Hi Friend,

I imagine you are thinking that I made a mistake in my subject line when I wrote “The pre-rapture coming of Christ.” You are probably thinking, Jim is confused. He meant to write “pre-tribulation rapture.”

Well, I admit that sometimes I get confused. And lots of times I make ‘typos’. But, this time, I didn’t. I wrote exactly what I meant to write. I want to share with you about the pre-rapture coming of Christ.

Now, what am I talking about?

Right away, some of you will bristle, wanting to correct me. You love me and don’t want me to make a mistake. You will be upset because you think I am going to talk about physical manifestations of Jesus before the rapture. You will remind me that Jesus said that, “If they say to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘there He is,’ do not believe them.” Well, that is not what I am talking about. I agree with you.

What I am talking about is the coming found in Revelation 3:19-22. Jesus said, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

It seems to me that this is the most important coming of Jesus that we need to be concerned about today. If we miss this coming we certainly will miss the coming in the rapture and epiphany. This coming has to do with our hearts and spiritual condition. The passage is written to a church that is only nominally Christian. It is a people-focused church, not a Christ-focused one. They are a complacent, self satisfied group. They are unaware that they need anything. They have the biggest church building, the finest preacher, the best clothing, the sexiest cars, the safest portfolios, the rosiest glasses. But, they don’t have Christ.

Jesus’ word to them is that they should “repent.” The status quo is unacceptable. Jesus hasn’t abandoned these people. He is struggling with them. He is doing His part to help them out of their situation. They have to overcome something. That something is “themselves.” Only they themselves can open the door for this coming.

I suggest that the problems we are experiencing today, economically and culturally, are Jesus’ struggling with us. Why have we lost so much in the past few years? It is because we have become a complacent, self-satisfied church. Like the Laodiceans we have become blind men in the presence of the sunset. We have been insensitive to what has been happening around us as the Son prepares to sit on His throne. And so the Lord is using events to get our attention, to bring us to repentance, to change, to let Him come in. He is knocking to persuade us to open the door.

The Apostle Paul spoke of this “coming” of Jesus in his letter to the Galatians. He wrote, “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.” The Galatians had lost Jesus in their relationship with God. Can you believe that? Neither could Paul. He was perplexed! They had understood the message of the Cross, and then abandoned it. They had fallen from grace and descended into legalism. They were trying to do through legalism what Christ within is supposed to do. Schedules and regimentation were chosen over the indwelling Christ to bring sanctification.

There are Christians like that today. They go to services. They tithe. They sing in the choir. They participate in praise teams. They may even be pastors, elders, or deacons. But it is superficial, outward. In their daily lives there is a striking absence of the presence of the Spirit. They don’t think about Jesus or others. They let unkind words slip from their lips. They are just as anxious and worldly minded as the unsaved. But, they won’t let Christ come into their hearts to change them. Again, this coming of Jesus is the most important need in their lives. By their fruit you shall know them. But, it is up to them to let Him in.

How important is this pre-rapture coming of Jesus? Well, Paul put it this way in his letter to the Colossians, “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”

Are we complete? Is Christ in us? If he isn’t, we have an insurmountable problem and there is only one person who can remedy the situation. That is you and I. We would be wise to listen to the knocking Christ and let Him come in before he comes for us!