What happens to meat (outside a refrigerator) when you don’t salt it down? It rots.
If Christians are the salt of the earth, the Rapture is the very thing that will wreck the devil’s plans. Without the presence of Christians and the Holy Spirit Who lives in us, the devil’s plans for world conquest will fall apart fast. Ha! What irony. The devil and his demons hate us, but they have to have our presence to keep world systems operating. It’s “the spiritual effect”, not necessarily Christians in politics.
I have said before that there are two ways the Body of Christ can influence the timing of the Rapture. First, we could repent deeply and sincerely, and become such fervent evangelists that the devil goes crying to God and begs for our removal, because we’re wrecking his plans. But if he realizes that he needs Christians, and especially the Holy Spirit, to keep the wheels turning, he will put that off as long as he can stand it. Or if he hates us so badly that he wants the most possible time to break us or ruin our testimony. (I like to encourage people every chance I get.)
A large part (or all, depending on your viewpoint) of the spiritual effect is due to the Holy Spirit Who is present in each one of us. The evil spirits desperately need the Holy Spirit, or they will be raging around on a blood-soaked but lifeless ball of mud.
Alternatively, we could become so ineffective a preserving factor that God says, “Time’s up, children. You’re not accomplishing anything. You’re out of there.”
Which trend is already obvious?
I think the reason that the Rapture hasn’t already happened is that while Western nations have had their chance to respond to the Gospel, much of the rest of the world hasn’t … until recently. Probably most of us have heard incredible stories of Muslims becoming Christians, sometimes through miraculous events, including even the appearance of King Jesus to individuals. There are underground churches in Far Eastern nations that one doesn’t speak about publicly because that would endanger Christians there, and those who try to help them build up the Body of Christ and strengthen and encourage individual Christians in those places. Those churches have been there for decades, but they seem to be experiencing their own “Great Awakening”, from what I’ve heard. It is happening, and from what I’ve heard, we are likely to be surprised at the numbers when we’re all gathered home.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 I can’t help smiling over that. There! is! no! barrier! that can keep out the Holy One of Israel when He chooses to break through. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
As far as we know, the Rapture could happen at any time. We all, myself included, need to take seriously the words usually spoken at the serving of the Lord’s Supper:
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” (1st Corinthians 11:23-32)
(Let me add here that there are many reasons Christians get sick, not the least of which is the thoroughly unhealthy world we live in – the polluted food and water we have caused. So don’t automatically assume that any Christian’s sickness or death is due to unworthily taking part in the Lord’s supper.)
Paul was writing about the Corinthians’ practice of turning the Lord’s Supper into a privilege-party, where the poor went home hungry and the rich stuffed themselves and even got drunk. But the principle has always been applied to life in general in every church I’ve taken communion in, and it seems appropriate. While the severity of the penalties mentioned may not – may not – apply to “ordinary sins”, we still need to take stock of our lives regularly, truthfully, and solemnly. And then we need to act on what God shows us about ourselves.
Speaking for myself, I need to do this. It’s something easy to ignore when one is not a member of a local church, but it is a vital part of Christian life.
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You see my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely … Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (From Psalm 139)
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says! Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:19-27)