By Nathan Jones
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.
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.
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.
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.