In Pastor Greg Laurie’s second installment of his sermon series called “The End of the World” at the Harvest Christian Fellowship, he preached on the rapture, saying it’s “the next event on the prophetic calendar” and could occur at any time. However, no one knows the day or the hour.
In the Aug. 6 sermon, Laurie encouraged the congregation and those watching worldwide to “get right with God” before the rapture happens, stressing that it “can happen at any moment.”
“The rapture is that moment when Christ descends from Heaven and we’re caught up to meet Him,” he said. “It is at this moment that we receive our new resurrection bodies, and it’s also at this moment that we are reunited with loved ones who have preceded us. The rapture is the first phase of the return of Christ.”
Christians should be ready for Christ’s return, Laurie stressed, and they should keep in mind that if they are struggling, it’s still not too late to repent and turn to God.
“The Bible says, ‘Prepare to meet your God.’ You want to be ready to meet God. Are you ready to meet God? If Christ were to come back tonight, would you be caught up to meet Him in the air? Or would you be like one of those wicked people living a compromised life that would be left behind?”
“That can all change because Jesus died on the cross for your sin. He paid the price for every wrong you’ve ever done. And if you will turn from your sin and put your faith in Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, you can be forgiven, and you can be given a fresh start, a new beginning.”
The rapture, Laurie said, is not something Christians should fear because it will be a time of great reunion, as believers will be reunited with loved ones who’ve died.
Laurie quoted Paul of Tarsus, who wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, “We don’t want you to be uninformed brothers about those who have died so that you will grieve as those who have no hope.”
“I want to comfort you, and I want to give you a heavenly perspective on what happens to loved ones who believe in Jesus when they die,” Laurie said. “You’re going to see them again. So I want to establish that fact. And I don’t want you to grieve like people who have no hope.”
Laurie acknowledged that some people are hesitant to study End Times events because, as some claim, “no one can figure it out anyway.”
“That’s not true,” he declared. “We should study End Times events, and we need to understand what they mean to us today. Again, Paul says, ‘I don’t want you to be ignorant.’ Jesus said, ‘When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, let the reader understand.’ … But the key here is, as he says, ‘Let the reader understand.'”
“So, it is important that we understand these things, and also, I think when we understand prophetic teaching—or eschatology, the study of last things, as it’s sometimes called—if we understand it as we ought to, it will bring hope to us.”
Laurie emphasized the significance of daily approaching as if Jesus is returning, citing Luke 12:35–36, where Jesus advises dressing for service and keeping lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks.”
“Let me ask you this: if you knew somehow—we couldn’t know this, but let’s say for the sake of a point, we could—if you knew somehow that Jesus was coming back today, at three o’clock in the afternoon, I think we would all be living, breathing saints at 2:45, don’t you?” Laurie said.
“We’d be wearing our Sunday morning smiles and our ‘Come quickly, Jesus’ attitude. ‘ Wow, 15 minutes and it’s going to happen.’ But we don’t know when that day is going to come. So we need to live every day as though it can be the day that Christ returns.”