Sylvia Colville

Rapture Ready Series – Part 2

Well done good and faithful servant – Part 2

Two weeks ago we started off our new series which deals with being Rapture ready.

The point of it all is Gen.1:26, “Let Us make man in Our image.” God creates mankind with all the capacity to reflect His image but then the real work starts. Developing the character and nature of God by living a crucified life… but time is running out. The sifting is about to begin. The separation of the wheat and the tares, the five wise from the five foolish, the sheep from the goats – why? Because only Gen.1:26 can be as part of the Eternal Kingdom.

Jesus starts off Revelations by issuing warnings to the churches, (why?) because now is the time that we, the church, can still set things right. The Rapture is coming and He wants His body to be ready.

Rapture Ready.

Why is this important?

Firstly, let’s start off by saying… that to Jesus it is very important. He gave His life for us and then suffered through the wrath of God to redeem us and reconcile us to the Father so that Gen.1:26 can be fulfilled in us.

Secondly, because we want to hear …

Matt.25:21 – His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.’

In the words of Jesus…

Matt.24:25 – Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant who his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you, that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

Jesus warns us…

Matt.22:14 – For many are called but few are chosen.

Context:

This scripture follows the parable that Jesus teaches about the kingdom of heaven. The King invites people to the wedding of his son and they did not count it an honour to be invited but went about doing their own thing. He commands his servants to go into the highways and byways to invite others to the wedding.

Matt.22:11-14 – But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ’Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to his servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called (Kletos – meaning calling forth, invited), but few are chosen (Eklektos – meaning picked out, favourite)”.

Isaiah 61:10 – I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

In Rev. 3:15-18 Jesus warns the Laodician Church (the Lukewarm Church). I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

The Lukewarm Church is completely satisfied with their own success and are unaware that they have completely missed the point of this life.

Gold refined in fire in the fire of Affliction.

Psalm 66:10-12 – For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; BUT You brought us out to rich fulfilment.

Isaiah 48:10-11 – Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have refined you in the furnace of affliction.

Daniel 11:35 – And some of those with understanding shall fall, (why?) to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

Daniel 12:10 – Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

Zech. 13:9 – I will bring the one third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested, they will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people,’ and each one will say, ‘This is my God.’

Mal. 3:3 – He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi (the priests) and purge them as gold and silver. That they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.

Rev. 1:5-6 – And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Every time you die to yourself in order to obey, you are being refined as gold.

White Garments.

Rev. 3:4-5 – Jesus is speaking to the Church in Sardis (The Dead church) You have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes, shall be clothed in white garments, and I will NOT blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My father and before His angels.

Rev. 6:9-11 – When He (Jesus) opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried out, with a loud voice, saying, ‘’How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

These are the first lot of martyrs from the first three and a half years of the Tribulation.

Note in the NKJV – After the rapture, there will be those who realise that the believers were right and that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour and they will accept His salvation. They will preach the gospel, and many people will be saved because of their testimony. However, they will also face great persecution.

Rev. 7:9-15 – After these I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation (the second 3 1⁄2 years of the tribulation), and washed their robes and made them white (how?) in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.’

Rev. 19:7-8 – Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

What would be the righteous acts of the saints? Obeying the will of the Father.

I believe the garment in this parable represents the robe of righteousness that the Lord Jesus Christ provided for us through His death (Isaiah 61:10) and unlike the disrespectful guest, we must be careful not to disrespect this blood bought gift. Let us make sure that we do all we can to be ready and our robe undefiled.

Why am I belabouring all of this?

Matt. 7:13 – Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

For a very large portion of the church, Christianity is about going to church, singing some beautiful and moving songs, enjoying the presence of God, hearing a nice message, then leaving the church and continuing to live as they did before…a comfortable, complacent and largely unchallenged lifestyle.

There are therefore two types of Christians… those who want an easy life, with all the blessings and those who believe and understand that Christianity is a crucified life.

Teachers and Pastors are responsible for the direction that the church is headed. We are accountable. Jesus says in the above scripture that there are many…many…many who are headed for destruction!

We MUST take responsibility for your souls by teaching the truth. (I say souls because that is where the Word first enters…it then becomes your responsibility to get it from your head to your heart and in your spirit – through meditation not just by reading).

We must be careful when we stand behind a pulpit that we are not just entertaining you, because in essence, without His Word to challenge you or to confront you, we are sending you down the road to destruction.

As we teach, you must recognize the difference between condemnation and conviction. Condemnation makes you feel bad with a rising feeling of resentment which drives you away from spiritual things. This is the work of the devil who wants to cut you off and keep you ineffective. Take authority over him and bind those thoughts but be willing for God to correct you.

Conviction on the other hand fills you with regret and helps you to recognize where you need to change and creates a desire for surrender. This allows our teacher and guide, the Holy Spirit to change us.

We must make sure that you are hearing the Word that empowers you by grace to live the crucified life. By Jesus came truth and grace which is the power to live the truth. How? Through the surrendered heart and by the Holy Spirit. That is why He is here!

Check the messages that you are listening to, are they calling you ever deeper?
Deeper into His presence, deeper in surrender and deeper into the Agape love of God for others.

Let our prayer be, “Holy Spirit, please lead me deeper still into the presence of Jesus. Take me to where I hear His voice. Scan me and tell me if there is any presumptuous or hurtful thing in me that I might repent and surrender those areas that are blocking me from going deeper. The sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart Lord, is precious in Your sight.”

Surrender to every correction, every act of pruning that comes from His hand for it will keep your robe undefiled and you ready for His return.