Don't Worry About the Rapture
by Tom Stewart
May 22, 1999
Our LORD's injunction against worrying about tomorrow is necessary
advice for those who are patiently waiting for His Return and our soon Rapture. "Take therefore no [fearful,
anxious] thought for the morrow: for the morrow
shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil
thereof" (Matthew 6:34). Fearfulness and faith are as
opposite as sin and holiness. "And He
said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:40). The faith that works in us is the cooperation of our will
with the working of the Holy Spirit, i.e., "it
is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). The joyful task of waiting requires watchfulness and
sobriety. "Therefore let us not sleep,
as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1Thessalonians
5:6). Accordingly, we have been provided with the assistance of an Anti-Worry, Watchfulness,
and Soberness Checklist: "16 Rejoice evermore.
without ceasing. 18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning
Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all
appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your
whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our LORD
Jesus Christ" (1Thessalonians 5:16-23).
In light of our temptation to worry instead of patiently waiting, have you noticed that the most precious human commodity in the world, is a heart that is right with God? "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole Earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him" (2Chronicles 16:9). And, with all the difficulties of a world, where "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse" (2Timothy 3:13), it is crucial that those who abide "in the Light" continue that abiding. "He that loveth his brother abideth in the Light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him" (1John 2:10). But, as much as the LORD requires us to cease and avoid the sin of worry, He more positively desires that we seek and trust Him. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
Perhaps the easiest way to take the offensive against worry, is to begin at the top of the Anti-Worry, Watchfulness, and Soberness Checklist, and say, "Thank You, LORD!" "16 Rejoice evermore... 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1Thessalonians 5:16,18). Quickly, our grateful heart will ignite within us prayerfulness. "Pray without ceasing" (5:17). Our gratitude to God will encourage us to pray the kind of prayer that will receive its requests from Jehovah Jireh. "4 Rejoice in the LORD alway: and again I say, Rejoice... 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:4,6).
If we literally receive the command to "give thanks" (!Thessalonians 5:18) in everything, then we would have nothing for which we could be unthankful. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (Colossians 3:17). Thank God for whatever the Holy Spirit places before your mind, i.e., pain, the lack of pain, family members, isolation, opportunities, restrictions, past mercies, present grace, bills, present provision, comfort of the Paraklete (Holy Spirit), empowering of the Spirit, wisdom, past failures, future successes, promise of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture, certainty of His Second Coming, etc. "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Not only will a heart thankful to God erase worry, but it will produce within us peace. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). Our thankfulness to Christ aids the LORD in sanctifying and preserving us until He comes for us. "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the Coming of our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Thessalonians 5:23). This preservation (and not just our own efforts) accounts us worthy to escape the Tribulation, which is surely good news for those who hope for a Pre-Tribulational Rapture. "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).
If we thank God for everything, then nothing can stop us from walking victoriously for the LORD. "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 15:57). May the LORD abolish the sin of worry in our midst and replace it with a joyful confidence in His Return and our Departure. "But Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" (Hebrews 3:6).
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