Again, I state that the end-of-days scenarios I lay out in this essay are speculation–postulation based upon my years of prayer, study, observations, and thought. I’m sure there are many who view things to come in a much different way, even among we who hold to the pre-mil, pre-trib view. So, I present this for your consideration, as, in my view, likely possibility, not as set in biblical stone.
First, let us look at the way the world is configured.
The United States of America is –for the moment, at least– the world’s lone superpower. Whether looking at military, economic, societal, technological, or whatever category we want to look at, America stands alone at the top of the nation-heap. I use the word “heap” because this world is built upon garbage–filth from the heart and mind of its father, the devil. Boy! I know how cynical that seems. But, God says there is none good but One: “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God” (Mk. 10:18).
Since sin entered the world, man is fallen. Mankind must have redemption found only in God, the Son. People must be born again or they cannot even see the kingdom of God: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3).
Jesus’ words, here, have dual meaning to me: 1) those who refuse Christ by rejecting their need for a new, spiritual, birth will not go to heaven upon death; and 2) they cannot even understand heaven and things of God without the new birth into God’s family. I base this latter assessment upon the following words of the Apostle Paul: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).
This is going to sound even more off-putting, but it is true nonetheless. Christians are the only “good” in this downward-spiraling world. Now, am I saying that I, in my fleshly efforts, am better than the one who does not claim Christ as Savior and Lord? No, absolutely not! I must say that in one regard, I am like Paul. But it is not his lovely Christian side, rather is the other. Paul said: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not” (Rom. 7:18).
Only through Christ is any Christian viewed as “good” in God’s sight. Only through Jesus does a person become fit to inherit an eternal home in heaven. All humanly born and humanly-devised matters are due for God’s judgment and for eternity apart from God because He cannot abide sin. Sin must be dealt with, and Jesus is the way sin is forever eradicated.
When it comes to the future, all hinges upon the person and presence of Jesus Christ as redeemer.
So, why all that, to get to the speculation of what will happen from here to eternity? Because Christians are the key, in my stream-of-consciousness unfolding scenarios for the end of days. God’s final wrath and judgment will not begin falling until the only good there is in this world is removed. This Bible prophecy truth is found in the words of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:9).
When Christians are removed in the rapture (read 1 Cor. 15:51-55 and 1 Thes. 4:13-18), the things on Earth will change dramatically. We get a prophetic glimpse of that removal of Christians from the planet in Paul’s additional words to the Thessalonians: “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thes. 2:6-7).
The word “he” in verse 7 refers to God the Holy Spirit removing from His office as He interacted with mankind during the age of grace (church age –which is this present dispensation). The Holy Spirit, resident in the church during this present dispensation, will, in the moment of rapture, no longer work in exactly the same way as now. He will interact with the human creation much as He did during the time before the church was born at Pentecost (Acts, Chapter 2). (I know some believe the church was born on the shores of Galilee earlier, when Christ called forth the first disciples. I disagree.)
God the Holy Spirit, living within Christians, is the only “good” to be found in people. The rapture will take that “good” to be with Jesus Christ for eternity. All who are “born again” (see John 3:3) will go to the heavenly homes (dwelling places) Jesus has been preparing for them since He ascended to the right hand of God the Father (read John 14:1-3). These will include everyone–dead and living–who have accepted Christ for salvation of their souls. There will be no good people left on the planet –that is, none that are “good” in God’s holy view.
With the Holy Spirit no longer acting to influence the consciences of humans in as powerful ways as He does at present, mankind’s actions and reactions will be exponentially accelerated for the worse. We will begin to explore likely scenarios for the period immediately following the rapture in next week’s commentary.