Qualifications for the Rapture

If you are a Christian and are aware of the very spiritual event termed ‘The Rapture,’ you are no doubt anticipating that you – together with members of your family and other Christian friends will be removed from this world and into the eternal presence of your Creator and Savior Jesus Christ when it happens.

The purpose of this study is to reveal certain Biblical truths associated with this event in an attempt to clarify some of the many misconceptions that Christians have about it today, especially about the need to qualify for it.

Why the need for Qualifications?

When any person comes to the realization that there is a God of Creation and that He also has a Son named Jesus Christ, then these truths will eventually lead the individual to understand that the Kingdom of God exists also. The Bible says it is a spiritual kingdom that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but it exists nevertheless (2 Cor 4:18) and is eternal (Dan 2:44; Matt 6:13; Luke 1:32-33).

God the Father has set His basic requirement of anyone intending to spend eternity with Him of being born again (at the new birth) who will not only be able to “see” His kingdom in this life, but to eventually “enter in” to (John 3:8) in the next life. He uses His Son Jesus Christ as the measure in which to gage whether we have put off our “old man nature” (Rom 6:6) and have “put on" the ‘new man’ (Eph 4:23-24) to eventually become spiritually 'fruitful' unto Him (John 15:1-2), then this will form the pre-requisite qualifications for participating in the Rapture (1 John 2:28).

What are God’s Rapture Qualifications

Entry into God’s kingdom is not by any words we might say or any good works we hope might impress God. God’s sole standard in everything related to His kingdom is Jesus Christ. God views our progress in this when people accept Jesus as Savior (Rom 10:9-10) and then go on to demonstrate their obedience to Him as Lord of their lives (John 14:15; John 12:25).

Once a Christian has entered into God’s kingdom, He expects the Christian (symbolized as a branch now grafted into Jesus - John 15:1-9) to produce spiritual fruit for Him:

(John 15:1-2) "I [Jesus] am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. {2} Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth [or prunes] it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

The point here is that if Christians produce MORE spiritual fruit in their lives for God the Father, He prunes them back (as any gardener would to a branch) so that they can produce even MORE fruit for Him. If we each continue to produce more and more of this spiritual fruit unto God the Father, this portrays His Son Jesus Christ as being a very fruitful tree with His branches symbolizing the fruitful Christians that have been grafted in.

To choose one person in scripture who epitomizes a fruitful branch grafted into Jesus, it would have to be the Apostle Paul. The process of his fruitfulness first commenced with His new birth experience taking place on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9) – where he was blinded for three days and after a disciple of Jesus prayed for him (Acts 9:10-19), scales fell from his eyes and he was born again.

In a similar manner as it was with Paul, God requires ALL Christians to bring forth MUCH spiritual fruit into His kingdom. Most of us are not called to do the same works as Paul did, because that would be following a ‘man’ and not Jesus Christ – the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2), however Jesus said that everyone who comes to Him in faith is required to:

  • Take up their cross and follow Him (Matt 16:24)
  •  Suffer persecution for the sake of the Gospel (1 Thes 2:2)
  •  Be prepared to regard Jesus more precious than one’s own family members on Earth in exchange for the Family in Heaven (Luke 14:26 Mark 3:35)
  • To be lead in the paths of righteousness by Jesus for His name’s sake (Psa 23:3).

There are many other aspects of the Christian life too numerous here – but are contained in my eBook titled, The Christian’s practical guide to Walking in the Spirit.’

Examples of Biblically Qualified People to enter Heaven

There are many people mentioned throughout both the Old and New Testaments whom God has seen as being ‘righteous’ and who demonstrated other Godly qualities during their lifetime on the Earth.

The following notes will highlight what God has revealed in their lives as indicators to modern day Christians as to how we ought to behave ourselves if we ever expect to see Jesus Christ at the Judgment of the Righteous and not at the Great White Throne Judgment (Heb 2:3; Rev 20:11-12).

The following people recorded in scripture are those whom God approved of. The specific qualities that God found in these people are highlighted here as examples for us to consider regarding our own walk of faith:

(Heb 11:39-40) "And these all [Old Testament saints], having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise [of eternal life]: {40} God having provided some better thing for us [New Testament saints], that they without us should not be made perfect [as we are expected to be – Matt 5:48].”

1. ENOCH. Enoch was a man whom the Bibles says, “walked with God” (Gen 5:22). How he did this is not stated, but scripture also says that he had this testimony that “he pleased God” (Heb 11:5).

How many of us today can have this same testimony?

2. NOAH. The Bible states that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). It also says that Noah “found grace in the Lord’s eyes” (Gen 6:8). Can you say you know what righteousness is and preach it to the unrighteous as Noah did?

3. ELIJAH. The prophet Elijah was a unique man in many ways. He (like John the Baptist) lived alone in the wilderness and wore little clothing except for a piece of leather wrapped around his loins (2 Kings 1:8). Scripture records 16 distinct miracles that God performed through Elijah, however the unique feature of his ministry was of the demonstrating the Spirit and Power of Elijah that predominantly aimed:

“…to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).

Others who had this same Spirit of Elijah were Elisha (2 Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 2:15) and John the Baptist. Scripture records that Elijah will return again to the Earth during the Tribulation to once again “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just” to the Jewish nation of Israel (Mal 4:5-6).

How many Christians can you say endeavor to not only “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just” as happened in the days of Elijah, Elisha and John the Baptist?

4. ABRAHAM. The Bible says that Abraham was not only “a friend of God” (James 2:23-24) because he “believed God” (Rom 4:3), but it was because of his faithfulness that God imputed righteousness unto him (Gal 3:9). He is also the spiritual father of all Christians who exercise the same degree of faith as he once did (Rom 4:16).

How many Christians can say that God the Father (or Jesus) regards them as a personal friend, who has been taught by each of them (John 6:44 and John 15:15) and are therefore considered God's friend (John 15:14)?

5. LOT. Lot was the younger brother of Abraham who lived in the “Sin Cities” of Sodom and Gomorrah, which are typical of most major cities of the world today. It could be said that he prayed about the city’s sins to the Lord and the Lord came down from heaven to see if the reports were true – before He brought forth His judgment (Gen 18:21).

Are you praying to the Lord about the evil and the corruption that is evident in your city to the Lord – pleading for His mercy, grace and love to be extended towards the people as the righteous Abraham once did (Gen 18:23-24)?

(Matt 24:37) "But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

(Luke 17:28-30) "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot…Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

6. KING DAVID. David is described by God as “…a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22; 1 Sam 13:14). Although hDavid committed several significant sins during his lifetime, he knew how to confess and repent from them and to bring honor to God.

Can you say that your heart attitude towards God and to others reflect God's righteousness, His holiness, His justness, mercy and grace perfected before all of His creation to the same degree as His is (Matt 5:48)?

7. THE APOSTLE PETER. Jesus referred to Peter as “…the rock upon which I will build my church” (Matt 16:18).

Can you say your faith is ‘rock solid enough’ that God would establish a ministry upon you as being ‘another rock’ that will bring Him the glory and honor that He deserves?

8. THE APOSTLE JOHN. Peter referred to John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 21:20). Does your love for Jesus and your obedience towards obeying His commandments (John 14:15) mean more to you than anything else – insomuch that others make mention of it as Peter did about John (John 20:2; John 21:7).

9. MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS. When the archangel Gabriel came to Mary and spoke to her, he said, “…Hail, thou that art highly favoured [of God]” (Luke 1:28).

Can you say that your lifestyle, your level of faith, and the works of faith you do for God would make you “highly favoured” with Him?

Comments

The purpose of the unique comments God has recorded in scripture about His people mentioned here is to highlight the unique Godly qualities they each reflected towards others and to God during their lifetimes. Noah’s unique qualities earned him a place on the ark to take him from the old world into the new world. Similarly, if we demonstrate these same qualities in our own life, we should realistically expect to be taken out of this present evil world and into God’s presence when the Rapture occurs. If we cannot do that, then possibly we should ask ourselves as to how we might answer the following questions:

  • How much time do you spend watching television or the movies compared to praying for your nations, church, friends and family?
  • How much money do you spend on food drinks and entertainment compared to that of helping those less fortunate than yourself – while using such opportunities of generosity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others?
  • Do you glorify God in both your body and in your spirit which are God’s? (1 Cor 6:20)

The following summary of the above points may help you try to demonstrate some of the spiritual qualities to God before the Rapture occurs:

  1. Enoch “walked with God” (Gen 5:22) and it “pleased God” (Heb 11:5).  
  2. Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).
  3. Elijah had a ministry known as the Spirit and Power of Elijah that predominantly aimed “…to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and to disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).
  4. Abraham is regarded as “a friend of God” (James 2:23-24).
  5. Lot. The Lord had responded to "cries" from these cities and came down to investigate (Gen 18:20-21).
  6. King David is described by God as “…a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22; 1 Sam 13:14).
  7. The Apostle Peter. Jesus referred to Peter as “…the rock upon which I will build my church” (Matt 16:18).
  8. The Apostle John. Peter referred to John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 21:20).
  9. Mary the Mother of Jesus. The archangel Gabriel said to Mary, “…thou that art highly favoured [of God]” (Luke 1:28).

 

Knowing that God has requirements (or "qualifications") that are needed for individual Christians to enter into Heaven at their death (Heb 2:3), the above list of people has been provided so that the reader can undertake some personal self-examination to see if he or she is "in the faith."

(Acts 14:21-22)  "And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, {22} Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them TO CONINUE IN THE FAITH, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."

Please click on the remaining item in this series of articles.

1. Harlot versus Virgin Christians
2. Wise Versus Foolish Christians
3. The First Resurrection
4. Qualifications for the Rapture
5. False Prophecy of the 21st May 2011 Rapture