Does your spouse (child, friend) really know you? Does he or she know what makes your heart sing, choose gifts that affirm your quirky personality, and scrupulously avoid doing the one thing that irritates your last nerve? Knowing about someone may not be enough to support a lasting relationship.
When it comes to your most important relationship, are you sure you understand how God wants you to know Him?
Two Different Ways of Knowing
Demons know that Jesus is the Son of God, yet they remain loyal to Satan. Rapture* readiness depends on whether you “know” like a Greek or a Hebrew. The concept of the phrase “to know” in Greeks can mean awareness without engagement, as in, “I know and am aware.” The concept of the same phrase in Hebrew means awareness with obligation, “I know and live by it.”
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”—James 1:22
The more you care about what you know the more likely you are to act on it. The heart provides the motivation to commit scarce resources of time, energy, passion, or cash to support what your head knows.
“Knowing lives in our heads, whereas doing is executed by our hearts, it’s putting that knowledge into action.”—Jennifer Dawn
The Bridegroom, The Bride, and Divorce
How can you be sure that the Jesus you know is the one who needs to know you? Of course, some popular Christian denominations will assure you that it doesn’t really matter and that all will be well. They’re wrong.
Sadly, many divorced people explain the break up the same way, “I realized that I never really knew my husband (wife).
“I didn’t know it was that important to you.”
“How could you do that to me? Didn’t you know how it would make me feel?”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with my husband. He won’t tell me.”
It takes more to become Rapture ready than just knowing God. The Bible characterizes our relationship with Jesus Christ as a betrothed bride. Making it to the marriage supper depends on knowing Him the way He wants us to.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ “—Matthew 7:21-24
Is your hope founded on faith in what is true or on what may be nothing more than fable or propaganda? Most false teachers don’t realize that the words they profess with complete conviction are not words from God.
Motive aside, the result of false teaching is the same. False doctrine = no ticket to Rapture. God has made Himself known because His Spirit lives within each of us.
Though widely anticipated, Rapture is simply an event. What matters most is your relationship to Jesus Christ. There is no middleman between the Bridegroom and the Bride.
When Knowledge Kills Faith
Plenty of theologians and biblical scholars will meet Jesus as Judge, but never as Savior. Many know the Bible far better than I do but have no personal relationship with the Risen Lord. I’ve met theologian-authors at book events eager to debate my faith in Christ. Their stories were eerily similar; I was a believer, but once I studied the Bible for my PhD, I realized it couldn’t be true.
“For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’”—1 Corinthians 1:19
Faith often dies under the weight of intellect. Bible scholarship is simply that — the study of a book entitled The Bible. Every academic is free to teach whatever opinion he or she draws from their work, but scholarship and rapture readiness can be allies or enemies.
The best, brightest, and most credentialed academics across twenty centuries disagree on what the words of the Bible mean. You bear the ultimate responsibility to “rightly divide” the Word of God for yourself. (2 Timothy 2:15, 1 John 2:27)
There are as many unique relationships with God as there are humans. In the same way every parent-child relationship is unique, so is the life story of every child who walks with the King of Kings. The journey of friends, pastors, teachers, or writers will not be the same as yours. We are children of the same true God, but no two of us will walk identical paths of sanctification.
Waiting for Rapture
Scripture makes it clear that you have a purpose beyond star-gazing. That purpose certainly isn’t to become a lifeless, useless door stop waiting to be picked up by a rapture vacuum.
What are you to do while waiting for Christ’s return? I can’t say what anyone else should do, but I’ll share what I believe is the wrong choice. I won’t be living like a mushroom, Bible at the ready, doing nothing but waiting for Christ to appear. Mushrooms are rotten examples of stewardship over all God gives you.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’—Matthew 25:21
Wouldn’t it be silly to sit idly by waiting for an event that (1) may not happen in your lifetime, or (2) when it does occur you certainly aren’t going to miss it. Once you’re ready for the Bridegroom, be watchful and about your Father’s business. A profoundly simple truth is that if you are always ready you don’t have to worry about getting ready.
Are you Rapture Ready?
The tether that prevents anyone from meeting Christ in the air is the product of his or her own choices. How do you know if you’ve made the right choices, that you followed the right path, and that you’re ready to hear your Savior’s call?
When it comes to relationship with Jesus, applying what you know He requires, how often do you think, I know I should (fill in the blank) , but…?
Who told you that “but” is an acceptable excuse?
Every person who loves Jesus Christ is concerned about the direction the world moved in recent decades. Wise choices require correct facts. False-teachers and prophets have worked their mischief for centuries. How else could babies be conceived in laboratories and murdered in clinics or people think that Jesus is like a 1960’s free-love Hippie guru?
Reconciled and Rapture Ready
As an ambassador of God, Paul implores us to be reconciled to God through relationship with His Son. There are no mitigating conditions or excuses, no matter what you hear from trusted non-biblical sources. God does not grade on the curve and everyone will be held to the same standard—His standard.
This is the End Time. Perhaps you will see Jesus Christ today. But even if the Rapture does not occur in your natural lifetime, living in harmony, peace, and joy with God will bless you every day until you finally pass into immortality.
Every New Creation will hear and respond when the Shepherd calls him or her home. New creations in Christ aren’t 30-day wonders, but flesh and blood people on a journey of continuing, transformation and purpose, becoming more like Jesus every day by the grace of God.
“To become” requires action. Knowing isn’t enough. Recognize the importance of both doing and teaching the word. (James 1:22, Proverbs 22:6,
“The instruction of children should aim gradually to combine knowing and doing.”—Immanuel Kant
Sanctification is the process of knowing Jesus Christ more intimately and combining that knowledge with doing.
The King is coming. Learn to know Him as He desires to be known by you.
Choose today whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15)
* The snatching away to meet the Lord Jesus found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. “Rapture” is an English word inspired by the Greek word harpazo, “to snatch” or “catch away”, G726 in Strong’s Lexicon. There is no time or timeline inferred.