II Peter 3:3-11 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”
Have you ever thought of the Rapture happening today? Of course, you may have thought of it a few times before. But have you ever been in a state where you were without a doubt that it was going to be that day, or tomorrow because someone said so? I remember as a kid, we had a visiting preacher come to our church that predicted when Jesus would come back. As a 14 year old, I believed what he said, because all I could think was, “That’s this week! On Tuesday, right in the middle of football practice! Yes!” So I got excited! But it soon settled in my mind that…I haven’t been living for God the way I should have been…so I got discouraged, and tried my upmost best to start living right…because I only had 2 days to go till I’d be standing in front of God answering up for everything wrong I’ve done. So in those 2 days, I read my Bible more than I ever had before. I prayed more than I ever had before. I wanted to be ready for Christ’s return!
Unfortunately, the Lord did not come back at 4:37 PM on that Tuesday in the middle of football practice. It was defensive practice day, and we were doing the “Oklahoma” drill. At that time, I was disappointed, and ticked towards that preacher that predicted so, because here I was, giving it my all right before I’d be gone into eternity. Funny thing is this…Christians live today as if God is not coming back. We think to ourselves, He would have come back by now if he really meant that He would. That’s exactly what people said to Noah when he warned of the flood coming. Noah preached and preached that there would be a flood. Why? Because God told him so! But did the people ever believe the promise that God made? No they didn’t, until it was too late. Once those raindrops started falling, that ark door was already shut! There was no more getting on the boat, it was too late for them.
Just as God made a promise then, He has given us a promise that is to come. He will return. It wasn’t till later that I found out as a teenage boy that the Bible says that no man knoweth the day nor the hour when He will come. But He is coming. How do I know? Verse 9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Why has it taken so long for our King to return? I don’t know. But here’s my thoughts: God is longsuffering toward us, because He is not willing that anyone should see Hell, but that they should repent before it’s everlasting too late.
Teenager, I don’t know about you, but I want to be “Rapture Ready.” I want to be living my life in a way that is pleasing to my Savior. I’d like for him to return and find me faithful to what He has asked me to do. I want to be living right, serving Him, doing right, winning lost souls to Christ, and everything else that I can before my time runs out…I believe more than anybody that Jesus will return before I die. And if not, that’s okay. But maybe the Lord has tarried His coming so that we can get all our lost loved ones and friends to know Christ before our time runs out. God doesn’t want one person to go to Hell, but we have only one mission, only a mass of time, and only one message to share with the world, as Christians. Are you living in a way that’s ready for the rapture? Are you serving in a way that’s ready for the rapture? Are you witnessing in a way that is ready for the rapture?
ARE YOU RAPTURE READY?
Nathan Pitts | Youth Pastor
Riverland Baptist Church