Believers are translated, changed in an atomos of time–in a fraction of an element of time that cannot be divided. They now look into the holy, omniscient eyes of their Lord that are fathomless in the depths of God’s love. He leads them through the portals of glory, to the city called heaven.
On earth, millions have vanished into nothingness before the stupefied eyes of billions of others. All earthly things that belonged to the departed ones remain behind, including clothing, jewelry, and prosthetics of every description.
I once heard a nationally known “reverend” –so-called– (I don’t like the word “reverend” in reference to anyone on this fallen planet, because there is only one reverend, and He has just whisked all who are His into heaven for their eternal rewards) say something like this: “A rapture –if it were to be something that really happens—would mean that there would be unbelievable carnage upon the earth. God won’t let that happen.”
Hello, Reverend, but, what about the judgments for the end of days given by the Old and New Testaments? What about the Book of Revelation? The seals, trumpets, and vials don’t exactly give us the warm, fuzzy feeling that the era of apocalypse will be a tiptoe through the tulips.
The “Kingdom Now” folks, with their replacement theology, however, see these things written in the areas of biblical judgments and God’s wrath as allegory or symbolism. They spiritualize these prophecies, or treat them as already fulfilled. They preach and teach that the Church (Christians) will make this earth a better and better place until Christ can safely return to occupy His earthly throne. Dear readers –they are simply not looking at the same headlines as yours truly. And the headlines I’m experiencing each and every day coincide precisely with what God’s holy, inerrant Word has to say about the end of days –again—as the secular media like to call the end time.
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).
Jesus himself prophesied for the very end of the tribulation: “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days” (Mar. 13:20).
This world is in for a very rough ride, and the “reverend” was and is wrong in pronouncing that God would not allow carnage, thus a rapture is not in the future of mankind. Nothing could be more ludicrous.
The “thief in the night” prophecy is aimed particularly at the people who will be left behind after the rapture. That great event will certainly take most willfully ignorant Christians by total surprise, but it will not be like a “thief in the night” experience to them. We can know this from Paul the apostle’s foretelling, when he writes to the Thessalonians –to all Christians of the Church Age (Age of Grace): “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1 Thes. 5:2-5).
Note Paul’s use of the pronouns “they” and “them” versus “you,” “ye,” and “we.” He is differentiating between unbelievers and believers during this Church Age. The rapture, for all Christians who are alive at the time, will be an entirely different experience than the “thief in the night” experience of those left behind. We see this in John 14:1-3, and in Paul’s following comforting prophecy: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:13).
So, getting back to our earth-bound scenarios that we speculate will immediately follow the rapture, let us look at some dark probabilities.
The most immediate things that assault the senses, while people look around them, are the clothing and other things that fall to the ground, the pavement, the floors. The only evidence that those who suddenly vanished were ever on earth are the clothing and other personal items they no longer need. The prosthetic devices, too, of every sort, give the news pundits something to talk about on the programs that are dominated by one subject: the disappearance of millions.
But, in my speculative view, the most frightening, then, as the knowledge sets in, the most agonizing thing that will grip the world will be the fact that every single child who hasn’t reached the age of accountability for his or her soul will be gone from the planet in that millisecond of time. Every womb, of every left behind woman who was with child at the time of the disappearances will be instantaneously empty. God, in that astonishing moment, will make a monumental, and unmistakable statement about His opinion of when life begins in the conception process!
Can we even begin to imagine the excruciating emotional explosion that will take place all over the world?
With the intimately personal cataclysms still raging, other just as staggering considerations flood the fear-filled thoughts of men and women left behind. Again, in America, Martial Law is immediately invoked. But, before the much-denuded military and law enforcement personnel can regroup to enforce Martial Law, looters of every sort move freely throughout decimated society, pillaging, destroying, and raping whatever and whoever they find in their rampaging.
The consciences of man are no longer under the governance of the Holy Spirit, as in time just before the disappearances occurred. Homes, empty of their vanished occupants, are open game, and the looters don’t stop to give a second thought to the horrendous future mankind now faces. They think, as I heard Dr. Charles Stanley say, they have died and gone to their warped picture of heaven.
Well, we are again at the limits of our space allotment for this commentary. And, we’ve only begun to explore, through our Bible prophecy postulations, what the left behind world will be like, and the likely dynamics that will rearrange Planet Earth for Antichrist’s appearance.