I was asked recently about my position on the rapture – would it occur at the beginning of the 7 years of tribulation, in the middle, or at the end.

I doubt that my answer satisfied the questioner. “It really doesn’t matter!” was my straight forward response to the question.

Studying prophecy can be fascinating. It can be exciting. (It can also be scary if you lose sight of God’s faithfulness and goodness.) It can be great at reinforcing the validity of God’s Word. Reading about fulfilled prophecy was instrumental in bringing me to Christ. And as a young Christian, I spent a great deal of time reading about and listening to speakers teach about different views on when the rapture would occur. I had an opinion at the time, but in honesty, I just don’t any more. Because it has no impact on how I live out my relationship with Christ.

The Apostle Paul wrote this to the Colossians:

10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:10-14 (NIV)

Paul prayed for the Colossians not so that they would have a correct and perfect understanding of when the rapture would occur. He prayed for them so that they would life a life worthy of the Lord and so that they would please him. He prayed for them so that they would bear good fruit and grow in the fruit of the Spirit and thankfulness. Why are those things important? Because God has done so much for us – rescued us from sin, brought us into the kingdom, redeemed us and forgiven our sins. Because God has done those things, Paul prayed that the Colossians would live a life that honored and reflected them.

Paul urged the Colossians to live out his prayer for them:

6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.    
Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

You see, our life isn’t supposed to be about debating things that have not been fully revealed, it’s to be about living in Christ. It’s to be about demonstrating His life and love to those around us. An occasional evening spent discussing prophecy with friends (note the word discussing, not arguing) can be enjoyable. But if such discussions are the focus of your faith and practice, perhaps it’s time to enjoy the Epistles and spend a little less time in Revelation.

Because the truth is…when the rapture occurs really doesn’t matter. God will keep us in the palm of His hand here on earth until He’s ready to receive us in glory. May we glorify Him through the whole process.

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