July 9, 2024

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July 9, 2024

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We May Face Mockery, But Jesus Will Reward Our Watchfulness

Jonathan Brentner

What is the most ridiculed biblical belief of our day? Is it not our expectation of Jesus’ imminent appearing to take us home to Heaven? Sadly, the mocking of our “blessed hope” comes primarily from fellow believers.

The most troublesome source of scoffing for me has come from pastors who claim to believe in the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture. A few of them let me know that expressions of belief in the pre-Tribulation Rapture were not welcome at their churches.

The Lord has strengthened me in at least two ways as He has enabled me to weather this storm:

  • First, I have spent decades studying Bible prophecy, which has laid a firm foundation for my hope in Jesus’ appearing. My confidence rests in the words of Scripture.
  • Second, the Lord promises to reward those who watch for His appearing. This is the encouragement that I want to share with you.

Our Watchfulness Pleases the Lord

After Jesus answered His disciples’ questions about the end of the age and His Second Coming, He emphasized the need for watchfulness (Matthew 24:36-25:13). Such vigilance applies to the start of God’s wrath upon the earth as Jesus portrays this happening at a time when most will be totally unaware of the coming judgments or of His return, just like before the flood in Noah’s day (24:38). Such will most certainly not be the case at the end of the Tribulation.

Other passages in the New Testament clarify that for those of us in Christ, our expectation is Jesus’ appearing (Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:4). Paul’s message in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:10 is that the Rapture will happen before the “sudden destruction,” which will mark the start of the Day of the Lord, overwhelms the earth.

The watchfulness that Jesus commanded for His followers pertains to His return for His Church, which will precede the judgments of the Day of the Lord as described throughout the Old Testament and Revelation chapters 6-18.

Others will continue to mock our expectation of Jesus’ soon appearing. However, such watchfulness pleases the Lord because it not only represents obedience to Him but also demonstrates our belief in His teaching.

But there’s more comforting news in this regard.

The Lord Will Reward Those who Long for His Appearing

Paul wrote 2 Timothy from a Roman prison shortly before Nero beheaded him for his faith. Regardless of his fate, which he knew was certain at the time, his words in verses 7 and 8 portray a confidence in what awaited him after death: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”

The apostle assures us that there’s a crown, a special reward, for those who love Jesus’ “appearing.” Notice that he doesn’t say “His Second Coming” but rather specifies the time when the Lord appears to take us to the place that He’s preparing for us (John 14:2-3).

I hear from many who tell me they are no longer welcome in their churches because of their belief in the Rapture. Things are about to dramatically change; however, the Lord Himself will richly reward those longing to meet Him in the air. Those who mock our watchfulness will miss out on this special crown.

Christ’s message to the church at Philadelphia implies that, in the end, it will not be easy for believers to keep their eyes on the prize of His soon appearing. In Revelation 3:11, Jesus says, “I am coming quickly. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” This is not at all about losing one’s salvation, which is impossible, or missing out on the Rapture. It’s all about remaining watchful for His appearing until the end.

Everything will change after the Rapture; the Lord will reward our steadfastness in watching for His appearing. His special recognition of our faithfulness will replace the mocking that now rings in our ears.

More than a Feeling

The apostle knew that he wouldn’t be alive at the time of Jesus’ appearing, but he knew that a crown awaited him, a special reward, because of his longing for it. The word he used for “loved” in 2 Timothy 4:8 is the verb agape, the strongest of the Greek words for love.

Such desire for the Lord’s appearing signifies a welcoming of it, a yearning that changes our outlook on life and colors all our future aspirations. Paul had the Rapture in mind when he wrote these words in Philippians 3:13-14: “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Because of the lateness of the hour, many of us will be alive at the time of God’s “upward call.” Our long-awaited “prize” will soon become a reality.

I could write pages depicting how the signs tell us that the Tribulation is ever so close and, with it, the Rapture of the Church, which happens before it starts. In fact, the pervasive mocking of our hope is itself a sign pointing to the nearness of our homegoing.

Our opponents, fueled by beliefs that deny a seven-year Tribulation, Jesus’ thousand-year reign, and the restoration of Israel, will continue to assail our expectation of Jesus’ imminent return.

The Lord, however, will soon richly reward those of us who regard His appearing as a “prize” and long for the day.


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Jonathan Brentner

What is the most ridiculed biblical belief of our day? Is it not our expectation of Jesus’ imminent appearing to take us home to Heaven? Sadly, the mocking of our “blessed hope” comes primarily from fellow believers.

The most troublesome source of scoffing for me has come from pastors who claim to believe in the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture. A few of them let me know that expressions of belief in the pre-Tribulation Rapture were not welcome at their churches.

The Lord has strengthened me in at least two ways as He has enabled me to weather this storm:

  • First, I have spent decades studying Bible prophecy, which has laid a firm foundation for my hope in Jesus’ appearing. My confidence rests in the words of Scripture.
  • Second, the Lord promises to reward those who watch for His appearing. This is the encouragement that I want to share with you.

Our Watchfulness Pleases the Lord

After Jesus answered His disciples’ questions about the end of the age and His Second Coming, He emphasized the need for watchfulness (Matthew 24:36-25:13). Such vigilance applies to the start of God’s wrath upon the earth as Jesus portrays this happening at a time when most will be totally unaware of the coming judgments or of His return, just like before the flood in Noah’s day (24:38). Such will most certainly not be the case at the end of the Tribulation.

Other passages in the New Testament clarify that for those of us in Christ, our expectation is Jesus’ appearing (Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:4). Paul’s message in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:10 is that the Rapture will happen before the “sudden destruction,” which will mark the start of the Day of the Lord, overwhelms the earth.

The watchfulness that Jesus commanded for His followers pertains to His return for His Church, which will precede the judgments of the Day of the Lord as described throughout the Old Testament and Revelation chapters 6-18.

Others will continue to mock our expectation of Jesus’ soon appearing. However, such watchfulness pleases the Lord because it not only represents obedience to Him but also demonstrates our belief in His teaching.

But there’s more comforting news in this regard.

The Lord Will Reward Those who Long for His Appearing

Paul wrote 2 Timothy from a Roman prison shortly before Nero beheaded him for his faith. Regardless of his fate, which he knew was certain at the time, his words in verses 7 and 8 portray a confidence in what awaited him after death: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”

The apostle assures us that there’s a crown, a special reward, for those who love Jesus’ “appearing.” Notice that he doesn’t say “His Second Coming” but rather specifies the time when the Lord appears to take us to the place that He’s preparing for us (John 14:2-3).

I hear from many who tell me they are no longer welcome in their churches because of their belief in the Rapture. Things are about to dramatically change; however, the Lord Himself will richly reward those longing to meet Him in the air. Those who mock our watchfulness will miss out on this special crown.

Christ’s message to the church at Philadelphia implies that, in the end, it will not be easy for believers to keep their eyes on the prize of His soon appearing. In Revelation 3:11, Jesus says, “I am coming quickly. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” This is not at all about losing one’s salvation, which is impossible, or missing out on the Rapture. It’s all about remaining watchful for His appearing until the end.

Everything will change after the Rapture; the Lord will reward our steadfastness in watching for His appearing. His special recognition of our faithfulness will replace the mocking that now rings in our ears.

More than a Feeling

The apostle knew that he wouldn’t be alive at the time of Jesus’ appearing, but he knew that a crown awaited him, a special reward, because of his longing for it. The word he used for “loved” in 2 Timothy 4:8 is the verb agape, the strongest of the Greek words for love.

Such desire for the Lord’s appearing signifies a welcoming of it, a yearning that changes our outlook on life and colors all our future aspirations. Paul had the Rapture in mind when he wrote these words in Philippians 3:13-14: “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Because of the lateness of the hour, many of us will be alive at the time of God’s “upward call.” Our long-awaited “prize” will soon become a reality.

I could write pages depicting how the signs tell us that the Tribulation is ever so close and, with it, the Rapture of the Church, which happens before it starts. In fact, the pervasive mocking of our hope is itself a sign pointing to the nearness of our homegoing.

Our opponents, fueled by beliefs that deny a seven-year Tribulation, Jesus’ thousand-year reign, and the restoration of Israel, will continue to assail our expectation of Jesus’ imminent return.

The Lord, however, will soon richly reward those of us who regard His appearing as a “prize” and long for the day.