I must admit that one of my favorite cloud formations is the cumulus nimbus. Those magnificent, puffy, mountainous masterpieces appear to rise from the horizon, overwhelming in their grandeur. Backlit by the sun, they are brilliant; engulfed in the radiance of sunset, they burn like the brightest fire. Only our God could create such all-encompassing beauty.
On windy days I love watching the clouds as they race across the sky. I am reminded of a verse from the Bible: “Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him--his name is the LORD.” Psalm 68:4. I can envision God with arm raised and hair blowing, riding the galloping clouds—and I rejoice before Him.
How many of us have lain on the grass, much like Charlie Brown, searching the clouds for shapes: an elephant, a horse, a bunny, an angel? Children are best at this. Their young minds are still filled with imagination and wonder, and this wonder spills out into the clouds above. Their young eyes gleam as they discover a magical animal floating over their heads. They laugh with glee as the form changes shape, and they find yet another treasure. Ah, to be young.
“16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. 17After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore, encourage one another with these words.”1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
Can you imagine?! God’s Word says this will happen in the twinkling of an eye. That’s fast…faster than a blink. There will be no five-minute count-down. Jesus warned: “No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36. This is why we must always be watchful.
“Therefore, keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So, you must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:42-44.
I once heard a pastor say that when we see Christmas decorations go up, we know Thanksgiving is around the corner. The decorations are a sign of what is to come, Christmas. But before Christmas is Thanksgiving. Before the 2nd coming of Christ is the Rapture. While specific things must happen before Jesus returns, all foretold in prophecy, absolutely nothing must happen before the trumpet sounds, and we meet Jesus in the clouds. No man knows the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven or the Son. In the twinkling of an eye, we will be caught up and meet Him in the clouds. I cannot wait!
But how do we know or recognize the signs to watch for? Jesus does not want any to be lost. Just as the prophets of old spoke of Jesus coming the first time—His birth, life, death on the cross, and His resurrection—the Holy Spirit also prophesied through them specific details and signs to do with the Rapture and 2nd coming of Christ. The books of Daniel and Revelation are the two major books revealing the end times in which we live. As do Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, the Psalms, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, and more—even Genesis.
God placed a passion for prophecy in my heart many years ago. The first time I read Daniel and Revelation, I was thoroughly confused. But over the years of studying prophecy and seeking out reputable prophecy teachers, such as Dr. David Jeremiah, who wrote “The Handwriting on the Wall,” a guide through Daniel, I am learning. And the more I learn, the more I dig, and the deeper I dig, the more I see. I now recognize that we are living in the times of the signs. I genuinely believe this, as did the apostle John.
“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. (Not THE antichrist, but those filled with the spirit of the antichrist.) This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” 1John 2:18-19. Those who supposedly once believed have abandoned the faith and now follow the world.
Some may question why I harp on this subject. Why can’t I write something more positive and uplifting? Well, to answer the 2nd question, I would ask, what could be more uplifting than meeting Christ in the air?! As I said, God put a passion for studying prophecy in my heart, so ask yourselves, why? The Bible says that we will not know the day or the hour when Jesus will come for his Bride, us, but we will recognize the time is near because of the signs. As I said, Jesus does not want to lose a single person, so thousands of years ago, he spoke to the prophets about events that would happen in the last days. I believe that I, as well as you, were placed in this world for such a time as this, for a purpose.
With all this said, I need to ask an important question, a question my mother asked me many years ago. Are you ready? Have you asked Jesus to live in your heart? Because despite what some say, Jesus is the only way. Jesus said that two will be in the field, and one will go, the other will remain. Will you go or remain? And despite what a former pastor said, some who sit in church pews regularly can be left behind if Jesus does not live in their hearts.
I will continue to marvel at clouds until the great and wonderful day when I meet Jesus in the air. How about you?
Awaiting that day
Please take a moment to enjoy the music video below: Awake, by Christian artist Beckah Shae