Are you Rapture Ready?
With the way that events in the world are moving at such a rapid pace towards the Great Tribulation (please see my message on "Tribulation Preview") God is trying to get His people ready for the Rapture. In Revelation 4 v 1 the word says "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was it were a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. This the Rapture of the church depicted here and it bears resemblance to 1 Thess.. 4 v. 16 Ė For the lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout ("trumpet talking to me" above) and with the trump of God (trumpet above) and the dead in Christ shall rise firstÖ.." God was showing me that the first three chapters of Revelation show ways to help insure that one goes in the Rapture. Letís study these chapters and see if God may be talking to us about certain things in our lives that need to be corrected in order to be "Rapture Ready."
In Rev. Chapter1 v. 1 God says that this book was given to John to show Godís servants the things that must shortly come to pass. The first requirement to go in the Rapture is be the servant of Christ, not to do what one wants but to keep focusing on Jesus as being Lord and Master. One canít make Him Lord of their life and do what they want. He has to be Lord of our lives everyday! We have to turn our flesh over to Him, allow Him to mortify the deeds of our flesh and allow Him to conform us into His image (Romans 8 v. 13, 29). In v. 16 the word says that out of the mouth of Jesus went a sharp two-edged swordÖ We have to read the word, especially the epistles of Paul and allow this word to cut the fleshly junk out of our lives by speaking it into our lives and living it. This is how the sword of the word "cuts" us.
In Chapter 2 v. 4 God said to the church of Ephesus that they lost their first love. When we got saved Jesus was everything and no body else was as important in our lives as Him. When we got saved we came into church and got "caught up" with religion. We got caught up in lifting up a person and/or an organization above Christ. We got caught up in a denomination where it was "our organization" and nobody else matters. We were actually in prison and didnít even realize it. Denominations are not totally bad as long as they leave room to include others in different churches in their plans and work together as brothers and sisters in Christ. We became so dependent on a Pastor that we couldnít move without their approval. Pastors and other leaders have a role in our lives but we should not follow them "blindly."
When we needed to hear something from the Lord we ran to a Prophet to hear something, instead of God. A prophet should not be giving you the "Daily News" or something you never heard before but should only confirm what Jesus has already spoke to you in your heart. A true prophet should never want to come between you and your God, many false prophets do and many people flock to them because they donít have a relationship with the One who started it all Ė Jesus! They have truly left their first love! Some of us need to get back to Him.
In Chapter 2 v. 14 God mentioned to the church of Pergamos that they held the doctrine of Balaam. This is a doctrine of an over emphasis on money. How many have been spiritually and financially raped by some money hungry preacher promising a million dollar return on your one thousand dollar investment. They were smooth and got you to a point where you felt that you would be rich, like them if you did what they said. They never mentioned about Jesus wanting us to die to our flesh as they were appealing to your flesh and the last thing they wanted you to do was feel right in your spirit about the offering. They just wanted to appeal to your emotions and some of us fell for their "sales pitch."
In v. 15, God warns about the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. This is a doctrine that is still prevalent to day where the people in the pulpit and leadership are more important that the laity of the church members who need them in order to see the "way" clear. Slavery is at its worst in church. Some people with a little anointing think that people canít live without them. Rest assured God will bring down His judgment on the ones who are "playing God" in peopleís lives.
In v. 20 God speaks to the church in Thyatira that He is upset with them because they allow Jezebel to teach and seduce His people. So many pastors allow people in their pulpit who are not even saved. It seems like they allow people to preach who can raise a lot of money and are not even concerned that they could hurt the congregation. They donít consider that their congregation are Godís children and are not "their sheep." The people belong to the Chief Shepherd.
In Chapter 3 v. 14 God warns the church at Laodicea that they are "lukewarm" and that He will spue them out of His mouth. We got saved and were on fire for Jesus then some of us hung around with the religious folk and the ones who just wanted to "hold on till the Lord comes." These people had no faith to do anything for God and they weakened the faith of some of us. You should always hang around with people who have more faith than you. They will pull you up with them to higher levels.
Remember, being saved is a personal thing and we need to examine ourselves everyday under the light of the Holy Spirit and see if He points anything out to us that needs to change. Any changes that He recommends will help us to be "Rapture Ready." Donít ignore His prompting. You may be anointed and please your Pastor but it is more difficult to please the Lord. Donít be fooled by the anointing that God has placed on your life. That anointing is to minister and help His children. Being anointed does not mean that you are right with God and are "Rapture Ready." Remember God anointed a jackass. Just because people are being saved, healed and delivered in your ministry, does not mean that you are right with God. There are very few sermons on conquering the flesh through the Holy Spirit. It is so necessary to allow God to conform you into the image of Jesus. It is a matter of eternal life. So, take the first step and tell God that you want Him to point out things that are not right in your life, repent and make your number one prayer request to be that you want the Father to conform you into the image of Jesus. This will enable you to be "Rapture Ready."