THE “RAPTURE” OF THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST BORN

Trumpets being blown 1The “Rapture” of the Church of the First Born: Why Most Christians Won’t Be “Caught Up” With The Church Of The First Born & How to Make Sure You Are

Introduction: Why Most Christians Won’t Be “Caught Up” (& How to Make Sure Are)

A few years ago a lady of the church asked me if I would teach something “positive” for a change instead of just “repentance.” She said, “Repentance is so negative.” I responded by saying, “I thought repentance was positive because it prepares us for the Kingdom and brings us closer to God.


Isn’t Repentance Positive?

“Say nothing but repentance unto this generation: keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.”

Doctrine and Covenants Sec 6:4b

NOTE: For the purpose of this article, the term “rapture” will be used. The word “rapture” does not appear in any of our Scriptures. However, the term generally means to be lifted up to meet the Lord in the air.

“For it shall be with them as it was in the days which were before the flood; for until the day that Noah entered into the ark, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away: so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that,

In the last days, two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left. Two shall be grinding at the mill; the one taken and the other left. And what I say unto one, I say unto all men;

Watch, therefore, for ye know not at what our your Lord doth come.

But know this, if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to have been broken up; but would have been ready.

Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Matthew 24:45-51

“Whosoever shall seek to save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life, shall preserve it.

I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

Two shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken and the other left.

Two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left.

And they answered and said unto him, ‘Where, Lord, shall they be taken?’

And he said unto them, ‘ Wheresoever the body is gathered; or in other words, withersoever the saints are gathered, thither will the eagles be gathered together.’

This he spake, signifying the gathering of his saints; and of angels descending and gathering the remainder unto them; the one from the bed, the other from the grinding, and the other from the field, whithersoever he listeth.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Luke 17:33-38

“Let my disciples therefore take heed to themselves, lest at any time their hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come upon them unawares.

For as a snare it shall come on all them who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

And what I say unto one, I say unto all,

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, and keep my commandments, that ye may be counted worthy to escape all these things which shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man when he shall come clothed in the glory of his Father.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Luke 21:34-36

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

Then they who are alive, shall be caught up together into the clouds with them who remain, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we be ever with the Lord.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

But every man in his own order; Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Afterward cometh the end,when he shall have delivered up the kingdom of God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:22-25

“Wherefore the rather, brethern, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall; For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, 2 Peter 1:10-11

“Be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.”

Doctrine and Covenants, Sec 26:3g

“…last of all, these all are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud; these are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie; these are they who suffer the wrath of God on the earth;

Doctrine and Covenants, Sec 76:7n-p

Amongst most Christians, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and being “caught up” to meet Him is the most important event in Bible prophecy. Much discussion centers around when the rapture will take place and who will be raptured.

This article will center on WHO will be raptured and HOW do they qualify for it?

Most of us are baptized members of the Church, think that question is already settled. We think by simply believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior and being baptized for the remission of our sins we are somehow automatically qualified and are “rapture-ready.” In other words, the predominant view is all baptized believers will make it. But is this concept really grounded in Scripture?

My study tells me MOST baptized believers will NOT be in the rapture. Why?

“Verily I say unto you, it is not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, that shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.

For the day soon cometh, that men shall come before me to judgment, to be judged according to their works.

And many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name; and in they name cast out devils; and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I say, Ye never knew me; depart from me ye that work iniquity.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Matthew 7:30-33

DEFINITION:

Iniquity: living a “life style” of sin that is passed on to the next generation

Many confess they are “believers” calling upon the Lord, even doing many wonderful works in His name, and yet they have some failing Jesus calls “iniquity” that makes them unacceptable to inherit the Kingdom of God or be lifted up to meet Christ in the clouds. Why?

If this is so, will they be raptured with the Church of the First Born?

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold not hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.

So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.

Because thou sayest, I am rich , and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked;

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Revelation 3:15-22


The Wedding Garment is clearly a key requirement for qualifying for the rapture. But what does it represent?

Just to say you believe and even to accept the fact you have been invited to the “wedding” still does not qualify you for the rapture.

Even Satan and “devils” believe

“What profit is it, my brethern, for a man to say he hath faith, and hath not works? Can faith save him?

Yea, a man may say, I will show thee I have faith without works; but I say, show me thy faith without works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

For if a brother or sister be naked and destitute, and one of you say, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, notwithstanding he give not those things which are needful to the body; what profit is your faith unto such?

Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, being alone. Therefore wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead and cannot save you? Thou believest there is one God; thou doest well; the devil also believe, and tremble; thou has made thyself like unto them, not being justified.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures,  James 2:14-19

To believe in Jesus is not simply to accept as fact the truth of his existence or role as Lord and Savior. It is not purely a mental exercise or somehow accepting as truth and then saying, “I believe in the Spirit of the Law” without obeying the “letter of the law.”

If this is your definition of “believing, then even Satan and the demons can claim to be believers in God and Jesus and be saved.

“Yea, and there shall be many which shall say, Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die: and it shall be well with us.

And there shall also be many which shall say, Eat, drink and be merry. nevertheless, fear God, he will justify in committing a little sin: yea, lie a little, take advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this.

And do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. 

Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false, and vain, and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark; and the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.

Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted.

Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted; and their churches are lifted up; because of pride, they are puffed up.

They rob the poor, because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor, because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek, and the poor in heart; because in their pride, they are puffed up.

They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray, save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ;

Nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err, because they are taught by the precepts of men.”

Book of Momon 1908, 2 Nephi 12:9-17


There are fundamentally two kinds of believing Christians:

Those whose belief in Jesus does not result in any essentially different life style or actions that differentiate them from the rest of the world around them.

Those who believe in Jesus and focus their life on doing the things that the Lord commanded of them; they show love toward God, family, neighbors and friends and even toward their enemies. Their daily life shines the light of Jesus Christ onto the world around them. They are valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ.


Fruits That Show You Really “Believe” In Jesus

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Galatians 5:18

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Galatians 5:22-25

“But behold, Jesus Christ hath shewn you unto me, and I know your doing; and I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts. And there are none, save a few only, who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquity; 

And your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?

Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?

Why do you not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness, than that misery which never dies, because of the praise of the world?

Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick, and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?

Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord; and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?

Behold the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer. And now, I speak also concerning those who do not believe in Christ.”

Book of Mormon 1908, Mormon 4:47-57

Notice that Moroni has seen US, in our day, and is speaking to the believers, members of the church. Then he says, “And now, I speak also concerning those who do not believe in Christ.”

We, the Latter Day Saints, have unquestionably too much bad fruit in common with the Pharisees. My experience tells me the Saints get very angry if they are compared to the Pharisees. They think the main flaw of the Pharisees is being “legalistic.” This was NOT the main flaw; the main flaw was that they were ministers of the law and judges of the law but NOT KEEPERS OF THE LAW.

“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, 

The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Matthew 23:1-2

“Even so, ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Matthew 23:25

Do we have any of these kinds of ministers and/or believers in our Church today?

“Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, being alone.

Therefore wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead and cannot save you?”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, James 2:17-18

“And then will I say, Ye never knew me; depart from me ye that work iniquity.

Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock, and the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rains descended, and the floods came, and teh winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Matthew 7:33-35

In case you are troubled because you do not have all the qualities or characteristics listed above or manifest them easily or perfectly in your daily life, don’t be. Just start practicing them, in your daily life and they will begin to come to you naturally.

“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Romans 12:22

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall lose its savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted?

The salt shall thenceforth be good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden the under foot of men. 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of the world; a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 

Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house. 

Therefore, let your light so shine before this world, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Matthew 5:15-19


THIS IS NOT ABOUT DOING WORKS OR BEING “GOOD ENOUGH” TO BE SAVED

It is about having a belief system that leads to action.

When we practice loving others, we get better at it over time.

“But grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, 2 Peter 3:18


Doing your Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth Now Rather than Later!

If this is the first time it has ever been presented to you that you might not qualify for the rapture, then this article has presented you with some shocking news.

The classical first stage of response to traumatic information like this is denial.

Who are you to judge me?

Since this new information infers that you may not make the rapture if you don’t make some changes NOW; it is natural to get angry and to deny it. “God loves me and wants me to be in His kingdom.”

Your second response might be to simply ignore all of this. This is what most of the Church is doing today; ignoring the commandments – practicing the “Cafeteria Church.”

To find out you have been deceived, mostly by the Priesthood, all these years on what Jesus really requires of us to prepare for the “rapture” would make anyone upset or even angry. Or it might make some to have extreme sadness and/or depression.

This extreme sadness and/or depression might be your weeping and gnashing of teeth. If this is true, then at least you are getting your weeping and gnashing of teeth over with early before the rapture takes place. You now have time to get over the fact you were deceived and change what you are doing so that you will be prepared for this glorious event.


CONCLUSION

To be included in the rapture is not easy or as simple as just knowing and believing in Jesus Christ.

Jesus taught that we need to make major changes of attitude, character, and habits with the love of God and our fellow man which leads them to Immortality and Eternal Life.

Jesus was not dismissive with his words when He said that the path is narrow.

“Repent, therefore, and enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in therat. 

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Matthew 7:22-23

“But behold, for none of these can I hope, except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the straight path, which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.”

Book of Mormon 1908, 2 Nephi 15:10

Saints, you must be encouraged because beyond any doubt the hard work and sacrifices it takes to be prepared for the rapture is well worth it. Apostle Paul said it well:

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be named with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Inspired Version of the Scriptures, Romans 8:18

Nephi said it this way:

“Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the holy Messiah: for he is full of grace and truth.

Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the holy Messiah, 

Who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit,

That he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. Wherefore, he is the first fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; 

And they that believe in him, shall be saved.”

Book of Mormon 1908, 2 Nephi 1:71-77

Repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel and is essential to our temporal and eternal happiness. It is much more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God, about ourselves, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments.

“Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which have been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.

The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost, but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.

And now my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets. And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.

Book of Mormon 1908, Alma 19:57-59

“And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying,

The heavens, they are many and they can not be numbered unto men, but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine;

and as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof , even so shall another come;

and there is no end to my works, neither to my words; for this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man.”

Doctrine and Covenants, Sec 22:23a-b

Author Seventy James Noland

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