“we…will be caught up together with them (New Testament saints who have already died) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thes 4:15)
If you knew, for sure, that any day now you would suddenly disappear from the planet, what would you do? What would you tell your kids – both saved and unsaved? Or your parents? Or your friends? Or yourself? What happens to those left behind? How will the world try to explain the disappearings?
What are we to do about the Rapture? Are we to do something about the Rapture? If yes, what would that look like? Be prepared, we’re told. Does that mean, “get your affairs in order?” Should we create some kind of message to people we love that’s easily found after we’re gone? In Jan Markel’s (Olive Tree Ministries) newsletter, I noticed an ad for a Rapture Kit Flash Drive. Interesting idea.
The Rapture has been on my mind a lot lately; and I’m trying to remember what I’ve been taught about it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon on the topic; I know I have never participated in a Bible study group where time was spent on the Rapture. Maybe briefly, in passing. Sort of a curiosity, “yup, there’s a Rapture someday but not in my day. I wonder what that would be like?”
But what if it is in my day?
This is a Thinking Out Loud blog post.
A few weeks ago, while I was having some physical therapy work done, Martha Swanson and I were chatting about the Rapture. In the same conversation, I mentioned that for years people have lamented that they’ve tried talking to family, friends and co-workers about salvation through Jesus Christ with no results. Nobody wants to hear it. As conversations have a way of doing, this one led to an interesting possibility. What if, Martha and I pondered, the Church looked at the Rapture as a way of reaching out to family and friends right AFTER we’re gone?
What if we figured out a way to say to each of the people we care about that we don’t want to keep bugging them about Jesus but we would like to point out one last thing and then we’ll stop talking about God unless they ask us a question? We could briefly explain the Rapture, a God-orchestrated event that suddenly removes all believers from the planet, then we could acknowledge that we’re sure that what we said sounds pretty bizarre to them because it sounds pretty bizarre to us. But we believe the God of the Bible. And if the Bible says it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. So, we say to them, “IF there are suddenly millions of people missing from the planet, please remember this conversation and remember what else I’ve said about Jesus being the only way to Eternal Life. Then find a Bible. Check it out.” Then we pray that does God remind them of this conversation when the time is appropriate. Who knows. Maybe that’ll work. Another thing that Martha and I wondered out loud about: Is the Rapture deliberately timed so that our family and friends are provided an additional window of opportunity to remember all the seeds we tried to sow into their lives? In one of Paul’s epistles he said that spreading the Gospel was like growing a garden. (1Cor 3:6-8) One person sows, one waters, another one fertilizes. According to The Book of Revelation (Rev 6:17, 9:20), it indicates that after a certain time, it’s too late to repent of sin and accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. The offer is withdrawn (Rev 9:20,21). That door doesn’t stay open indefinitely. There comes a point in man’s delusional state that even though people acknowledge that God is behind all the disasters, they refuse to give up their sin and way of life. They prefer to curse God and die. (Rev 16:21)
Now might be a good time to give some thought to how God would have us use the Rapture while, in fact, we are waiting for it. Next time we will take a long-view look towards the Second Coming and get a fly-over look at the Tribulation that lies down that road.
BTW, if you’ve never read The Left Behind Series, by Jenkins and LaHaye, it’s well worth reading. The series was written 25 or so years ago so you should read it with our current technology, communication and weaponry in mind.
Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.