Monday, September 14, 2015

Dear Left Behind

Indications are that the Blessed Hope of Christians will occur soon. That is why I am moved to post an article directed to those who are left behind. My hope is that people who did not accept Jesus as their Savior during the Church Age will read this and accept Him now despite all the deception seeking to explain away the Rapture.

The term "Rapture" is derived from the Latin word "rapturo" which is translated "caught up" in English where it is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (NKJV). God revealed this amazing supernatural event to First Century Christians: "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

The idea that the Creator-God would resurrect His Church when it is complete translating living mortal people into immortal bodies is pretty fantastic. But that is what He told us He would do and if you have heard that millions of people have instantly disappeared worldwide, the Rapture is what has happened. No-doubt, this has those who are left behind scrambling to explain what has happened. Given the incredible nature of this event, the explanations will be pretty incredible as well. The question is, will you believe what you are being told by your trusted media and government officials, or will you believe what the Holy Bible has said for centuries?

Among the things the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to us when He walked the earth is that the time preceding His return would be characterized by great deception (Matthew 24:4, 11, 24). Scripture says that God Himself will provide for a "strong delusion" to help unbelievers "believe the lie" that explains away the Rapture (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). God will do this for the same reason that Jesus spoke in parables when He was on earth, so that unbelievers determined to remain so will be able to justify their unbelief (Matthew 13:10-17).

Since this article was written prior to the Rapture, I can only speculate what the deception will be that seeks to explain away this supernatural event. But I have observed the set-up for some of the deception that will take place in the eager expectation that has been built up for contact with extraterrestrials. People who do not want to accept the Bible's explanation of human origins will be quick to embrace the news that extraterrestrials have taken an interest in the affairs of earth. If evolution happened on earth, then it could have happened anywhere in the universe and discovering that there is extraterrestrial life only corroborates the theory of evolution.

But don't fall for the lie that extraterrestrials caused the Rapture using their technology. The beings representing themselves as extraterrestrials are indeed not from this world but the Bible refers to them as fallen angels or demons. They are beings from the spiritual realm that God has allowed to have access to our physical universe to serve His purpose in deceiving those who have rejected Him.

Another possible lie that may be used to explain away the Rapture not necessarily involving aliens is that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN opened a portal which resulted in some people being thrust into another dimension or some such nonsense. Whatever explanation is used to represent the sudden disappearance of millions of people as being anything other than a supernatural act of God, know that you are being prepared for even more deception during a terrible time which Jesus called the Tribulation in Matthew 24.

The Tribulation is addressed in various places among the Old Testament prophets but is most completely described in the book of Revelation. It is a seven-year period if time when God pours out His wrath on the earth in judgment of those who have opposed Him. But even though you find yourself in this terrible period of history, you don't have to suffer the eternal consequences of rejecting God. You can accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior right now and be assured of spending eternity with Him after you die; "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person; everyone will exist into eternity but only those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior during this mortal life will see heaven (John 14:6); all who have rejected Jesus will be separated from Him in hell (John 5:28-30).

There may be some time between the Rapture of the Church and the Tribulation though the Bible is silent as to how much time there will be if any. The seven-year Tribulation officially begins when a world leader who emerges from a coalition of ten world rulers confirms a peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27). This "covenant" enables Israel to build a temple in Jerusalem which the world ruler will enter at the midpoint of the Tribulation to declare himself god (Matthew 24:15, Daniel 8:11, 9:27, 11:31, 2 Thessalonians 2:4).

Don't allow yourself to be deceived by the man who is emerging as the world ruler. This ruler is referred to as the man of sin, son of perdition and lawless one in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8; he is called the Beast throughout Revelation and the Antichrist in 1 John 2:18, 4:3. He will be charismatic and eloquent speaker (Daniel 7:8). But he will blaspheme our Creator-God and persecute the followers of Christ (Daniel 7:25). He will be the smoothest, most invincible political operative to ever come on the world scene (Daniel 11:21, Revelation 13:4). Most people in the world will love and follow him (Revelation 13:3). But this man is bad news; he is represented by the first horse of the Apocalypse (Revelation 6:1-2) and will preside over the destruction of many people (Daniel 8:25).

At some point during the Tribulation, the world ruler institutes an economic system that will require all users to swear allegiance to the state so that they may receive some kind of identification on their right hand or forehead. This is called the "mark of the beast" in the Bible, see Revelation 13:16-18. Taking the mark of the beast will guarantee that you will spend eternity separated from our Creator-God (Revelation 14:11). Sure, not taking the mark of the beast will force you underground and make you an enemy of the state but condemning your soul to hell for eternity will be far worse.

I will not sugar-coat your situation... most people who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior after the Rapture of the Church will be hunted down and killed as enemies of the state (Revelation 7:9-17). Remember, physical death is not the worst that can happen to you and you have a great opportunity to help others escape separation from God in hell by helping them to also see the need to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior before they succumb to taking the mark of the beast.

There will be some followers of Christ from all nations who will survive the seven years of the Tribulation. Jesus will come back at the end of the Tribulation to establish His Kingdom on earth. If you survive the Tribulation, you will be blessed to be part of the Lord's glorious Millennial Kingdom. But you shouldn't make surviving the Tribulation your goal, "for whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25). Instead, work to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:20) by helping other yield their life to Jesus before it is too late.

If you haven't yet yielded your life to Jesus yourself, you can and should take care of that right now. Pray that God would open your Heart to Him and help you to trust in Him for your salvation. Ask God to forgive you for your sin and for help to believe that Jesus paid your sin debt when He died on the cross. Acknowledge that you believe Jesus is the only Son of God and that He rose from the dead as the Bible testifies. Ask the Lord to give you strength, courage and wisdom to survive the days ahead along with His help in being a powerful witness for Him.

I recommend studying your Bible as you have time starting first with the Gospel of John, then Revelation, and the rest of the New Testament. Following that, you should read the books of the prophets and then the rest of the Old Testament. Trust in the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you need to know to help others believe God's Word. I look forward to seeing you in heaven and hearing about your grand adventure representing Jesus Christ during the most amazing time in history.

Yours in Christ,
Scott Huckaby