Weekly Devotional 11-8-21
Will Children be Caught up in the Rapture?
What is the rapture of the church? The rapture is defined by Paul as being caught up to meet the Lord in the air as in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1st Corinthians 15:50-54.
1stThessalonians 4:13-18; “13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1st Corinthians 15:50-54 “50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
At a time known only to God the church will be caught up into heaven to not go through the tribulation that will come upon the world at the end of this age. Jesus for instance promised the church that He would keep it from that time, a clear reference to the rapture. (see Revelation 3:7-13) We read from verse 10 “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” By the church it is meant, the true church. Only those who have truly trusted in Jesus for their salvation will qualify for that catching up. Such a determination raises these two questions; How about those who have never heard of Jesus? How about those who are mentally incapacitated or immature, which would include children, will they also be caught up?
One cannot be dogmatic in answering such a question, but there are passages that seem to imply that yes, they will be caught up with those who are able to commit to Jesus for their salvation. One such passage is John 1:10-13. In that passage the apostle John by inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote concerning Jesus: “10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” The qualification of becoming a child of God, wrote John, is not by heredity, nor by self-will, nor by the will of another, but by the will of God. In this passage God places the path of one becoming a child of God, upon Himself, by His determinative will.
Another consideration is the nature and character of God, Scripture declares that our God is a God of love and is a just God. We read of God’s loving nature in 1st John 4:7-21. In this passage John informs us that God does not merely love but is the personification of love. Paul in 1st Corinthians 13:4-8a speaks of the love that Christians should have for others as it is the love that God administers in and through them; “4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.” This love focuses on the benefit of the recipient, and it defines God.
As to God being a just (Righteous) God we read from Unger’s Bible Dictionary “The justice of God is both an essential and a relative attribute of the divine existence. It is a necessary outflow from the holiness of God, one of the essential attributes of the divine nature. It is, on the one hand, entire freedom from moral evil and, on the other, absolute moral perfection. The Scriptures lay great stress upon this attribute of God (Ex. 15:11; 1 Sam. 2:2; Pss. 71:22; 99:9; 111:9; Isa. 6:3; Hab. 1:12; Rev. 15:4; etc.). By the holiness of God, it is not implied that He is subject to some law or standard of moral excellence external to Himself, but that all moral law and perfection have their eternal and unchangeable basis in His own nature. He is the One in whom these eternal sanctities reside, who is Himself the root and ground of them all. In this sense it is said without qualification, “There is none holy like the Lord” (1 Sam. 2:2); “Thou alone art holy” (Rev. 15:4). End of Transcription.
God is also merciful. In His perfection He grants mercy to those of His own choosing. We find this demonstrated to those of Romans 9:14-16. We read; “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” In this passage Paul is writing to those of the Roman church qualifying that God was just in adding Gentiles to the church.
Throughout Scripture man is held responsible for his choice of believing God, or not. God has revealed Himself in and by His word, spoken or written (2nd Timothy 3:16); by creation as it testifies of His being (Romans 1:18-20); or by the inward divine light that he or she is born with (John 1:4). The mentally impaired and children however are not capable of making such a choice. In that God is a God of love, mercy, and grace the Bible strongly hints that such persons are covered by the blood of Jesus. Before creation God determined that man’s path to salvation was by the shed blood of His only begotten son, Jesus, and He covers whom He will with it. We believe this includes all those who are not capable of choosing i.e., children and the mentally impaired. We believe their names were written in the book of life of the Lamb before that creation (Revelation 13:8).
Thank you, Lord, that our children will not be left behind when You come for the church.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man