CAN YOU IMAGINE?
Can you imagine the day we call ‘rapture day’.
Jesus promised long ago to come and take us to heaven, that we might be with Him. He promised we would escape the wrath to come, so we do not need to store seven years of emergency food to make it through a tribulation. We are to be watching for such day to come, and when we see signs of the second coming of Jesus being fulfilled, we are to ‘look up for our redemption draweth nigh’, for seven years before that second coming is the rapture of the church. We abide in heaven during those seven years, worshipping around the throne, receiving rewards for our works, preparing for the second coming to return with Jesus, seeing the gates of the New Jerusalem opened at the time of the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Can you imagine this day though, from an earthly viewpoint? The day will come as a ‘thief in the night to the world’, but we are not in darkness that the day should come to us as a thief. We will not know the day nor hour, for the earth is round, and in various parts of the world it is different day, a different hour. Yet we are to know the ‘times and the seasons’, and be aware that this day is soon, when it comes.
In some families, not all are saved. So, for some here, another will suddenly, in a split second, disappear, leaving their companion, parent, etc suddenly alone. Perhaps a pile of clothes will remain where a moment ago there was a Christian who was explaining that only in Jesus is there salvation, not in good works, not in some false god called ‘Allah’, not in church membership, not in a cross hanging around one’s neck. Only in repentance of sins, forgiveness of Jesus, by the blood of His sacrifice on the cross, is one saved. As that witness was given, suddenly, before the person would reject one more time that message, the Christian suddenly is gone.
In another place, a Christian is driving their car, taking a neighbor to the store, and the Christian suddenly is gone, and the car crashes. The driver’s seat is empty, the passenger is greatly suffering from the crash, but has no idea what happened to the missing driver when the ambulance arrives.
Elsewhere, imagine what happens when Christian bus drivers suddenly disappear, Christian pilots of jet planes are suddenly gone. Christian policemen, about to put the cuffs on a criminal who is apprehended finally finds the hand cuffs on the floor, and the policeman gone.
Can you imagine the family where the children who have been sent to Sunday School every Sunday, so the parents could recover from their binge drinking done every Saturday night with their heathen friends. The family sitting at a table to eat the Kentucky fried chicken, is suddenly absent of the two children. The parents panic and search and search, but never find those missing children. They are gone to the arms of Jesus in the clouds.
Can you imagine the scene in the clouds? There, suddenly, in a split second, you were eating, driving, sleeping, working, reading, but now in a moment, you are in the clouds, clothed in a pure white heavenly robe, looking at a smiling Jesus, surrounded by saints of all around the world, who are suddenly realizing the day has finally come. We will be shouting, jumping, crying in joy. Aches and pains no longer are plaguing our bodies. The blind are suddenly seeing, the lame are leaping, the deaf are hearing the praises. The crowd is amazed, startled probably, and not making the mistake of Lot’s wife, for the former things are behind now, we are on our way to heaven.
Can you imagine the joy that will be in your heart? Jesus is coming for them that ‘look for Him’, so there are none that are not joyfully happy this is the day they were longing for. Can you imagine the joy of the youthful body we are suddenly given? Able to do what our worn out body was not able to do? Can you imagine the joy of looking into the face of Jesus, Who has finally been sent to do as He promised, to come and take us to our heavenly home, that He personally has built for each of us????
We are to be ‘caught out of harm’s way’, so back on earth there may be momentary shock of our disappearance, but the events on earth suddenly turn to the reality of a nuclear war, where one fourth of the world will perish in its destruction. The U.S.A. perishes in that war, and Russia is greatly damaged. The antichrist begins to form a new super power nation of Europe and Muslim nations, and he dominates with horrible power. So, the fact that we are suddenly missing is forgotten with the horrible events that will kill most all the world before the return of Jesus, with us His army, at the battle of Armageddon seven years after our departure in the rapture.
So, we are gone, but not missed for long. We are not anxious to return, but we will be praying for our left behind loved ones. Many will be saved, and we call them ‘tribulation saints’ after we are raptured. The Lord does not want them on earth any longer, after the rapture, so the ones saved after the rapture are allowed to be martyrs. The hatred of Christians is already increasing, and in 140 nations, Christians are greatly persecuted, often martyred, and always hated for their beliefs in Jesus as the only Way to heaven.
‘He that hinders will hinder till he is taken out of the way’ is a passage of the Word that refers to the church to be raptured. So, after we are gone, the hindering force we were to the devils is gone, and terror, horror, pain, suffering and deaths, are rampant. The wrath of God’s judgment on the rejecters of His Son begins. The seals, trumpets, thunders, and vials of judgment are begun. Meteors the size of mountains hit the sea, another on the land. Wars are common, deaths are so many there is no need to try to count. Horror fills this earth from which we departed.
When Lot was removed from Sodom, the city had no time to even miss that godly man. When we are raptured to heaven, the horrors of the tribulation, of which we are not to suffer, are given to the world that chose not to repent to the loving Jesus Who died to save them.
Can you imagine that day? Can you look forward to the day we have been told to long for? Can you leave behind all the things you have accumulated, as a bag of dirt compared to the riches of heaven? Can you stand before Jesus, suddenly realizing your current mission is now done, and smile knowing you have adequately tried to get your family and acquaintances saved? Can you imagine??
I Thessalonians 4:15-17
"WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD SHALL NOT PRECEDE THEM THAT ARE ASLEEP (dead)--FOR THE LORD HIMSELF SHALL DESCEND WITH A SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, AND THE TRUMP OF GOD, AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST, AND THEN WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP (Greek = harpadzo, to catch away out of harm's way) TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR, AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD."
"WATCH YE THEREFORE AND PRAY ALWAYS THAT YE MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS THAT SHALL COME TO PASS AND TO STAND BEFORE THE SON OF MAN."
I Corinthians 15:51-52
"BEHOLD, I SHOW YOU A MYSTERY, WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP (die), BUT WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED. IN A MOMENT, IN A TWINKLING OF AN EYE, AT THE LAST TRUMP--FOR THE TRUMP SHALL SOUND (Rev. 4:1, I Thess. 4:15-17) AND THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED INCORRUPTIBLE, AND WE SHALL BE CHANGED..."
II Thessalonians 2:1
"NOW WE BESEECH YOU BRETHREN, BY THE COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM..."
II Thessalonians 2:7-8
"...HE THAT LETTETH (hinders) WILL LET (hinder) UNTIL HE BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY, AND THEN SHALL THAT WICKED ONE BE REVEALED..."
I Thessalonians 5:9
"FOR GOD HATH NOT APPOINTED US TO WRATH..."
I Thessalonians 4:14-16
"EVEN SO THEM ALSO WHICH SLEEP IN JESUS WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM... DEAD IN CHRIST WILL RISE FIRST...
II Corinthians 5:17
"IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATURE..."
I John 3:2-3
"WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM FOR WE WILL SEE HIM AS HE IS AND EVERY MAN THAT HATH THIS HOPE IN HIM, PURIFIES HIMSELF..."
"THAT HE MIGHT PRESENT IT TO HIMSELF A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT OR WRINKLE, OR ANY SUCH THING--BUT THAT IT SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH."
I Corinthians 16:22
"MARANATHA (the Lord cometh).