When Jesus Returns: Two Reasons the Rapture Matters
by Emily Wickham
When Jesus returns, what will you and I be doing?
I find myself thinking more and more about the rapture of the church, which 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 describes as follows:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
World events along with Middle East happenings are aligning with biblical prophecy at an increasing rate. Despite disagreements about end times’ details, Christians can hold to the truth that JESUS IS COMING AGAIN. We can be assured of this fact because the Lord promised to return, saying,
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3, NASB).
The thought of Jesus’ return provokes various feelings and responses. While some are “looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13), others barely consider it or ignore it altogether. Yet Scripture instructs God’s people to gather together, “encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
I believe we’re living at a time in history when “the day” is particularly drawing near. For instance:
- After the Jewish people were dispersed for centuries, Israel became a nation again in 1948. Amazing!
- Signs of Jesus’ coming, categorized as “the beginning of birth pangs” (Matthew 24:8), are occurring more and more: wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, and earthquakes (Matthew 24:6-7). Plagues or pestilences as mentioned in Luke 21:11 also are increasing as we’ve experienced the effects of Covid since early 2020.
- Technology has progressed to the point that even I—someone who isn’t necessarily tech-savvy—can understand how the mark of the beast mentioned in Revelation could actually happen today.
- Ezekiel 38-39 specifies certain nations rising against Israel in the battle of God and Magog. The leader of Rosh, modern-day Russia, will initiate this attack from the north, joined by Persia (known today as Iran), and Beth-togarmah (presently called Turkey). Isn’t it interesting that military forces from these three nations currently occupy Syria, which is located north of Israel?
These realities and multiple others cause me to believe JESUS IS COMING SOON in the rapture of the church. But why does this matter? Two reasons cross my mind immediately:
REASON #1: JESUS’ SOON RETURN AT THE RAPTURE PROMPTS ME TO SHARE THE GOSPEL
God continues to nurture a love for others within me, including a concern for others’ spiritual well-being. Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He has entrusted His people with communicating the Gospel message: Christ died for our sins and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). I don’t feel like I share this readily enough, but it’s often on my heart and mind. May God give me more grace to declare this Good News because many people face an eternity without Him in Hell.
REASON #2: JESUS’ SOON RETURN AT THE RAPTURE INSPIRES ME TO LIVE A MORE GOD-PLEASING LIFE
When Jesus returns, will I be engaged in an activity that honors Him, or will I be involved in sinful behavior? Oh, I pray the Lord finds me faithful, one who matches this description in Colossians 1:10:
“That you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
If you’re reading this post in disbelief because you haven’t received Christ as your Savior, I urge you to:
- “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31). “The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
- Read the Bible to grow in your understanding of who God is and how to live. (If you don’t have a Bible, please contact me. I have some to give away, so I’d love to pass one on to you).
- Spend time in prayer each day, lifting up your requests and others’ needs to our Heavenly Father.
- Attend a Bible-believing church where you can grow in your faith.
On the other hand, if you’re already a born-again Christian, I pray this message inspires you. When Jesus returns at the rapture, let’s be producing spiritual fruit, waiting with expectancy, and looking up excitedly.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come'” (Revelation 22:17).
In Christ’s Love,
Further teaching on this topic:
- What Is Next in Bible Prophecy by Amir Tsarfati