Category Archives: Newsletter

Where is My Hope?

     I am reminded that our lives are filled with many expectations. There are many things that we look forward to. I know that it could be the weather, especially if we have something important planned. It is interesting to consider that our hope, our expectations can influence our perspective on life. It is easy to become discouraged when we are expecting nice weather and then it rains. The point is this, that our expectations can influence our disposition, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively!

     I am in the middle of preparing for the Celebrate Summer sermon series from Revelation. It will be a continuation of our last series “Knowing the Unknown” as we focus primarily on the “Tribulation Period” in the book of Revelation. My reading today reminded me of a great expectation that should be at the top of the list for every follower of Jesus Christ. This priority is especially important living in our current confusing times. The expectation is the “Return of Jesus Christ” in the Rapture.  Those that study the Bible refer to this as the “Imminency” of Jesus’ return.

     The next prophetic event for the follower of Jesus today is the return of Jesus Christ to take His people, the church, to be with Him. This event is often referred to as the Rapture of the Church. Now, I know many today, even Christians, downplay or even question the Rapture but it is taught in the Bible. The Rapture is mentioned in three key passages John 14:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 along with other indirect references. Jesus introduces that rapture in John 14 while the Apostle Paul explains it more fully in 1 Corinthians and 1 Thessalonians. It is worth mentioning that the word Rapture is not found in the Bible, but this is not a problem because the title describes what is taught in the Bible. There are many Biblical words that are not found in the Bible but describe truths that are revealed in God’s word (i.e., Trinity).

     The term “Rapture” is actually derived from, “Then we who are alive, who are left, 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.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) The English phrase “caught up” is the Greek word “harpazo.” The words appears 13 times in the New Testament and is translated as “take by force,” ”snatch,” or “caught up.” It is a term that is used to describe the Lord Jesus Christ’s return to gather His saints to himself. The English term “Rapture” is based on the Latin translation “rapio” of the Greek word “harpazo.”

     I am wondering, when is the last time that you stopped to ponder that the Lord Jesus could return at any time to take His followers home to heaven? This is the next event in God’s prophetic timeline. The Bible reminds us many times of this wonderful hope and the influence that it will have on your life. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”(Titus 2:11–13) It is a wonderful reality for those of us living for the Lord in an uncertain world!

  -Pastor Joe Parkinson

My Perspective Does Make a Difference

     I was recently reminded of how our perspective on life situations influences our responses.  A recent conversation was on the difference between a seller’s perspective and the buyer’s. It is interesting that both desire the same thing but with different outcomes.  Normally the seller desires to get the best price, that is, the highest… Continue Reading

The Power of My Words!

     I have recently been thinking of the importance of “words.” It is one of those aspects of life that would be difficult to live without. Yet, it is one of the areas that we probably do not think about very much. Believe it or not the Bible has much to say about the importance… Continue Reading

Why Prayer Meeting Matters!

     We live in a sophisticated time. We are living in a time of advancement never enjoyed before in human history. Thinks about all the different advancements of our time. I never cease to be amazed at the advancement in medicine. We take heart surgery for granted and think nothing of traveling to space. Yet… Continue Reading

Am I A Religious Hypocrite?

     I came across a meme on one of my media feeds that corresponded with my Bible reading. It read, “A huge problem for Christians is the secular mindset that singing songs at church is more holy than the work that we do during the week.” You can imagine that the post drew a good… Continue Reading

Who Is My King?

     How would you answer the question, “Who is your king?” It is an interesting question, because thoughts of Kings and Kingdoms are no longer part of our vocabulary. The reality is that our answer to the question does reflect who the authority is in our lives. So, “Who is your king?”      I have… Continue Reading

Do Not Be Taken Advantage Of!

     I am never surprised at how deceptive those that want to take advantage of others can be. In fact, just as I was getting ready to write this article, I received an email claiming an issue with my account. It was spam with no description of an account, just an attachment to open. I… Continue Reading

Am I A Successful Christian?

     Living in a success driven culture, I need to ask myself if I am a “successful” follower of Jesus. Now you may never have thought about this, but I would bet that it is a part of your life. It is most easily seen in how we act and talk when we are around… Continue Reading