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Your Questions Answered

Q. Does Jesus’ statement in John 6:40 mean that the Rapture will not happen until just prior to His return at Armageddon?
A. This verse reads: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40). The terms “last day” and “last days” are used frequently in the Bible to refer to different points of end-time prophecy. Therefore, one must look carefully at the context of each instance, to determine its true meaning. In this particular case, Jesus was discussing those who would obtain salvation through belief in Him. In other words, He was talking about members of the Church, which is His Body. The “last day” of the Church Age is the day when Jesus returns for us at the Rapture and Resurrection. At that time, He will take the Church home to be with Him in heaven.

Christ’s Second Advent, at the conclusion of the Tribulation, may be construed by some as being the “last day” of the Tribulation. But more importantly it is a “first day” as well, as it marks the beginning of His 1,000 year millennial reign. This is an additional reason why we believe that the statement in John 6:40 more properly refers to the Rapture and resurrection.

Q. Why should I pray, since it seems like God never answers?
A. Almost all prayers are answered by the words “better” and “later.” God normally gives us something much better than we have requested. Usually, His answers come later as well. This is the case because patience is also a virtue that He is developing in us. In the meantime, never stop praying and believing, for the Scripture says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” There are a number of good books out on the subject of prayer that may be helpful to you. Your local Christian bookstore should have most of these.

Q. Why doesn't God help me more if He really loves me?
A. First of all, be sure that God really loves you, for He has said this many times in His Word, “But God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). We are even called “beloved” in the Bible (I Jn. 3:2). Sometimes, however, excessive help is not love, but indulgence. Sending His Son to die for us is the greatest love. In His Son, if we believe in Him, He also gives us all things (Rom. 8:32).

Q. How come the Bible is so hard to understand?
A. Often, this appears to be the case because the Bible doesn't say what we think it should say. For instance, the Bible says that we are saved by grace rather than by personal goodness (Eph. 2:8,9) and this is confusing to many who think of themselves as being good.

My suggestion, first read the things in the Bible that you do understand. You may find that you will come to understand more than you can imagine. Just as a child does not understand adult matters, so we need to be spiritually mature to understand the Bible. This understanding becomes knowledge that turns out to be most exciting.

Q. What is the standard of success in the ministry?
A. Paul gave us help on this when he said about Jesus Christ, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28). For Paul then, success was not huge, impressive corporate success. It was not big things, but the production of individual competence. If a Christian leader is not producing individual capability, he is really not doing very much. Today's Christianity militates against this by inveighing against “individualism.” But really, individual spiritual competence should be the goal of all efforts for Christ.

Q. Sometimes I doubt my salvation. What shall I do?
A. The assurance of salvation comes from knowing the basis of salvation in the first place. Do not look at your life but rather remember that you are saved purely by the grace of God. Human works, before, during, or after salvation, are not what get us to heaven. We are saved, “not by works of righteousness which we have done.” The guarantee of your salvation is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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