Will I Miss “The Rapture?”
Maybe that question comes to you from time to time. Maybe not. Maybe you don’t even know what “The Rapture” means. In any case, as we read the Book of Hebrews chapter 11 “Faith Hall of Fame”, in the New Testament, I think the subject might be worth briefly discussing.
After Jesus died for our sins – to take the punishment we all deserve (John 3:16) – and then rose from death on the 3rd day – so we could live forever with Him in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-11), He promised that He would visibly and bodily return to earth one day (Acts 1:1-12). The apostle Paul later gave even more insight. He explained that Christians who are still alive when Jesus returns will never experience physical death, but instead will go directly into heaven with Him! (see Corinthians 15:51-58 and 1 Thessalonians 15-18). This event has come to be known, historically and in popular conversation, as “The Rapture” (see also Matthew 24:36-44).
But the list of faith-heroes in Hebrews 11, I believe, gives us even more understanding about The Rapture because it reminds us of the ‘very first one’ to be “raptured”, and the behavior that brought it about. Let’s read: “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).
Now, Enoch lived way back in the Bible’s ‘Adam and Eve era’. When we turn back there, we see that it more specifically says “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Genesis 5:24). Wow! Enoch walked with God, and God took him to heaven. In the verses surrounding that one, we read about people who lived for ‘this’ or ‘that’ number of years – but Enoch was different. He is the first one in the Bible to show us that there is a difference between merely living life and walking with God!
Nothing has changed. God wants people who will walk with Him. Walking with someone implies knowing someone on a person-to-person level – which includes two-way communication, being “best friends”, spending time with them so that you know their voice, how they think, and how they feel about things. The New Testament says that when Jesus returns, there will be people who will have done miracles, whom Jesus will still reject – saying to them “I never knew you” (Matthew 6:21-23). There will even be people who will have self-identified themselves as Christians who will be shut out of heaven, while being told “I don’t know you” (Matthew 25:1-12). In fact, the only time Jesus defines eternal life in the Bible is when he says “Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3).
So, walking = knowing.
Do you walk with God? Do you talk to Him at times throughout your day, and sense Him speaking back to your heart? Do you sense His love when you tell Him you are sorry for doing something wrong?” If the answer is “yes”, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to “The Rapture”. If the answer is “no”, just read John 3:16, believe it with all your heart, and start walking!