Praying for Jesus to Return
This past summer I felt the Lord give me a directive. He said, “I want you to start praying for me to send Jesus to get you.” To the best of my ability, I try not to argue or question when the Lord says something (although I do make sure I am hearing Him and check it with the Word), but I thought for a second, “Aren’t I doing that?” And then I answered myself: No, I am talking about it, hoping for it, believing, and watching but I hadn’t been praying for the Father to send Jesus. Last year, one of my very good friends said, “Dawn, ever since I have known you (and it’s been many years), you have been talking about Jesus coming back. Do you ever get tired of believing it?” I could answer that quickly and joyfully, “NO! I NEVER get tired of watching and being excited for Jesus to come!” It’s the truth. Jesus coming back to take us out of the earth ALIVE and bringing us to heaven is the most amazing event I could ever imagine. But more importantly, it is about seeing my Lord. It's about finally seeing the one who created me, loves me, and who I have never seen with my natural eyes. I get to see my Jesus, who I love. This is not just an event, it's a supernatural reunion.
Circling back to the origination and purpose of this blog: Its foundational purpose is to tell anyone who takes the time to read these entries that Jesus is coming soon. I talk about other important things too, like Israel, which also coincides with the message that the King is coming. He is coming on a white horse as the righteous King with a scepter in His hand. This is His “second coming” but technically, it is His third appearing. He came first as the Son of Man (I believe this is His favorite title, by the way), was born of a virgin, lived a perfect and sinless life, gave His life on the cross, died, was buried, and rose again the third day as the scriptures prophesied. He appeared to many and then after being on earth again for 40 days, ascended to heaven leaving those who witnessed this the words given through angels (Acts 1:11): “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” This seems to coincide with 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 and Jesus's second appearance:
“According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
Paul was comforting the Thessalonians who were being deceived into thinking that they had been left behind and were in the tribulation. Paul states that there were those among the flock who were spreading lies and scaring the believers in Thessalonica, but he emphasized that they should comfort each other with the truth. The truth was that they were not left behind, that the dead would not “sleep” forever and Jesus would descend in the clouds and shout. This amazing shout would call forth the dead who will rise first and then all of the rest of the believers who are alive at this time will also rise to meet the Lord having mortal bodies changed in an instant to immortal. Paul was sharing the mystery of an event we now call the Rapture, but to the audience at the time, was simply their great comfort and blessed hope.
There are many interpretations of Paul’s words and the meaning of the prophecies still unfulfilled in the Bible. Some believe the prophecies were fulfilled by 70 A.D. (this is called the Preterist interpretation). Some believe we as believers go through part of the Tribulation and Jesus comes for us sometime in the middle (the Mid-Trib viewpoint), and some believe we go through the entire Tribulation and Jesus comes for us at the end – Essentially meeting Him in the air and immediately turning around and coming back to the earth (Post-Trib). I wholeheartedly believe that believers in Jesus who are set apart and watching for His soon return, will (1 Thessalonians 1:10) be reunited with Jesus before the coming wrath. And again, in Chapter 4:9, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” What coming wrath? Paul is not just metaphorically speaking of hell but of the Day, a literal time when God judges the world for the blood it has shed (of the martyrs) and for its treatment of His people, the Jews (Rev. 16:6, 18:24). Another important factor that weighs heavily in the belief that Jesus comes for us before the Tribulation is Jesus's reference to the ancient Galilean wedding ceremony. This is a very specific cultural event that Jesus describes in Mathew 25. The disciples and Jesus were all familiar with how they did weddings and so Jesus used this to illustrate how it would be when He returned. Please see my blog "The Great Escape" for more on the Galilean wedding and the Rapture.
I understand there are many opinions on Bible prophecy and the return of Jesus. Let me stress that if you love Jesus and are born again, then you are my brother or sister. I have a personal conviction not to argue Bible prophecy or the timing of or belief in the Rapture, but I will share what I believe based on the Word of God. If you do not have any belief or stance on the end times, or the return of Jesus, and you are a born-again believer, then I hope this blog will stimulate you to investigate the Word of God. Please do not say you believe in the “pan” perspective – It will all just “pan” out in the end. The Bible clearly says over and over in Proverbs all the way to Revelation, that he is wise who seeks understanding and knowledge. The sons of Issachar were those who it was said understood the times and seasons and were commended for it (1 Chron. 12:32). At the very least, let us endeavor to search the word and find solid, Bible, end-times teachers to get an understanding of where we are prophetically. For those of us who are reward-motivated, there is a crown of righteousness we receive for loving His appearing so there's that incentive, too (2 Tim. 4:8).
In the last chapter of the Book of Revelation (Rev. 22:12), Jesus says, “Look, I am coming soon.” And again in verse 20, “Yes, I am coming soon.” And while it has been a long time, this was written for us today. One time I was at a get-together with other believers and a precious woman and I were discussing the return of Jesus and just bouncing off each other the excitement and wonder of what His return will be like. Another woman came over, probably intrigued by our smiles and hearing all the “hoorays” and asked what we were talking about. When we told her we were talking about Jesus coming back and the Rapture, she said with kind of a smirk, “You know, they have been saying that for years and He still hasn’t returned.” My inside voice said, “Well, hooray! Thank you! You just fulfilled Bible prophecy!” 2 Peter 3:3-4 says this is exactly what people will say in the last days, “In the last days scoffers will come saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ …. all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” How sad for her that she didn’t yet have the joy and hope that comes from knowing that Jesus is coming for us soon.
When the Father spoke to my heart and said to pray for Him to send Jesus to get us, I felt He was saying that many are not praying this prayer. I understood what He meant. Some have told me that yes, great, Jesus is coming, but feel compelled to remind me that this means people will be left behind. Almost insinuating that we should not be too excited about it. The Lord remedied this to my heart by an analogy: He said it was like when my husband was serving on the battlefield in 2003 and I was praying for him to return soon. This wasn’t a scheduled deployment with a set time because while he was on a regular deployment, war broke out in Iraq and his deployment merged into a wartime service of indeterminable length. We had no idea when these soldiers would return and were told to expect a long deployment. The Holy Spirit said to me, “Imagine as you were praying for your husband to return soon and safe, someone said to you, ‘How can you pray for that? Don’t you realize that when your soldier returns another person’s loved one must take his place?’ How selfish of me to pray for my husband to return knowing that someone else would have to go into harm’s way. But that is ridiculous, right? Because they’re soldiers and that is their job. One leaves and another takes their place. In the realm of Bible prophecy, it is the same principle. When Jesus comes for us, people will be left behind. This cannot be changed. It has been written and no matter how much we pray, we cannot change the fact that even if Jesus tarries another fifty years, people will be left to experience the Tribulation. Jesus said that the time is now to pray in the harvest of souls and do all we can according to His personal will for us while we live in the Age of Grace. I can boldly tell you that Jesus wants us to be with Him and therefore wants us to pray for the Father, the only one who knows when that moment will be, to send Jesus to get us.
I am a witness to you to tell you Jesus is really, really coming soon. And He wants you to be praying for this event and do what He has instructed you to do to bring in the harvest wherever He has placed you. For some, it is caring for a loved one who is elderly or ill. Others are watching grandchildren every day and praying over them. Some just go to work and try to be a light for the gospel in their office. Isn't that working in the harvest field? Yes! A thousand times yes! Those babies, elderly relatives, or co-workers matter to Jesus. He would leave the 99 for them. Let us remember that it isn’t our perception of the size of the harvest that matters; but faithfulness, obedience, watchfulness, and love. You will finally get to see your Lord's face and be held by Him. You will feel love like you never have before and this love will never end. So please be encouraged! Jesus is coming for us soon! He said He was, and He is Faithful and True.
*If you are interested in more on the subject, this video is a great teaching by Perry Stone on the Rapture. Short, sweet, and very easy to understand.