By Patrick Hawthorne
When will that day be? I don’t know, but I do know that we are closer today than we were yesterday. What will that day be like? I have no idea. But, I am anxious to find out. Will the rapture of the Church come before or after the tribulation? I believe it will come before the tribulation. What will be the condition of the Church (Body of Christ) prior to the rapture? Ahhh, now that is indeed the most excellent of questions.
Many teach that God will sneak the Church out from the earth and take it to heaven as portrayed in the Left Behind movies?” I don’t think this is accurate, primarily because God is not the sneaking type. Jesus is coming back for a glorious Church not some weak knee, pathetic, “Gasping for one last breath,” Church. No, I believe the signs will be very clear that Jesus is about to return. Unfortunately many will choose to ignore those signs just as they did in the days of Noah before the flood. For one hundred twenty years the people saw the massive boat being built. Yet, only Noah and his family were saved.
My personal beliefs are that the rapture will occur just after a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit as written in Joel 2:23 with the former rain and the latter rain coming together. Just as the one hundred twenty in the upper room anxiously awaited the power spoken of by Jesus, I anxiously await the power spoken of when the former rain and the latter rain come together.
As I have written before, I sometimes have what I call, “God dreams.” These are not my ordinary pizza dreams but dreams where I know my heavenly Father is speaking to me. Not too long ago, I had a dream in which I was walking through a large crowd of people. As prompted by the Holy Spirit, I laid hands on certain people within the crowd and said, “In the name of Jesus, be healed!”
At first I waited and watched for the healing to manifest. Soon, however, the healing became such common place that I simply prayed and moved on. By faith I knew the people were already healed.
In this dream, I was not in the position of a preacher, but a behind the scenes ordinary lay person. We are told that the five fold ministry is given to us for the perfecting of the saints (that’s you and me) for the work of the ministry. In the dream I was simply doing the work of the ministry.
This dream was given to me for a reason. I have not seen its fulfillment, but I believe it is coming. You might disagree with me. That is alright. However, I am certain of this…God is not sneaky. He does not want anyone to perish. The signs are all around us; He is coming back very soon. Let’s all be ready.