THE RAPTURE OF BELIEVERS IN CHRIST!

All believers will go in the rapture:

The rapture is an event for those who are “in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17) and “counted worthy”:

Luke 21:36 – “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
So what does it mean to “be counted worthy to escape” the Tribulation? The following verses show that salvation will save you from God’s wrath. In other words, praying to escape the Tribulation is to pray for salvation, which will, in effect, save you from God’s wrath:

Romans 5:8-9 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 – For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 – For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
Clearly, we don’t have to do anything to make ourselves worthy, outside of praying for salvation. For somebody to have to “do” something, other than accepting the free gift of salvation, would be “works.” Our salvation is by grace through faith; not works:

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Romans 11:6 – And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
Interestingly, Paul wrote the following to the church of Corinth, which at the time was a carnal or backsliding church:

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 – Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but 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.
When God’s Word says the “dead in Christ will rise” (1 Thessalonians 4:16), it only makes sense that all in Christ will rise from the dead in the rapture, carnal or not.

All of us have a tendency to wander off in our spiritual walk with Christ and no one is good enough to get to Heaven, either in death or the rapture. As we will discuss in a few sections, believers will appear at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” after the rapture. Believers will gain or lose rewards based on what they did and did not do for Christ during their life. This is where Christ will judge the spiritual walk of believers. Note in the passage below that salvation is safe in this judgment:

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 – According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
For an excellent article by Jack Kelley about the qualifications for being taken at the rapture click here.

The innocent taken in the rapture with believers:

As discussed in the last section, it is clear that all born again Christians will go to Heaven in the rapture. But what about those people who cannot comprehend the Gospel? Children and many mentally handicapped people are not capable of making a personal decision for or against Christ, yet they are born with a sin nature (Psalm 58:3, Romans 3:10). However, these people are still innocent in God’s eyes because they cannot differentiate right from wrong. The passage below shows us that there is an “age of accountability,” where children have no knowledge of good and evil:

Deuteronomy 1:35,39 – ‘Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers….’ ‘Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.’
Paul tells us in the passage below that God considers those unrighteous who understand the Law and become responsible to it, but then willingly break it anyway. Paul also points out that he “was alive once” before he knew the Law, but then he died when he understood what sin and the Law were. This is evidence that those who cannot comprehend these things are not dead in their sin until they can understand what sin is. Obviously children under the age of accountability do not understand what sin is, as well as many who are mentally handicapped:

Romans 7:7-12 – What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Paul was under the Mosaic Law because he was a Jew. But Gentiles come under the natural law when they reach the age of accountability, when their conscience shows them what is right and wrong through nature:

Romans 2:12-16 – For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
So we see that only people under the age of accountability have no law, either Mosaic or natural. Paul tells us that sin is not imputed or made accountable when there is no law:

Romans 5:13 – For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
We also see that God considered Adam and Eve innocent until they ate of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 3). The tree served the same purpose as the Law, in that when God’s commandment was deliberately broken, innocence was gone and they understood the difference between good and evil. At the point Adam and Eve lost their innocence, they became dead in their sin.

Jesus said we have to become like children to enter the Kingdom. By this He meant that we should have faith like a child. Jesus also told us not to forbid the children from coming to Him, meaning we shouldn’t do anything that would prevent them from accepting Him by the time they reach the age of accountability. So why then would Jesus forbid any child below the age of accountability from entering into Heaven, when He says that children are of the Kingdom of Heaven:

Matthew 18:1-5 – At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”
Matthew 19:13-15 – Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.
It seems pretty straightforward that children are not held accountable for their sin, and they will go to Heaven if they die before reaching that age of accountability. David believed without a doubt that he would join his dead child in Heaven some day:

2 Samuel 12:19-23 – When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
We are also told in the story of Jeroboam that God took his son because God found something good in him. I believe that means that if Jeroboam’s son had lived out his life on Earth, his evil father’s influence would have led to his rejection of God, so God took the child before he reached the age of accountability:

1 Kings 14:13 – And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he is the only one of Jeroboam who shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something good toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.
Does this mean that all children and the mentally handicapped will go to Heaven in the rapture? Children were not spared in the flood or other judgments of God in the Old Testament, so why would they be taken in the rapture? Because Scripture shows that being kept from the God’s wrath in the “dispensation of grace” is a salvation issue:

1 Thessalonians 5:9 – God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since we have determined that God considers children under the age of accountability innocent, then being in the “dispensation of grace,” all these children would be kept from the God’s wrath, along with the Church.

There is support for children being taken with the Church in Joel. The book of Joel is a summary of the “Day of the Lord,” which is widely believed to begin with the rapture of the Church followed by the Tribulation. We see a parallel passage below to the throne room in Heaven in Revelation 4-5. There is an assembly of elders, priests, and the Bride in the throne room. The Church is the Bride of Christ, also represented by the elders who are also priests. Interestingly, both children and babies are in this assembly:

Joel 2:16-17 – Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD, and do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘ Where is their God?'”
That being said, we must recognize that there will be children born during the Tribulation period:

Matthew 24:15-19 – “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
It is interesting that Jesus specifically mentions nursing babies in Matthew, but not children, yet both are found in Joel. The average weaning age in the world is three years old and even older in some third world countries. I believe it is safe to assume that the entire world will be in worse shape than even third world countries are today.

Assuming the rapture happens within a year or so of the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation, most children at the time of the “abomination of desolation” would be younger than age three to four, no older than the average weaning age. Though this doesn’t prove that all children go to Heaven at the rapture, it certainly supports it.

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I HAVE GOT HEAVEN ON MY MIND

I LOOK AT THE SUNSET,

AND SEE THE CRIMSON CLOUDS,

MY THOUGHTS SEEM TO UNWIND,

YES, I’VE HEAVEN ON MY MIND.

O, SO MANY LOVED ONES ARE THERE,

WITH THEIR LOVING SAVIOR,

SO GOOD AND SO KIND,

YES, I’VE GOT HEAVEN ON MY MIND.

O, A PLACE WITHOUT SIN,

NO SORROW, NO HEARTACHES OR PAIN,

JUST ALL GOOD THINGS TO FIND,

YES, I’VE GOT HEAVEN ON MY MIND.

I LOOK AT THE MOON,

AND THE UNCOUNTABLE TWINKLING STARS,

LIKE A MILLION DIAMONDS SO HIGH,

O, THEY LOOK SO FINE,

YES, I’VE GOT HEAVEN ON MY MIND.

GOD SITS ON HIS THRONE,

WITH JESUS BY HIS SIDE,

THERE A MILLION ANGELS ABIDE,

O, THIS SOUNDS SO FINE,

YES, I’VE GOT HEAVEN ON MY MIND.

I LONG TO GO THERE,

TO LOOK INTO JESUS FACE,

AND THANK HIM SO MUCH,

FOR HIS AMAZING GRACE,

AND JOIN ALL MY LOVED ONES,

NO PAIN THERE,

SO I WILL FEEL FINE,

YES, I HAVE GOT HEAVEN ON MY MIND.

~WINSTON STAPLES

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GOD’S GRACE!

My Observations [ about grace from the Bible ]
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God’ grace is: Great———————— Acts 4:33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all
Sovereign——————– Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rich————————- Ephesians 1:7; 2:7 Eph.1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Manifold——————— 1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
All sufficient—————– 2 Cor.12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [ what a wonderful verse ].
All abundant—————– Romans 5:15-20
Glorious——————— Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. [ by this grace we are saved ]
Acts 20:24,32 ——Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. [The gospel declares God’s grace.]

The following verses tell us God’s grace is a source of:
Galatians 1:15,16——–15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: [ call of God ]

Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7 J That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life .justified freely by God’s grace [ no cost, no work on our part for salvation ]

Acts 18:27—————- And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: [Our believe or faith is by God’s grace]

Eph. 1:7 —————— In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; [ Our forgiveness is by the richness of His grace]

Oh, what amazing grace and how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!

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Grace Lesson 2

_____________________________________________________________________________
GRACE LESSON 2

[ I used the color green to indicate life in Christ by His Grace ]

Salvation
Acts 15:11 ; Ephesians 2:5 Ephesians 2:8 [ Acts 15:11 King James Version (KJV)
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.] Ephesians 2:8 King James Version (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Consolation by the GRACE OF GOD
2 Thessalonians 2:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

Hope
2 Thessalonians 2:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace

Grace is necessary to do work for God’s purposes.
2 Thess.2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
2 Thessalonians 1:11 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 King James Version (KJV)
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The success and completion of the work of God to be attributed to GRACE.
Zechariah 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shouting’s, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

Inheritance of the promises by GRACE.
Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

 

Grace is not blind. It sees the hurt full well. But chooses to see God’s forgiveness even more.

~Max Lucado

Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ.

~Oswald Chambers

[prepared by Winston Staples]

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AFFLICTION OF SAINTS [2]

AFFLICTION OF SAINTS [2]

No matter what our affliction my be the following Scripture verse say we as Saints should:

James 5:10—We should imitate the Prophets!

Luke 21:19; Romans 12:12; 2 Thess.1:4; James 1:4; 1 Peter 2:20– We should be Patient and wait upon the Lord!

Job 5:6,7; Proverbs 3:11,12; Hebrews 12:5,6— We should not despise the correction of God! Behind His correction is His eternal love!
We should avoid sin, even the appearance if sin!—– John 5:14; 1 Peter 2:12.

1 Peter 2:12
King James Version (KJV)

12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

We should trust in God’s goodness! Job 13:15; Psalms 71:1-3; 2 Cor.1:9.

2 Corinthians 1:9
King James Version (KJV)

9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

We as Saints should be in pray mode always and pray often! Psalms 50: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

[ prepared by Winston Staples ]

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AFFLICTION OF SAINTS!

As followers of Christ there is great affliction! What does the Bible say about affliction of the Saints? In the next little while we are going to see just what the Bible says as I share some Bible Verses with you.

Psalms 46:5,7; Isaiah 43:2,3– God is with us in our affliction!

Psalms 27:5,6; Isaiah 25:4; Nahum 1:7– God is our refuge and strength in our trouble!

Nahum 1:7
King James Version (KJV)

7The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Psalms 34:19,20–God preserves us in our afflictions!

“Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober; not to make us sorry but wise.”
Henry Ward Beecher
I Have lived with chronic pain since 1964 and have been able to endure by the comfort I found in reading these verses I will share: Psalms 34:4,19; Proverbs 12:13; Jeremiah 39:17-18.

Psalm 34:4
King James Version (KJV)

4I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

God will deliver or take us through our storms!

John 14:18.

18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Christ God’s only Son and our Savior is with us!

2 Timothy 4:17; Hebrews 2:18.

2 Timothy 4:17—17Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. Jesus supports us and carries us through our troubles! Hand in hand with Jesus,
He will safely lead,
soothing every heartache,
meeting every need. A few lines taken from a poem I wrote a few years ago!
[ prepared by Winston Staples ]

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Peace [Spiritual ]

God is the God of spiritual peace. Romans 15:32,33; 2Cor.13:11; 1Thess.5:23; Heb.13:20,21.     Romans15:32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. [ also read Heb.13:20,21. ]

*God ordains spiritual peace.

Isaiah 26:12 Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

*God speaks words of spiritual peace to His Saints.

Ps.85:8 I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

* Christ is the Lord of spiritual peace and the giver of spiritual peace.
Lord bid war’s trumpet cease;

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

Fold the whole world in peace. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes [ only God can accomplish this! ]

Christ guides us in the way of spiritual peace.  Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

*Christ is our spiritual peace. He is the Prince of Peace! Eph.2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

* Spiritual peace is a result of Christ’s finished work at Calvary. Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

*John 14:27———– ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” [ Eternal peace ]

 

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WATCH OUT FOR THE DEVIL!

WATCH OUT
Watch out for the devil,
the father of lies,
he will sneak up and kick you,
and make your soul cry.
Watch out for the devil,
he will fill you with doubt,
he will use all his power,
to keep God’s light out.
Watch out for the devil,
that deceiver, that fraud,
he will do all he can,
to keep you from God.
Watch out for the devil,
he is lurking, around the bend,
doing all his dirty work,
to his very end.
Cheer up my friends,
there is an answer,
for the devil’s snares;
His name is Jesus,
He loves you and cares.
He shed His blood on Calvary’s tree,
and arose the third day,
so we could be free.
So trust in Jesus, my Redeemer,
and my friend; He will keep you safe,
on Him you can depend.

~ Winston Staples

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CREATED BEAUTY!

SKY WATCHING

th

As I watch the trees blow,

blow back and forth,

driven by the wind,

coming out of the North.

The snow is beginning to fall,

over the lonely hills,

the lonely hill, where I have,

trod many steps before,

which have made memories,

to keep my mind filled.

The clouds are flying bye,

as millions of snow flakes fall,

fall from the sky.

The weather man is calling,

for another foot of snow,

as my heart yearns,

yearns for the daffodils to grow.

Hasten spring flowers,

and beautiful butterflies,

and bring springing joy,

into this heart that cries.

~Winston Staples
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ATTITUDE QUOTES!

book-old-books-open-school_3205826

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill

Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts. It’s what you do with what you have left. ~Hubert Humphrey

Scorn not thy narrow task. For He who made
The brilliant stars and moon to gild the night,
Placed the small glow-worm in earth’s woodland shade,
And bade her too shed forth her tiny light.
~Fanny Charlotte Wyndham Montgomery (1820–1893), “When with a tired soul,” 1846

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