Why do we apologize
Why do we apologize for our "hope"?
Romans 8:19-24; Colossians 3:4; Psalm 122:6-9; Revelation 22:17; Titus 2:13;
2 Timothy 4:8; Philippians 3:20-21; Galatians 5:5
Something I've noticed for years has really been bothering me lately. For a very long time I just took it for granted and let it roll off me, but not lately for some reason. What I've noticed is that Christians often seem to be apologizing for some aspects of our faith. One is that we apologize for wanting our new bodies, wanting the rapture to take place so that we can have our new bodies, to be more specific. Or we'll apologize for wanting the rapture to take place because we can't take the evil here anymore, or any number of other things. But when you get right down to the very bottom of it, what we're really apologizing for is our belief in the rapture, it's imminency and our desire for it to happen soon. Generally our apologies are couched in terms of "I know others still need to be saved" or things like that.
Well as I was reading the Bible today, I realized that this desire for the rapture to occur "soon" has been with Christians since the very beginning! Even the apostles and disciples longed for the rapture! And you know what? Not one of them apologized for it or made excuses for it!
What I was reading today gave me pause because it made me realize that we're not the only ones that want it to happen! The earth, all of creation, is actually waiting and longing for the Rapture and Christ's Second coming! Check it out:
Romans 8:19-24 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
Just to be sure I wasn't reading into this something I wanted to think, I checked some of the commentaries. The hope in which we were saved is the hope of our new bodies, or resurrection bodies, and the sons of God, (us) will be revealed, when we are given our new bodies at the Rapture!
Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
I think that's kind of neat that all of creation is also waiting for the rapture and for the Second Coming when everything will be put right!
Now another reason why we shouldn't need to apologize for our hope:
God tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem right?
Psalm 122:6-9 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.
Well, we know that this cannot happen until Jesus comes again! Only then will there be peace for Jerusalem, as well as everywhere else of course! I used to wonder why God would tell us to pray for this when it was so obviously impossible according to His own Word. At first I thought it meant to pray for political things to settle down and for at least what peace that can be had before then to happen. But that's not it at all! He's telling us to pray for Him to return and fix things!
Finally the very fact that we want Jesus to come is a fulfillment of prophecy!
Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
We are the Bride!!!!
Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
God's Word describes our longing for Him to return as our "blessed hope"! I really don't think the Lord would use those words if He didn't want us to long for His return!
On top of that, the Lord says that He will REWARD those who have been especially longing for His return and have been watching for Him!
2 Timothy 4:8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
And here God's Word says:
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Again, here and in numerous other passages, way to many to list here, we are shown that it's normal and expected for us to long for the rapture and His return!
So what are we really saying/doing when we qualify our "hope"? I think most of us would say that we're trying to be considerate of others or even ourselves because we all have loved ones that aren't saved yet. But is that what is really at the root of it, or is there something deeper?
Is it that we're not really trusting God to know when the perfect time for the rapture is? Are we not wanting to trust our loved ones to His perfect plan...if that plan means that they have to stay behind to get saved? Obviously I can't answer that for anyone but me. I know that for me, I was like that for a long time.
I did not want to release my loved ones to Him. I was scared to death that they would have to go through the Tribulation! I no longer worry about that though. I gave them all, family, friends, and loved ones to Him to worry about. The reason I was able to do that was only because after some serious prayer and thought, I realized that there wasn't a thing I could do about it anyway. I couldn't "make" them get saved before the Trib or ever for that matter. You can lead a horse to water but you can't force him to drink as the saying goes.
But I also realized that God really does love those that I love, and He really does want them in His Kingdom! More importantly, He knows them far better then I do, and He CAN save them! Therefore I knew that if it was at all possible for Him to save them prior to the Trib, without tampering with their free will, that He would do so, and if not, that He would make sure that the Trib itself would be the catalyst that would save them! So thinking of it that way, the sooner the rapture happens, the better! Because that means it will be all the sooner that they will be saved! It was in reading this verse that made me realize this:
Galatians 5:5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.