December 21 2021
Today, Tuesday December 21
Jesus Knows and Calls Our Name
1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.”
In Revelation 1:19, John was told to “write about the things that you have seen”, which he did in chapter one, where he personally experienced an appearance of the risen Christ. To “write about the thing which are”, which he did in chapters two and three, when he wrote seven letters to the seven churches in Asia. And to “write about the things which shall be after this,” which he did in chapters four through twenty-two, as he described the future events that would take place.
My understanding of this basic outline of Revelation leads me to believe that the seven letters to the seven churches first were meant to be done literally to seven very real churches in John’s day. But they could also very well be describing the two-thousand years of church history which ends with the rapture of the church. This is found in Chapter 4:1: “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
Over the years as I have read and studied this passage, my mind always goes back to John 10 where Jesus was giving His discourse on the “Good Shepherd” and His sheep. In this passage Jesus speaks about a door of the fold that is open for the true Shepherd of the sheep when He comes in the morning to get His sheep. The Shepherd knows which sheep are His, and He calls His sheep by name. They know His voice and follow Him. “But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:2-4).
I personally believe that this is a beautiful and descriptive picture of the rapture of the church when you connect it to Revelation 4:1. After the church has come an end and Jesus comes to get His sheep, the door is open in heaven and Jesus steps through it and “shouts with a loud voice”. This is also found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
Since Jesus knows His sheep by name, I think it is very possible that what He shouts is something like this, “Mike Grooms come up here!” And only as Jesus could do, all at the same time, He shouts the name of every believer that has ever lived in the church age. Even those who have died and been buried. Remember in John 11:43, at the door of the grave of Lazarus, Jesus shouted with a loud voice: “…He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" Since we know His voice, and we hear Him call our name, we immediately follow Him out of this old world!!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!
We believe this is the rapture of the church! As Paul wrote in both 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4, whether we are in the grave or still alive, when we all hear His voice, we are “caught up” and “we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
Wow! Did you get this? What a glorious day that will be!!!!!! It really could be today! Are you ready?