Planet earth is a world fallen and in raging rebellion. Those who God’s Word in KJV terms “the earth dwellers” acknowledge His existence only to provide opportunity to mock and blame Him for the consequences of their own sinful proclivity to collectively destroy all they touch. Mankind was given immense ability to create, being made in the image of Almighty God, their Creator. Yet the ultimate result of that creativity since the Fall in Eden has wrought the ultimate ability to decimate. The proof of this fact of history is the discovery and unleashing of the atom.
We don’t have to think upon the great nuclear powers with their arsenals of mega tonnage and pinpoint missile capabilities to wage mankind’s final war. The world now hunkers under the fearful threat of the nuclear sword that might be swung by a half-crazed dictator in North Korea or in scimitar fashion by rogue terrorists literally everywhere we look within the Islamic world.
The question that truly amazes–astonishes—me is the fact that the God of Heaven obviously has His mighty hand upon that potentially planet-ending sword–even thus with the daily hatred that is heaped upon Him. As I often hear it expressed, if one or the other of those of us who are sorely vexed in this increasingly wicked generation had our way, we would have already have swung that proverbial sword ourselves.
That sort of swashbuckling short-sightedness shows our fallen foolishness in our anger and…well…vexation. It certainly doesn’t display the divine character of the Living God that indwells each of us who name the Name of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We can only thank Him that He–not we—is in complete charge. Our God’s divine character is indeed an awesome, majestic wonder to think upon. So, let us do just that for the balance of this commentary. We look upon that divine character at the very beginning of God’s love letter to His human creation called man.
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Gen. 1:31). The Creator said everything was “perfect” –which is God’s only definition for “good” in His holy lexicon. Soon, the serpent entered the garden and that perfection was disrupted when Eve fell under Lucifer’s seduction and Adam partook of the forbidden fruit, bringing sin and death. Now there was only God who was “good” –“perfect.” “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). Jesus was and is God, and He was speaking of the Triune Godhead.
Man, who was made in perfection, in God’s image, changed from the perfect creature that walked in harmony with His Maker to a fallen creature that would soon shrivel, die, and return to the dust from which he was made. God’s holy character is unchanged these millennia later. That character is clearly seen throughout His Word. Nothing shows just how magnificently unassailable the changeless personality of the Creator is more clearly than do His prophetic promises. Bible prophecy thus takes on ever-deepening significance as we move toward the consummation of this age and the ultimate destiny of His creation. His character is all-important, in every respect imaginable.
His divine character is tied inextricably to His prophetic promises. The ultimate promise relevant to sin-infected mankind, which is shriveling, dying and returning to the dust from which man was made, is that God would send a Savior to redeem us fallen creatures. Prophecy goes on to promise that human life–as well as all of God’s creation—will be returned to its pristine, pre-Fall condition–that is, all but the fallen ones, both human and angelic who do not have Christ as redeemer. The human, unrepentant rebels have rejected god’s grace offer of salvation, and the angels who fell in the original rebellion gave up all right to the presence of Almighty God, thus are unredeemable–lost forever.
For our purposes here, I propose that no prophetic issue more profoundly points to God’s character and prophecy being inalterably linked than does the Rapture. This great event, scheduled next on God’s calendar of prophetic promises, is a salvation matter at its very core. The Rapture promises to keep us–saints of the Church Age or Age of Grace–out of the very time of God’s wrath and judgment against the rebels who have rejected His Son, Jesus Christ (read Revelation 3:10).
There is no greater point of faith in this regard, in my view, than to consider God’s embrace of children below the age of accountability. This age is known only to the God of all creation. It is the age, or spiritually cognitive level of functioning, reached when a person realizes he or she must accept or reject Christ for redemption from sin.
Until that point–with each individual it is different—the person’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. When the person understands and makes the decision to accept Jesus for salvation, that person’s name is written in permanently. If the decision is to reject, the name is blotted out, the Scripture says (Rev. 3: 5), until at some future time he or she accepts Christ as Savior. When the person does this, his or her name will then be written in the Book of Life forever.
This is all part of the divine character of God. He will let no person go into hell, into judgment and wrath, separated from Him forever, without giving opportunity to be saved from sin’s deadly ruin. Thus, the Rapture of children below the age of accountability is all-important in considering God’s prophetic promises. Each and every such child, even those just conceived and those growing in the womb, will instantaneously be in the presence of Jesus Christ at the moment of Rapture–just as they are if they die before reaching that age that only God knows.
I believe with all that is within me that when the Rapture happens, God is going to make a thunderous statement about when life begins. He will let this rebellious world know in that instant His holy opinion about the murder of the unborn that has been conveniently termed “pro-choice.”
Our own individual walk with the Lord should reflect that godly character at every moment of life. He has restored us to be conformed to His image, to strive to be more like Jesus moment by moment.
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6: 8).
Brother Terry — I am so grateful God prompted you to publish this today. For just this afternoon I had this very thought as I was stopped while a schoolbus unloaded at least 30 children at a stop. Parents/guardians/caregivers were waiting the arrival of these children and met them with joy and swooped some up into their arms and walked away from the bus to cars with others. Never before had I had this clear thought as I observed this which happens countless times throughout our nation.
I was struck by the thought that these children, these little ones who were surely below the age of 10, these would be caught up and taken to be with the saints when Jesus came for His church. “For of such is the Kingdom of heaven.” I began to weep with the awareness of how children just such as you mentioned will be taken and parents left — I can hear even now “Rachel weeping for her children.”
And a most precious awareness that I don’t know may have been the Lord was also in my thoughts. Today could have been the last time I will witness little children getting off the bus. Surely, this COULD be as surely our Lord COULD come tonight or tomorrow, or in the days/nights following. But most surely, such thoughts as these are from the heavenly mind, the mind of the Spirit of God. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. The Spirit and the bride say — even so — COME!