Hi John! Just a short note to you first (and not to be posted please), can you please make sure all my formatting and color changes show up in the post? I sure appreciate it! Thank you and God bless you my brother!
My post is below:
First of all, thank you both Linda and Bonnie M. for responding to my post. It gives me great joy to know that you all received comfort and peace; this is what drove me to post it in the first place.
I also feel lead to say a few other things to all Doves about this very issue. It seems that there is a bit of debate about what it takes to actually be taken in the rapture, and I can only imagine how that must grieve our Lord. I will admit that in the even recent past, I have read, pondered, worried, etc., quite a bit about all this mainly because of many of the things I read on various forums from dreams, visions, prophetic utterances, etc. I will say it has been quite confusing, because while many of these are in agreement with the Word of God, many are also contradictory to the Word and to each other. Because of this, I have now chosen to feed solely upon the Word of God and let it decide for me. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12). When we go to the Word and are washed in it's water, we receive truth; His truth. Anything else that we may receive outside of this (whether it be from dreams, words, visions, etc.) that adds to or takes away from God's truth can only be attributed to the error of man (thus the reason Jesus did not trust man; He knows what is in us). Anything truly from God will always line up with His word -- perfectly. God's pure truth is the only thing that will set us free on this subject, or with any subject at all.
As far as my own truth... I am confident that I have the Holy Spirit living in me. I know the day that He came to me and filled me, and I have the solid evidence of His presence and work in my life over the last 18 years. The Lord has told us all in His Word that His Spirit seals us; it is a guarantee for us. There is no exchanging us for something or someone else, and there are no returns; His blood-bought purchase of us is final! Because His Spirit has sealed me, then I am His, and because I am His, I am guaranteed that He will take me with Him when He comes for His own. I hope this truth is encouraging for others.
Ephesians 1:13-15In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
And finally, it is simply a matter of us all truly receiving the love of Jesus and knowing that His finished work in us is all it takes to be ready. When we truly receive the love of God through Jesus Christ, which takes complete faith in Him as a little child, then are we filled to all the fullness of God (paraphrased Matt 18:3 and Eph 3:!9). And what is the fullness of God... peace, joy, hope, rest, love, confidence, and much more; basically, there is no doubt, no wavering, and no wondering if we are truly His. We know we are His, and we rest, which is His perfect will for our lives.
In closing, I want to repeat what the Holy Spirit said to my heart recently as I cried out to Him in doubt and fear regarding the rapture. He said, "I am not man. I am love, and I do not abandon. I will never leave you nor forsake you." As I compare this to what the Word of God says, I see that it lines up perfectly; as a result, I receive it as truth and rest in it, and I discard anything that speaks contrary.
At this point in my walk with the Lord, I am choosing to take a little break from man's word and focus only on His word. For those of you who are weary and somewhat tired of seeing so many different viewpoints and having resulting doubts and fears, it might be a good idea for you too. He is sure to wash us, refresh us, and lead us into all truth.
Jesus loves every single one of you regardless of what you believe in this regard, and so do I. This post is written 100% in love.