All who have died during this Church Age (Age of Grace) are now beyond getting "Rapture ready." They are either "Rapture ready" or not. People alive at the present time, if they don’t know Christ as Savior, still have opportunity to get Rapture ready. All who are saved (know Jesus as their Savior) are Rapture ready in one sense, but might not be Rapture ready in another. We will try to clarify these matters. It is most important that we do so.
I testified in my Nearing Midnight commentary last week of instantaneously standing before a throng of heavenly witnesses (Hebrews 12:1-3) the moment my heart stopped beating. This happened three separate times. Each time my heart ceased to beat, I was somewhere in eternity. God the Holy Spirit’s assurance of where I was and who the beautiful, cheering young people were becomes more strongly burned into my own spirit by the day.
The only action I have taken in my life to warrant being instantly transported to that heavenly realm was to accept Christ as my Savior. There is no other action I could take while in this physical life to assure my instant transport into those stunning surroundings. While my near-death experience wasn’t the Rapture, of course, I believe with all that is within my spiritual understanding that it was a type of what awaits the generation of Christians alive at the time of that great event, as described by the apostle Paul’s prophetic words as given above. At that future moment of Rapture, all who have died during the Church Age, or who are living at the time, will stand not before a throng of witnesses as I did, but before the Lord Jesus, Himself! “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
All who are living today who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior stand in mortal danger. When their hearts beat the final time, they will find themselves in the same, unimaginably horrid place as the rich man described by Jesus in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (read Luke 16:19-31). Likewise, the moment Christ says at the Rapture: “Come up hither” (Revelation 4:1), the person who hasn’t accepted Christ will be left behind on earth to face a time in human history of which the Lord Jesus Himself said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" (Matthew 24:21-22a).
Being Rapture Ready
So, it is imperative to make clear what it means to be Rapture ready. Our eternal souls hang in the balance of God’s impending judgment. The Lord of Heaven must judge sin, because He cannot abide sin in His holy presence. No sin can enter the gates of Heaven. And this is where God’s magnificent love comes to the forefront of His dealing with each of us who are sinners.
He loves you and me so much that He sent His Son–God in the flesh, Jesus Christ—to come to earth to be the perfect sin-sacrifice, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, whose blood takes away the sin of the world. To be Rapture ready, you and I must be “saved” from our sins and made pure in the righteousness found only in Christ. When we believe God and accept Christ as Savior, we become Rapture ready in the eternal sense. We will go to Heaven upon our death, or will be raptured when Jesus steps out on the clouds of glory and shouts: “Come up hither!”
But, there is another meaning of being Rapture ready. Each Christian is responsible for being Rapture ready in this sense. To be Rapture ready as a child of God means we are to be living our lives in a way pleasing to God. We are to lift the name of Jesus so that men, women, and children will be drawn to Him for salvation. We are to be watching for His any-moment return in the Rapture.
Let me make it clear. I believe the Word of God tells us that every person who is saved through the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ will go to be with Him at the moment of Rapture, no matter the state of his or her fellowship with the Lord. We will ALL stand before Him, Paul tells us.
However, to be truly Rapture ready as a Christian means that we are living life in such a biblically prescribed way that when Jesus calls us we will not be ashamed to look Him in His omniscient eyes. We should desire above all else to hear Him say “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:23b).
End- times world conditions today are unmistakable. That face-to-face meeting could take place at any moment!