I know that a lot of teens have been hearing the word rapture lately within the church, Christian radio, blogs, and Christian news feed along with seeing the changes happening around the world towards more evil. But what I hear the most is this, “I’m scared and I don’t want to be raptured just yet because I haven’t lived my life.”
This is a common concern and struggle among a lot of Christian teens and young adults. The biggest fear that many talk about is first the uncertainty of what will really happen and when. The second fear that teens have expressed is not seeing their passions, college, marriage and other goals accomplished before the return of Christ. In some aspects many of you think that it is not fair. How come others who are older get to enjoy their life on earth, experiencing the things they want to do and not you?
I think the question really needs to be turned around? How many of you are going to experience great things with Christ that those who don’t choose Christ won’t ever do, for eternity? We live in a very selfish world and although as Christians we are admonished to be humble as Christ was, we are still very fleshly and desiring to want our own way. Being a teen is no different. In fact, being a teenager and young adult, I can understand why you would want to do more and see more.
Here are a few scenarios of where teens are in this rapture focus. Which one stands out to you?
1. Sold out and devoted to God, looking forward to the rapture and living in a completely free experience with everything good and loving while being under the Lordship of Christ. No issues with you, just sitting around and waiting for it to happen.
2. Love God and wanting to do the right thing. Trying hard to understand what this is all about, hoping and praying that no one you love gets left behind and constantly crossing your fingers that you can finish high school, go to college, get married and have a family.
3. Scared beyond belief, you don’t know if you are going to get raptured or even make it to heaven. So you give up and hope for the best that God will forgive you after you’ve tried to fit in all the sins there are so you can say sorry once and for all before the Big Day happens.
What I can say is this. I know that many of you are scared of the rapture because for you, it is the unknown that brings the fear. And for others, the fear lays as to whether or not you are worth saving because you keep making mistakes and keep sinning even though you don’t mean to. However, we need to find out what kind of fear you are dealing with first in order to figure out how to bring resolve to that fear.
There are two kinds of fears:
1. From our Heavenly Father – that is called a righteous fear in order to bring us to repentance and make our hearts right with Him.
2. Fear from the devil – causing doubt, hopelessness, shame, low self-worth, and even thoughts and images of you going to hell.
In either case, God wants you to draw near to Him no matter what your fear is so that He can bring about healing and restore you to Him. But I can promise you this. As you look to Him, His peace will resonate throughout every part of you and take away that fear. Philippians 4:6-7 say, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Each of your lives has a purpose created by God. But the wrong kind of fear can cause you to make bad decisions from something that was meant to be good, like the rapture. If you are not sure, remember this verse – For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13). So you see, the Lord wants to help you have victory over that fear and will hold your hand through it and help you.
Let me just say in closing, God wants you to focus on your life that will bring honor to Him. He gave you desires and goals, skills and talents, and He wants you to use them for His glory. So that may mean that you have continue to study hard and get good grades in school, work hard at your job and do it well, give your time to volunteer work, and keep praying for that future spouse that you want so badly.
God doesn’t want you to give up on those desires and dreams just because of the word “rapture”. Be a light to your generation in this world. Give hope to the hopeless, share love to the loveless, and bring compassion and Christ to the brokenhearted. That is what your focus should be on.
I leave you with these two verses.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)