ONE SECOND AFTER DOOMSDAY
(Trussville, AL USA)
But your dead will live, Lord;
their bodies will rise—
let those who dwell in the dust
wake up and shout for joy—
your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead. (Isaiah 26:19)
What would happen if all Christians were to suddenly disappear, regardless of what they may be doing at that moment? What would be the results, short term, and long-term? Obviously, we would have mass hysteria, mass confusion, and a mass economy fall, brought on by worldwide panic and physical and structural catastrophes. We know those things will happen as God begins the Great Tribulation. However, first of all, let us examine this upcoming event called the Rapture in the light of Scripture.
The so-called "Rapture" will be sudden and without any warning (I Cor. 15:51-52). All Christians, living and dead, will be included in this strange disappearance (I Thess. 4:13-18) leaving nothing but evil on the earth.
Actually, the next great prophetic event on God's timetable is the rapture of the saints. There is no other event or prophesy left to be fulfilled before it happens. What a day that will be when all the children of God are brought together in that meeting in the air!
The word Rapture does not actually appear in the New Testament, but the idea is all through the Bible. The word means "to snatch away," "to catch up," "to be caught up." The coming of Jesus Christ for His saints is an absolute, undeniable, irrevocable truth, regardless of what the agnostics, atheists or modern, unbelieving theologians say. Christ is coming again! The Bible - the inspired, indestructible, infallible and inerrant Word of God tells us so. God inspired all Scripture (II Timothy 3:16), not just portions of it. What is written in Scripture is stamped with the approval of, and by the inspired hand of Almighty God? (II Peter 1:21)
There are numerous Biblical personal testimonies which give evidence of Christ's return: An angel testified to His coming (Acts 1:11), the author of Hebrews testified to His coming (Hebrews 9:28), Christ Himself testified to His coming. (John 14:1-3)
What will happen after the rapture? Mankind may not immediately believe this strange disappearance is due to the Rapture because some people who vanished didn't appear to be Christians. While others who claimed to be Christians were left behind. The only explanation is that not everyone who goes to church and who call themselves Christians really are! Likewise, there are many Christians who walk quietly in their faith. However, with 100% confidence, every person who vanishes will definitely be a true Christian who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
So the first occurrence will be a strong delusion, experienced by those who have been left behind, including the religious or government representatives. I personally believe the big lie will come from the antichrist himself (Daniel 7:25) (Revelation 13:5). This lie will be a "must" to help calm the world. Then comes the prophetic chain of events included in the seven-year tribulation period. (Please obtain a good study Bible and read the entire book of Revelation.) But from a secular point of view, here's a brief scenario of a few occurrences that could possibly happen immediately following the rapture. Obviously, this list is inconclusive.
Airplanes will fall from the sky, trains will wreck, and vehicles will crash. This activity alone is enough to cause major physical and structure damage, as well as mental and emotional upheaval.
Loved ones, including adults and children, will suddenly be missing, causing mass police and emergency rescue traffic.
All major news media outlets will be instantly jammed. Hospitals and morgues will be instantly overrun by injury and death. Suicides will run rampant.
There will be widespread power outages, natural gas explosions, and water line leaks, caused by the structure damage, too numerous for the emergency crews to handle.
Financial institutions will suddenly fail, causing a crash of the monetary system.
No food will be available, as grocery stores will immediately run out of food and eating establishments will not be able to operate.
Transportation will come to a standstill, due to the unavailability of cleanup crews, and utility crews.
False religious leaders will open the doors of the churches to console the masses.
Rioting will occur in the streets as never before, and wholesale panic among the masses with home break-ins occurring everywhere, just to survive.
In other words, an unstoppable evil phenomenon will literally break loose over the entire globe, as nothing but unchecked wickedness will be left behind in the hands and control of the antichrist.
Meantime, what will we Christians be doing during the next seven years in heaven? We will be worshipping our Savior, attending the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and getting ready to come back to earth with Him. Hallelujah! First comes the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12) (I Cor 3:10-15) ( II Cor 5:10), where all Christians will be judged for their works on earth. Then, comes the marriage to Christ (Revelation 19:7-9). As the Jewish marriages lasted seven days, this marriage will last the seven years.
So, when will this "rapture" occur? It could happen at any time, as there are no prophecies that need be fulfilled before the rapture, and it will be sudden and without warning. (John 14:1-3) (I Thess 4:13-18) (I Cor 15:51-57) In fact, Jesus Himself doesn't know when the Father will give the command (Matthew 24:36 ). If possible, you should get a good study Bible and read the entire book of Revelation repeatedly.
Remember, the Bible is the Word of God and is the final authority ( II Timothy 3:16-17) on all matters of prophecy! (II Peter 1:20-21) I add no words nor take no words away from the prophecies of the book of Revelation (Revelation 22:18-19) as it is the revealing of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Each and every word of the book of Revelation is to be believed exactly as written.
Author's PostScript -The Great Debate
There is debate as to the timing of the Rapture. The pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine states that this event will occur at the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period, which immediately precedes the return of Jesus. The mid-tribulation rapture doctrine states that the rapture will occur 3 1/2 years before Christ returns or halfway through the great tribulation period of seven years. The post-tribulation doctrine states that the rapture will occur at the same time as the return of Christ or at the end of the seven-year tribulation. All of these positions fall within the realm of Christian orthodoxy.
As for myself, I hold to the pre-tribulation doctrine. In (Revelation 3:10) we see that God has promised that all believers will be delivered from the seven-year tribulation period which will come upon the entire earth. (Matthew 24:14-21) Nonetheless, let's not argue the point, let's just stand ready to go up (Revelation 22:17,21). If you are not ready, when the event happens, what difference does it make? Amen!
How then can one be sure that they are ready to go? God's plan is very simple. In (Ephesians 2:8-9), we see that it is simply a matter of one's faith in God's free grace. No one can work their way, pay enough money, or count on a family member or friend to help them come to God. Simply believe that God sent His Son Jesus, to die on the cross (John 3:16-17) for the payment of your sins. (Romans 3:23)