WHEN HE CALLS YOUR NAME
When I was growing up, I could tell you without looking, who was walking from one room to the other simply by the way my family members walked. All the times I have been on a team, in a job or part of a church family for an extended period of time - I knew them.
Because I shared so much time in my relationships, I could distinguish voices out from the opponents on the court as I played against another team. Because I saw them everyday at work, I knew the cadence of my coworkers from afar in the parking lot. Because I sang, worshiped, traveled and learned with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I knew their voice, cadence, heart and presence when they were around me - seen or not.
Has your name ever been called from where you cannot see the caller for the moment, but just by the voice you recognize the person? That is familiarity. That is relationship. That is recognition of a bond that is close enough to have developed to that level.
John speaks about Christ's voice when Jesus picturing Himself as The Great Shepherd and us as His sheep says, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me." (John 10:27) For the Christian today, God's Word and His Holy Spirit within the believer are how Christ mainly speaks to us. Jesus stated - "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26)
However, I believe there will come a time when ALL believers in Christ will hear His audible voice. In the first three chapters of Revelation, Christ directs His discipline and instructions toward the church because we see the phrase - "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches." - at the end of each church encounter or dispensation or age.
The revelation is that we do not see the church dealt with like this again in this book. In fact, the next time we see anything resembling the church, they are joined with the multitudes of all believers in Heaven awaiting Christ's Second Coming to set up His Millennial Reign on earth.
So, sometime between Christ dealing with the churches and the church in Heaven coming back WITH Him on white horses (Revelation 19:11-16) - there must be a transporting, a transformation, a glorification, a snatching away - A Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The two events are not the same. There are two "Comings" by the same person - Christ Jesus.
The first one is Christ coming FOR His Bride, The Church or true believers. Jesus appears in the heavens or mid-air and never touches the ground. Christ delivers the church from a seven-year judgmental time on earth called The Tribulation Period. This coming is filled with love and compassion.
The Second Coming of Christ refers to when, as a warrior, Jesus comes WITH all His believers in Heaven and actually places His feet on the Mount of Olives (Revelation 19; Zechariah 14:4; Acts 1:10-11). Wrath and vengeance are on His agenda as He returns. This begins His earthly one thousand year reign of earth from Jerusalem with all knowing Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Therefore, I believe this Rapture of the Church is symbolized by Christ's calling to John in the beginning of the fourth chapter of Revelation - "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here,..." (Revelation 4:1).
In my experience, if you Know Jesus, you Know eternal goodness and grace. On the other hand, No Jesus, No eternal goodness and grace. The question with eternal significance in view of all this information is - do you have a relationship with Christ to begin with? You have to have a relationship with Jesus before you can know His voice. Then when you have that relationship you will need to be in His Word and be sensitive to the leading of His Spirit, especially to distinguish from false teachings. Christ will want you to develop your physical and spiritual ears so you can hear - When He Calls Your Name.
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