Body of Christ Ministries
Winter Garden, FL 34778
In the best selling book series “Left Behind” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, reporter Buck Williams is on an airplane to his next assignment. Suddenly, in the middle of the flight and without warning, about a third of the passengers disappear from the airplane! So shocking is this development, that the airplane returns to Chicago, its point of departure. Shortly thereafter, everyone discovers that many others throughout the world have disappeared as well, causing great confusion and shock.
Thus begins the “Left Behind” series. Although a fictional story line, it is based on the actual events prophesied to happen in the last seven years before the 2nd coming of Jesus as given in “Revelation”, the last book of the Bible. The last seven years before His actual return is known as the time of Tribulation that brings to earth unprecedented peril, mayhem, disasters, the antichrist and a new world order that is anything but horrifying. In comparison, it will make WW II seem like a picnic!
However, before the seven years of Tribulation takes place, those who believe and are born again in Jesus Christ will be Raptured to meet Jesus in the air as described by Paul the Apostle in his letter to the church in Thessalonica, now located in the area of Macedonia. The scripture verse that explains this event is 1 Thess. 4:13-17 (which can be read to the right).
What this means is Jesus will come down from heaven on the clouds in our literal atmosphere and “snatch” His true Church out of the earth before the awful day of the Lord, which is earmarked by the onset of the Tribulation as described in Revelation. The Bible does not give a specific time frame for the Rapture to occur. Many believe it will occur before the Tribulation.
The Rapture is one of the most looked forward to events in the life of a Christian. Why? Because it is a gift from God that allows His people to avoid the wrath that will be poured out on the earth during the 7 year Tribulation (explained on the next section). Jesus describes the Tribulation in Matthew 24:21,22 as....”For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.“ Wonderfully, Paul describes how the church will be spared the wrath of God as given in 1 Thess. 1:9-10 (which can be read to the right)
What Happens After the Rapture
Therefore, when you hear of many people suddenly missing and their common identity is that they were all Christians, do not believe in those who will try to pass this off as an alien abduction. Be assured that the media will try to convince you that there are many possibilities as what may have occurred, although, I would speculate that an alien (UFO) abduction would be most convenient and prevalent excuse used to explain away the Rapture.
Following the Rapture, an event will take place that will mark the beginning of Tribulation, the 7 year period that entails God’s wrath being poured out on the earth. This event is heralded by the antichrist himself, who will be the main individual responsible for enacting a peace treaty between Israel and her adversaries.* This is prophesied in Daniel 9:27 (read to the right) found in the Old Testament. We know that this individual, called the abomination of desolation, is the antichrist because Jesus identifies him so in the book of Matthew 24:15...“So when you see standing in the holy place (temple) the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand.”
“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep (means those who have died), or grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again so should we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet (shofar) call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever”.
1 Thess 4: 13-17
”They tell how you (the church in Thessalonica) turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead - Jesus, Who rescues us from the coming wrath.
1 Thess. 1:9-10
“He (the antichrist) will confirm a covenant (peace treaty) with many (nations) for one seven (years). In the middle of the seven (3-½ years) he will put an end to sacrifice and offering (this means that the Jews will again be conducting services in the 3rd Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem). On a a wing (section) of the Temple he will set up an abomination (the antichrist sets up an image of himself directly in the temple - see Rev.13:15) that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
The Rapture and What to Do If You Miss It