But, not for Christians!
By the time most evangelical Christians reach their first spiritual birthday, they have read, or heard, the above verse describing Rapture, the departure of God’s Holy Spirit from earth taking all Believers with Him.
Unfortunately, the following two verses are usually NOT mentioned, leaving most with a misunderstanding of the verse. The fact is, the Lord is NOT coming as a “thief in the night” for Christians, just the non-Christians:
While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pangs upon a woman with child; and they will not escape. BUT YOU, BRETHREN, ARE NOT IN DARKNESS, THAT THE DAY WOULD OVERTAKE YOU LIKE A THIEF; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; [Caps added for emphasis.]—1 Thessalonians 5:3-4
Therefore, Christians should not be surprised when the Lord comes. Only the non-Christians.
I’m a new Christian and have a couple of questions on prayer. Why do we pray, “in the name of Jesus?” And how do we know if God is hearing us when we pray?
In the Old Testament, acceptable prayer could only be offered to God by the righteous. To pray to God, they had to have a right relationship with Him.
The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous. —Proverbs 15:29
He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination. —Proverbs 28:9
See also Psalm 66:18 and Jeremiah 7:16.
In the New Testament Church Age, Believers are deemed righteous through Jesus’ blood. The splitting of the curtain in the Jewish Temple when Jesus died on the cross is symbolic of the barrier being broken down and signifying direct access to God (through Jesus’ shed blood).
The new dispensation of the Church Age could begin where the Bible promises God will hear the prayers of the righteous if we ask in His name, according to His will:
Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do . . . —John 14:13
We know He hears us because the Bible says:
. . . if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. —1 John 5:14
Therefore, we pray “in the name of Jesus” because God is perfect and mankind is sinful. We cannot claim any right of our own to be able to petition the righteous God of the universe. We must pray in the name of Him who washed us and made us clean from our sin.
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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