“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36).
Can We Meet the Lord in the Air as 1Ts 4:17 Says?
By Wang Qing
It was a sultry afternoon and there wasn’t a breath of wind in the air. Wang Qing sat at the desk and studied the. She saw a scripture: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev 21:3). She attentively read the scripture and thought to herself: “Here, it says, ‘the tabernacle of God is with men’ and ‘God himself shall be with them.’ Since God’s kingdom is with men, then how would people be raptured? I have believed in the Lord for so many years and always believe that the Lord will return to take us up into the heavens to meet with Him. Just as the Bible clearly says: ‘Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord’ (1Ts 4:17). In order to realize this dream, I pray and attend meetings more often, waiting for the Lord’s return. If God’s kingdom descends on earth, won’t my hope of being raptured into the kingdom of heaven be in vain? What is this really about?” Wang Qing couldn’t figure it all out …
The next day, Wang Qing came to Sister Liu’s house and spoke about her confusion. Sister Liu thoughtfully said: “This question also puzzled me. But later, through searching the Bible and seeking with people who understood the truth, I finally knew the clear answer.” Wang Qing said eagerly: “Please tell me right away.” Sister Liu said seriously: “Concerning this question, we should know that the Bible says: ‘Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord’ (1Ts 4:17). This is Paul’s words, not the Lord’ words. The Lord : ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me’ (Jhn 14:6). Only the Lord Jesus is the king of the heavenly kingdom, and only He can decide whether we can . However, Paul was just an apostle . He was merely a man corrupted by Satan and could not express the truth. Since he was a corrupted man, his words were mixed with human will. So we cannot treat Paul’s words as God’s words. On the matter of longing for the Lord’s return, we should base this on the prophecies that the Lord Jesus Himself spoke. That is the most standard way of waiting for the Lord’s return. In addition, we can see from the Lord Jesus’ words in the four Gospels of the Bible that He never said He would people into the air but said: ‘And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven’ (Jhn 3:13). It is thus clear that being raptured into the heavens to meet the Lord is Paul’s conception and imagination. The Lord Jesus said: ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ (Mat 6:10). And Revelation says: ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever’ (Rev 11:15). From these scriptures, we can be sure that when the Lord comes, He will establish His kingdom upon the earth to make man worship Him. When God first created man, He asked mankind to live on earth and worship him. The work that God has carried out to save man has also been on earth. This was something that God predestined long ago. It is something that no man can change. Therefore, if we hold on to Paul’s words and want to be brought up to heaven, this is a product of our excessive desire. It thoroughly goes against the truth and doesn’t accord with the work of God. Only by honestly following and worshiping God, pursuing the truth, and performing the duty of a created being can we be truly praised by God.” Hearing Sister Liu’s fellowship, Wang Qing understood that in the matter of welcoming the Lord’s return, she must follow the Lord Jesus’ words, not man’s words. Her many years of pursuit to be raptured into the air to meet with the Lord, as it turned out, was incompatible with the fact of God’s work.
At that moment, Wang Qing’s confusion was finally resolved. Her heart was as enlightened as if a window were opened. Thereupon, she asked Sister Liu: “What you said is indeed in line with the Bible. How did you get this light?” With a smile on Liu Xin’s face, she said: “In fact, all that I talked about just now was what a friend fellowshiped with me. As for the mystery of being raptured into the heavens, they fellowshiped very clearly. They also read me a passage of words, “‘Being caught up’ is not being taken from a low place to a high place as people imagine. This is a huge mistake. Being caught up is referring to My predestining and selecting. It is targeted at all those I have predestined and chosen. Those who have gained the status of firstborn sons, the status of My sons, or My people, are all people who have been caught up. This is most incompatible with people’s notions. Those who have a share in My house in the future are all people who have been caught up before Me. This is absolutely true, never-changing, and cannot be refuted by anybody. This is the counterattack against Satan. Anyone I predestined shall be caught up before Me.’ From these words, I finally understood that ‘being raptured’ does not mean being taken from a lower place to a higher place, from earth to heaven as we imagine. Instead, it means that when God comes to earth to speak His words and do His work, we will be able to follow His footprints, accept and submit to His current work. In the Book of Revelation, it is repeatedly written: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Rev 2-3). This conveys a message to us that when the Lord returns in the last days, He will speak again to save us. Therefore, the most important thing for us to do is to seek and accept the words and work of the returned Lord. Only thus can we be raptured before God’s throne to meet with Him face-to-face.” After hearing this, Wang Qing said gladly: “I see. If we want to be raptured before God, we should take the initiative to seek the words and work of theof the Lord. This is the new light of the Holy Spirit. Thank the Lord!”
The sunlight shone through the window upon them and a breeze blew over. They smiled knowingly …
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