Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rapture of the Church: Part 3 of 3

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

On June 11, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we discuss one of the greatest events in all of human history, and one that is coming really soon — the Rapture of the Church. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

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Rapture Rewards

Vic: I want people to understand that the Rapture is a wonderful event that we are waiting for. There's actually a reward given to those who are waiting for the Rapture right, Nathan?

Nathan: Oh, yes. When we get to Heaven, the Bible says that we will experience three things.

First, the Judgment of the Just. Jesus already gave us eternal life so there's no fear of punishment. So, we will be judged based on our works done while living on the earth. We will get rewards based on our good works. The Bible says that we will be judged based on our quantity, our quality, and the motives for why we did these works. Then we will be given rewards based on them. There will be different types of crowns given that we use in the worship of the Lord and different types of robes. We also get new names which the Bible says are written on a white stone. So, my name won't be Nathan anymore, which my wife says is a nerd name. And, you won't be Vic, so I'll have to figure out what you're new name will be. We will have new names and will dwell with the Lord in His home forever.

Secondly, we will celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which is a giant feast. It's the celebration of Jesus being reunited with His Church. We celebrate that during the Tribulation.

Thirdly, we will go along with Jesus at His Second Coming to see him defeat the Antichrist and the evil in the world and to set up His kingdom on this planet.

Vic: That's super exciting, Nathan! And no, I don't think your name is nerdy. That's why I call you Nate. It makes it sound cooler. You don't have to feel too bad though. My full name is Victoriano, so that's why I tell everyone to just call me Vic.

Nathan: But, Victoriano rolls so beautifully. Alright, lets get back to our discussion.

Vic: We are talking about the Rapture of the Church and how nothing needs to be fulfilled prophetically for it to happen. There are some signs given that point to it happening soon. For example, Israel has became a nation and its own state, which is one of the greatest prophecies of all times. Next, the Bible tells us that the Lord is coming.


Fearful No More

Vic: Nathan, how would you encourage someone who may still be a little fearful when they hear about the Rapture.

Nathan: I think knowing what the Bible says about the End Times is important. That's why I've made it my mission to study it. I find it fascinating that 31% of the Bible is prophecy. God must really want us to know about His return. As a matter of fact, 500 verses in the Old Testament and one in every 25 verses in the New Testament talks about Jesus' Second Coming. And, the more we understand the Bible, the more we will understand the signs of the times.

In other words, Jesus said that Israel would come back as a nation again and all the Jews would begin re-gathering back to Israel, which is what happened in May 1948. He said that the Roman Empire would come back together again, and we are seeing that through the European Union. He said that we would see political alliances forming against Israel, and we can see that today with Russia drawing closer to Iran and Turkey. Also, there will be an increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters and of social breakdowns, and we are certainly seeing society breaking down today, as well as wars and rumors of wars and false prophets and signs in the skies.

There's just so much that you can read about concerning the signs of the times, which you can find it on our website at lamblion.com. Knowing about these signs should make us excited, because we know that Jesus is going to fulfill His promise and come back.

If anyone is scared about the future, they don't need to be, because the real joy of the future is when Jesus comes back to set up His Millennial Kingdom. The Bible says it will be a peaceful kingdom, filled with righteousness and justice. The curse will be partially lifted and life spans go on well past hundreds of years. Jesus will rule and reign, and it will be a time of peace and justice. That's even before the eternal state. So, there are some wonderful things to learn about in Bible prophecy, but there are also some scary things coming up to learn about as well. Knowing what they are will help alleviate people's fears.

I recommend to everybody, don't wait give your life to Jesus Christ. He died for you because He loves you and He wants you to be saved. All you have to do in your hearts is to cry out, "Lord Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Jesus promises to forgive you, to restore you, and to give you a whole new life.

Vic: That is super cool! What wonderfully encouraging words for everyone. To know that is such a blessing. It's our blessed hope. That's why we are so excited about this topic, right, Nathan? I haven't even had that much caffeine yet and I'm excited!

Nathan: As we read in 1 Thessalonians 4, the Rapture is the promise of a blessed hope. The Rapture gives the Church hope.

There are some who say the Rapture won't happen until after the Tribulation, but what hope is there that we'll endure the punishment of God's wrath. There's no blessed hope in that. The hope is that we will be rescued before the Tribulation, as all those verses I've read earlier that have promised that the Church does not have to endure the wrath of God.

Vic: You mentioned something very important, and that's for Christians to take time to study Bible prophecy, because the more that you study the better equipped you will be, right, and the less fearful you will be?

Nathan: Yes, exactly. When you set off on a trip, you know where the destination is because you've mapped it out beforehand. You know how to get where you're going. You know where the truck stops and the rest stops are and the fun places to stop at. A trip can be a wonderful thing. But, if you just get in your car and start driving and you don't know where the destination is, and you don't know if you are going to run out of gas before you reach the gas station, it can be a fearful thing, especially if you are driving through the desert or some dangerous place. So, just like that, it's important to know the Bible, study it, and understand what our destination is.

To start this trip, you need to give your life to Jesus Christ and accept Him as your Savior. It'll be the greatest journey of your life!

Vic: That's excellent! The Bible tells us in John 3:16, which is a verse we hear over and over again, but it's so simple and so true, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." God grants them there eternal life. Those who have put their trust in Him when the Rapture comes will avoid this horrible period that is coming, like it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 concerning the judgment. That's why we encourage everyone to reach out to Jesus Christ. We do know this terrible period of the Tribulation is coming, but we have a blessed hope which is the promise of the Rapture of the Church.


Millennial Kingdom

Vic: Nathan, you mentioned the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. I hope we can touch on that in the future.

Nathan: I would be happy to, because the Millennium is one of the most exciting time periods in human history. It's the utopia that humanity has been working toward, but can't have, because we are sinful and fallen. Jesus Christ has to set it up to make it happen.

Vic: Another reason the Millennium is so exciting and encouraging is because sometimes Christians are a little bit confused. They think, "I'll die or the Rapture happens, and then I go to Heaven and that's the end." But, that is not true, right?

Nathan: Oh, no, death is just the beginning.

9 comments:

Billy said...

Another aspect of the Rapture that is so apealing is not having to physically die.

I don't care how strong in faith you are there is no one that given a choice would not prefer to be transformed instantly and avoid experiencing dying.

I suppose those Christian that desire to go through the tribulation, the ones that don't believe in pre-trib Rapture and have delusions of grandeur via martydom (oh, look at me, it's all about me) may disagree.

As far as names, sometimes the new names given to people in the Bible weren't far off from their original ones (Saul/Paul; Abram/Abraham). So who knows, Nathan, you may be called Nathum or something like that so don't get your hopes up too high. ;)

Nathan Jones said...

Nathum? Hope not, Bilyam. ;)

Roughneck said...

If it were a choice to be left behind or not, would you? The advantage would be to see Gods greatest work up close and live, to be able to witness to the lost, etc.

Big Browser said...

Hi Christ in Prophecy
Can’t get enough on the Rapture, it surely is my blessed hope. Prophecy in the Psalms makes interesting reading; but I am a little troubled by the N.T. declaration that the Church and the Rapture were ‘mysteries’ not revealed in the O.T. For example 1Cor.15:51; Eph.5:32. Any thoughts to add?
In fact I hope you will deal with the mystery of the kingdom at some point. So many today teach that it refers to Jesus ruling in peoples hearts in spiritual form a.k.a. Kingdom Now and not the future millennium kingdom that Jesus will set up after His return to earth at the second coming. Out of interest (maybe?). I have recently read that ‘Kingdom Now’ was a teaching of Philo the Greek philosopher; it came from the Gnostic school of Alexandra in Egypt that beat down the true school at Antioch and was picked up by Augustine and the R.C. church, also Constantine as both believed that they were running the kingdom now. Of course, Calvin (and Arminius) believed the kingdom was in Geneva. Nothing changes much it seems, same old Gnosticism and same old heresies done up in different paper and ribbons!
Appreciate any clarity on this if possible.
Extra thought for the day. Talking to certain “Purpose Driven” followers, I was puzzled that they had not heard of said book. It seems that the A.o.G. have a private cover to the book calling it “We Build People” and teach that they are the Acts 2 church. Wow, so very wrong as it was not a "prescription" for us to follow, but a "description" of how they dealt with the huge influx of Jews into Jerusalem for Pentecost. This has been such an eye opener to me. Whatever next must we endure before the Rapture, or shall I say the upward departure from earth to glorious rooms in the Father’s house. Praise the Lord.
Thanks from Big Browser.

Billy said...

Roughneck...

Think about what you are saying...really give it some thought...

...you would tell Jesus, who is coming to bring you to the greatest celebration of all time (the marriage supper of the Lamb) that you would rather not, that you, His special invited guest reunited with all your loved ones, would rather spend your time on Earth with satan, the anti-christ, the false prophet and all their minions in the tribulation?

Billy said...

Roughneck,

Do you think you could witness to the lost of the tribulation better than the two witnesses that will be present in the tribulation or better than the angel that will preach The Word to the entire world during the tribulation?

Jesus has it covered, thank you very much. His plan is for us to be with Him during the tribulation.

Nathan Jones said...

There will be a great harvest of souls after the Rapture without the Church being there (Revelation 7:9-14). Some will be convicted by the Rapture itself. Others will be converted by the preaching of either the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem (Revelation 11) or the 144,000 Jewish disciples who will proclaim the Gospel (Revelation 7). Some will repent in response to the judgments of God (Isaiah 26:9). Others will respond to an angel of God who will preach the "eternal gospel" to all the world at the end of the Tribulation, right before the final pouring out of God's wrath (Revelation 14:6).

Anonymous said...

Celebrating the Marriage Supper while people are suffering during the tribulation makes me feel sick to my stomach. Why? Because it just seems to mirror what the world is like now: the rich vs the poor. Those that have so much now vs those who are starving. I have love for all people & I weep at the suffering millions. To me heaven will be a place where love prevails. I can't eat a morsel until suffering is erased.

Nathan Jones said...

Anonymous, interesting view. Remember though that it's not a "rich vs poor" but a those who love Jesus and are celebrating like a wedding vs those who chose to reject God and to be left behind. One of the purposes of the Tribulation is to make it so bad that people turn their hearts to Jesus and get saved, so Jesus is still busy at work saving souls while at the same time celebrating with the Church.