Rapture: "Where did all the people go?" What will the world say in explanation?

Many readers of this blog have asked in email or Facebook messages, what I think the government or the 'powers that be' will say to a fearful and wondering population after the rapture. With millions of people having suddenly evaporated, the disappearances will have to be explained somehow. I'm often asked to speculate on what the response will be. I know many of you wonder, too.

This is because once the Light has broken into our stony hearts and conformed us to the image of Christ, it is soooo hard to see life any differently. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us makes everything suddenly so clear about our sin, our condemnation, and our destination before we knew Him. We wonder how it is that so many will STILL refuse to believe, despite the world's most massive sign, ever.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (John 3:19)

So we know many will still reject. We wonder what kind of explanation will be offered that could satisfy a lost and unbelieving world.

The rapture will be an event unprecedented in human history. The Flood was a global catastrophe, but there were only 8 people alive to witness it and the aftermath. The rapture will be the opposite. A few will be taken and the multitude will be left behind to witness the aftermath. Christians who are alive and Christians who are dead will be taken instantly, in the twinkling of an eye, to meet the Lord Jesus in the air (1 Corinthians 15:52). Of course, we have no way of knowing for sure what will be said in the aftermath. The Church will be gone.

We understand one of the false explanations that may be given is that it is new technology being tested. It may also be proposed that the government explains that the disappearances are due to space beings of a higher order (i.e aliens) taking all the bad people (i.e Christians).

I watched a rapture movie last night on Youtube. It was produced in 1981, and like many in the genre, is low budget with cheesy special effects. It is called "Years of the Beast." Never mind that it is hosted on Youtube by someone calling herself "Apostle" Mary Thomas, it is the theater version of the 33 year old movie, credits and all. Internet Movie Database has the scoop on it, including some viewer reviews.

The synopsis reads: College professor Stephen Miles (Gary Bayer), his wife, a young girl, and a drifter (Jerry Houser) are suddenly faced with a society where money is worthless, food is scarce, your neighbor is your enemy and oppression reigns. The four must survive a world of earthquakes, natural disasters, looters, corrupt officials and the Anti-Christ in power.

In the movie, after the rapture we saw the people left behind watching the news, and the newscasters tried to explain the disappearances in exactly the above ways. They said it was new technology, or aliens. Another explanation was no explanation, "We just don't know what we are dealing with yet, that is why the entire planet must come together as a family..." an explanation which of course paved the way for the antichrist.

However two of the main characters are discussing the event in their truck as they drove along. They were hashing over the above given explanations. One said to the other, 'what do you think?' And the actor playing the drifter (Jerry Houser) said,

"Someone told me it is a hoax. That the radical Christians dug up their friends
and went into hiding."

Now THAT is a biblical explanation! It is the first proposed explanation I've heard that might be the actual reason given for the rapture. Read Matthew 28:13-18. It is the report of the Guard to the chief priests. Jesus had resurrected and of course His body was no longer in the tomb.

While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

In the Movie Years of the Beast, the adult daughter and son in law drove from Seattle to her father's farm to find out why her dad was not answering the phone. They couldn't find him. They waited some days and then they came across his clothes in the chair, his watch and wedding ring next to them. They realized what had happened, and they ran out to the family cemetery plot behind the house. They were running to check if her mother's grave had opened. It had.

Human depravity is a powerful thing. The priests and Pharisees and scribes and Sadducees were standing in front of Messiah, recipients of His teaching, miracles, love, discipling, and yet they rejected. The power of the human mind to remain embedded in darkness even when a powerful sign is right in front of us is something most people can't fathom, whether they are saved or unsaved.

Therefore, yes, people will believe whatever explanation is offered as to where the Christians went. Personally, I don't believe there will be so very many alive that will go. The world will be in chaos, yes, but the world will easily paper over the disappearances and get on with business, the business of rejecting Christ all the way to the grave.

So let us turn from this speculation, as interesting as it is, and ask the eternal question: are YOU ready? Christ's return in the air to gather His elect could happen at any moment. It could happen now, or tomorrow or next week. Never put off what you can do tomorrow what you must do today.

For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:1-18)


  1. I haven't posted a blog entry on my blog yet, but it's in the indefinite pipeline of ideas. Namely, a multifaceted Beast. I figured I'd name it something like Eschatological Synergy. The idea is basically that whereas the Antichrist will initially be some man from a definite place and with a definite persona, he will undoubtedly attempt to be "all things to all people" (in an evil way, opposite of Paul's motive) in order to reach all the diverse people groups of earth. Wouldn't the muslims be more responsive to a man who claims to be the Mahdi? Wouldn't atheists be more responsive to a man who claims to be the spokesperson for an intergalactic alien confederacy--which removed all those religious folks to pave the way for a naturalist utopia, a la Star Trek's view of the 22nd century? Wouldn't unrepentant Jews be more responsive to a man who claims to be the archangel Michael, their defender--since the Antichrist will initially bring peace enough for the Temple to be built? Wouldn't Hindus be responsive to a Shiva-the-destroyer figure who is coming to aid humanity to nirvana through destroying all 'discordant' thoughts and people? Etc etc and many etc.

    Consider the world today. We don't get all our news from one place. One 'truth' can be told to America, one to China, one to Europeans and so on. I am nearly certain that the final Antichrist will utilize the world's-best-ever PR machine to present himself as the preferred messiah of each and every religious strain of thought on earth.

    Therefore, there will be several rapture explanations. Your above suggestion is attractive as a "conspiracy-theory" one. I'm certain many atheists, especially atheist spiritualists, will buy into the "Wiser Alien Civilization Removed Those Pesky Christians to Bring Peace and Science to the Galaxy" explanation. Muslims will cheer as they hear the Mahdi exclaim that the enemies of Allah have been destroyed and the global Caliphate can now be achieved. After all, isn't one of the most common descriptions of the unsaved in the end times as those who turn their ears every which way and who believe what they choose to to suit their desires, which are opposed to the truth?

    Synergy. I think the best eschatological predictions will all play out in the actual future, in some way, on some level. It will be a monstrous mosaic of malevolence.

  2. Your comment: Personally, I don't believe there will be so very many alive that will go./END Quote

    EXACTLY what I think!!

    Do we really know that "millions" are going to go?

    Maybe more like "thousands" ~ or "tens of thousands" maybe even hundreds of thousands?? .... P E R H A P S.....

    but "millions"???

    1. Well, don't forget the children.

      10 million would still be 1 in 10,000. I think that's reasonable as an extreme lower estimate. Although I'm speaking on this side of the Great Apostasy, as I say that. Presently there may be a hundred million believers, what do you think? Worldwide, I mean. Speculation. We don't have all the facts, but a good guess would place the US population of sanctified believers around 12-20 million, using church attendance, polls, voting records etc which are readily available.

    2. Adam,
      Obviously, this is just my opinion, but in general, I think it will be relatively few. My reasons:
      1. if we are truly very close to the start of the 70th week, then I would think the world population would need to be rather large in order for ANYONE to be left after all of those horrendous judgments, and enough to enter the millennial kingdom to repopulate the earth.
      2. I would think, that part of the great deception will be that after the rapture happens, there will be many, many "Christians" who attended churches that are still here. But, there will be a smattering of individuals who attended the RCC or Mormon churches that are gone, so that will really confuse the world. It would be easy, in those circumstances, to brush off the suggestion that the Christian rapture actually occurred, because, hey! most Christians are still around and some other people who weren't identified as Christians are gone, as well as people from jail, etc. It will really appear random and set up an explanation for something like alien abduction or just like a unknown virus or technology.
      Or, the raptur4e could be camouflaged by something like world wide earthquakes or nuclear war or something, in which case, people disappearing wouldn't be a shock and no one will be looking for a pattern.
      Just my 2 cents....

    3. " It would be easy, in those circumstances, to brush off the suggestion that the Christian rapture actually occurred, because, hey! most Christians are still around and some other people who weren't identified as Christians are gone,"

      Excellent observation. As I started to read your post, my mind wandered and I thought of romanists and 'orthodox' and other unsaved amillenialists promoting the belief that now is the moment to seize the opportunity to achieve world peace on earth through human efforts -- playing right into the Antichrist's hands. And then you said it.


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