When is the rapture / the Lord's return? 2017/2018?

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When is the rapture / the Lord's return? 2017/2018?

A friend recently asked me about when the rapture would be - and my response is that I feel it is not quite yet.
I have had a gut feeling that the church is going to face some refining and purifying first - and this was confirmed as I studied the Word.

Notes from video:
The end times is a time of refining

Dan 12:9-10
8 Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?” And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly …”
Purifying God’s people has always been happening, but I believe it will intensify in the End Times

Matt 13:37
He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
The harvest is the end of the age.
The harvest is not simply collecting wheat into the barn!
To understand the end time events, we need to understand the harvesting process

The threshing process:
1. Threshing the wheat
The grain needs to be refined and separated from the chaff
The normal method of threshing seems to have been by the trampling effect of oxen or donkey hoofs as these animals were driven around the floor.
This would break all the stalks into short pieces and tear off the inedible husks.

#2 – Winnowing the wheat
This mixture of chaff and grain was then winnowed by tossing it into the air so that the wind may blow away the chaff

#3 – sifting the wheat
When the chaff was gone, the grain was tossed in a wooden tray to separate from it the stones and lumps of soil which clung to the roots when the grain was reaped. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

#4 into the barn
Luke 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Jesus will refine His harvest before bringing it into the barn

Israel’s end time Destiny
Zec 14:20 In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts
Israel is today a nation of mixture and impurity.
How will she become holy?

Zec 13:9 I will bring the one–third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

The Church’s End time destiny
Eph 5:27 - that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
How will this happen?
… through the threshing floor

We are shocked as we hear….
Christians in the west facing
persecution
These bakers were fined
$120’000 for not baking
a SSM wedding cake!

1 Pet 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
Luke 21:17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
2 Tim 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will
suffer persecution.

Why speak about persecution?
Many churches don’t speak about the Lord’s Return – but it must be shared so we can be prepared!
Persecution can also be a neglected topic. But why share about persecution?

We must handle persecution the right way
- We can get angry and upset
- We can respond in the same spirit
Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended / caused to fall away / are indignant.
Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

1 Pet 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
1 Pet 3:9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
Example of the Chinese Church

The Lord is coming soon!
But I believe there will be a time of refining and purifying first
Just like the message of the Lord’s return must be heard, so we need to hear the message of persecution
We need to be ready to handle it in love

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