I finished a project I've been working on all day. Like all Christians, we feel a burden for the lost. That is why we bring up Jesus to people even though we know some people will get aggravated or even reject us. Well, a few months ago the Holy Spirit gave me a burden for doing a certain project. You see, we will be raptured soon. I don't know exactly when, no one does. (Matthew 24:36 says "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.") But Paul said we who believe and are watching will not be surprised, "But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled." (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6). Both Paul and Matthew were speaking of the last moments of the Tribulation but the time period is the same, the rapture will come as the punctuation of the end of the Church age and as the opening bell for the Tribulation. "The Day" is the 7 year period of judgment on the world.
In finishing John MacArthur's book "Because the End is Near: An explanation of the Book of Revelation" the judgments on the unbelieving world were brought graphically home to me. You do not want your worst enemy to go through that. The rapture will happen at some point and since most people are at work 8 hours/day or longer, there is a one-in-three chance it will occur while we are at work. Imagine your colleagues' confusion, fear, grief. Some who know about Jesus but never repented will know what happened. Others will have no clue. They are the children of darkness Paul mentioned, who are asleep. How will they know what had happened? How will they know what to do?
You know those axes stationed on the wall at intervals in a case that says "In case of fire, break glass"?
I am following the burden from the Spirit to make a "Rapture Sheet". It is a one-page explanation of what happened, why it happened, and what the left behind people should do. It is one page, front and back. I am putting it inside a new bible, placing post-it notes on the salient bible verses, and wrapping in saran wrap with the title that says, "In case of rapture, open here". What more important fire extinguisher is there than the bible? The altered photo below is only a pun, of course I am not making glass cases. I plan to put several wrapped bibles at work, places where people sit at a common desk and use the phone. Maybe you have a break room or a lunch room or a common area to just quietly place a bible with its explanatory sheet inside, where it will be seen and the existence of it will sink in over the next months. When the moment comes maybe someone will say, "Hey! I saw a bible over there once, let's go get it!"
Where did they go?
If you are reading this, then it means that the rapture occurred. The rapture is a term for the moment Jesus calls to His believers, resurrecting the dead in Christ and bringing the already living believers up to heaven to be with Him. Here it is in scripture:
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
Why did it happen?
We were living in what was called the Church Age, AKA the New Testament times. In Old Testament times the people lived under the Law (The Ten Commandments.) The Old Testament folks had faith, but the faith was that their Messiah would come. Jesus the Messiah had not come yet. But in order to demonstrate that faith in the future promise of Messiah’s coming, and to be cleansed from their sins, they had to kill an animal twice a day and sacrifice it. Why? The blood is the life. (Deuteronomy 12:23). “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Leviticus 17:11). Then Jesus came, but the Jews didn’t recognize Him as Messiah, or those that did, rejected Him. When Jesus died, was resurrected and ascended into heaven, everything changed. Believers no longer needed to sacrifice because Jesus was the sacrifice. He shed His OWN blood for us! As a result of the Jews’ rejection of Him, Jesus has spent the last 2000 years building His church from Gentile peoples (Romans 11:25, Acts 15:14-17). Now the Church Age is over, He is returning His attention to the Jews, and now it is Judgment time for all of those left behind.
Why weren’t we taken?
You might wonder about people whom you thought were Christians who are still here. Not everyone who professed Jesus was truly saved. We cannot tell who is saved and who is not, but Jesus knows who is who. He took the true believers. Intellectual assent is not saving faith. Tradition is not saving faith. Church-going habit is not saving faith. Only true believers were taken. A true believer is described in John 6:29: “Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."God sent Jesus to die for your sins, as the eternal sacrifice to satisfy His justice. Sin must be punished, because it is a crime. Jesus took the punishment and paid the debt for all sins forever. As a result, you would have been pardoned- IF you had believed! But you chose to reject Jesus’ pardon, during the now concluded Church Age, or you added to belief in Him with a man-made rules or tradition. So, you are here now. John 11:25 “Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" I hope the rapture convinced you to believe it!
What will happen next?
Unfortunately, you are in for the roughest time that there ever was and ever will be. Jesus said “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24: 21-22). He is saying that if the Tribulation went on longer than 7 years surely EVERY person would die! The Tribulation is when Jesus will pour out His anger against sin and sinners. Christians do not have to endure it because we took the pardon and believed in Him before the rapture, or before they died. So Jesus removed us from this terrible time. Jesus will send increasingly terrible judgments on the earth to punish sinners. Starting now, ¼ of earth’s population will die in war and famines and diseases. Then another 1/3 will die, equaling half the globe’s population before the Tribulation is even half over! Your life is at extreme risk. If you die before asking Jesus forgiveness of your sins and becoming a believer in Him, you will go to hell forever. Sin is real. God’s judgment of sin is real. Satan is real. Hell is real. The coming Antichrist is real. Everything in the bible is real. Not any other book. Not the Mormon bible. Not the Catholic bible. Only the Christian BIBLE is truth!
What must I do to be saved?
You must repent. The jailer at Philippi saw the marvelous joy in Paul and Silas, even while they were chained in the lowest jail, and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you & your household.” (Acts 16:30-31). You have to believe that your sins prevented you from being raptured and will prevent you from going to heaven when you die. Sins are your wrong thoughts, words, and deeds against God. Everyone has wrong thoughts, words, deeds, so that means everyone sins! You need to be sorry for them, and have faith in Jesus. King David was sorry, in Psalm 38:4 he said: “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” Do you feel guilty for your sins? You should. They are crimes against a Holy God. Do as David did: “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.” (Psalm 38:18). In so doing you acknowledge that Jesus is the only person who CAN forgive them, having lived a sinless life and shedding His blood as the pure sacrifice for YOU. Once you do this, He will forgive you and then He will send the Holy Spirit to you to help you understand the bible. If you do not confess and come to faith in Jesus, the Bible will never make sense. And worse, you will be at risk from the lying delusion coming upon the whole earth.
What if I wait and see how things go before I confess and repent?
Don’t do it! A great delusion will come over the whole world and those who are not saved in faith by Jesus’ blood will believe the delusion. The bible says, “The coming of the lawless one (ANTICHRIST) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)The Good News is, Jesus still loves you and wants you! If you repent and ask Him to forgive, He will. You’ll still go through the horrendous times, but when you die you will go to heaven and live forever with Jesus. Your first step is to repent & believe, and you will be saved from hell. Also, you will then understand the bible. The bible tells you what to do and what will happen next. The most important thing to remember is, JESUS LOVES YOU! Don’t mess it up again. Repent now!!!!!!!