking to some of the books that I recommended to the ladies this weekend.

It’s Time! Come Away {retreat}

I can hardly believe it! For almost a year I have prayed and planned and prepared. I have thrown out enough fleeces to cover an entire sheep and God has answered every single one of them. I have asked Him to give me the largest details (venue), as well and the smallest ones (decorations for the bathrooms – thank you Lynn Dyer!), and He has been over-the-top faithful. I have pored over passages in the Bible, preparing to share what I believe the Lord has given me.

 

Come Away Pinterest

 

Today the Come Away retreat begins. Six ladies and I will spend the weekend with Jesus in a beautiful cabin on Blue Ridge Lake in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

We will spend time in worship with some pretty awesome worship leaders. Our hearts will draw near to Jesus as we look into His Word to see how He feels about us. We will cook and eat (HALLE-to-the-LUJAH!) together, sharing life in the kitchen. We will spend time in prayer, seeking intimacy with Christ. And, we will allow ourselves time to rest and hear the voice of Jesus. Honestly, that last one is probably the most difficult for the majority of women. Simply taking a deep breath and being quiet and still for a season.

So, this morning I come here to this space asking for your prayers, should the Lord bring me to your mind. Would you pray for:

  • The Holy Spirit’s presence over the weekend
  • The ladies who will attend to have hearts that are listening for the voice of Jesus
  • The families of these ladies to be healthy and safe while they are away
  • That all of us who are attending the retreat will stay well
  • Our awesome worship leaders (Judy Tipton, Mike and Rebecca Medori)
  • Me as I teach three times
  • That the ladies will bond together and encourage one another in their walks with Christ
  • That I will be present (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) in each moment and resist the urge to simply move through the weekend, checking off things that need to be done (This is a biggie for me, the ultimate Type A)
  • The HVAC, water, and all appliances of the cabin to work well
  • Anything else you can think of

 

Thank you for your prayers. They are everything to me!

Have a lovely weekend.

SDG/FCA!!