Hello, John and Doves,
Keith Dickerson, you said:
However, two things should be noted:
"But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel...." Romans 9:6
"...that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:27
We can see that not all who call themselves Christians are Christians.
Yet we know that anybody who is truly a Christian need not be afraid of the propinquity [nearness] of the Rapture [Greek:
It is solely and completely Christ's responsibility to prepare His own Bride for Himself!
All we do is allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, the agent of Jesus Christ towards us.
For a clue as to tell if we are truly Christ's, read Romans, chapters 1 through 11.
Then read chapter 12 to see if your response to God's grace falls within the parameters stated.
For those new to the faith, read the gospel according to John, then read the first epistle of John, near Revelation.
The key verse in 1 John, for our purposes here, is 1 John 2:28.
"And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear,
we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."
For strict constructionalists,
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
and, of course
"...[I]f you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
"For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
"For the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.' [Isaiah 28:16]" Romans 10:9-11
And let's not forget
" ...[F]aith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 [conclusion of verses 14 through 17]
In other words, we are saved by the Word of God. If we continue in His Word, God will see to our readiness for all things.
For it is written:
[Jesus speaking to the eleven]
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." John 15:1
"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Now as far as the subject of dreams and such:
"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future." John 16:13
The conclusion to all this is that God is unalterably for us!
"For whom he did foreknow ["whosoever believes"--John 3:16], he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:29
In a crescendo of God's love, Paul writes:
"Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
"As it is written: 'For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.' [Psalm 44:22]
"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
"nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:34-39
So fear not, Jesus has your six [the position immediately behind you]!
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
"To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude, verses 24-25
In the name of Jesus Christ, who is "God, our Righteousness,"