“Therefore I will protect you from the time of Great Tribulation” ~Rev 3:10
“Do you know the next great event on God’s prophetic calendar?” Chris asked his friend, Evan.
“Actually this event occurs just before the tribulation.”
“I guess I’m not sure. I often get the end times stuff mixed up.”
“The next big prophetic event is the Rapture!”
“To tell you the truth, I am a little foggy on how that is supposed to work, Chris. Can you fill me in. Oh, and should I worry about being left behind?”
“I can give you the ultimate test to see if you will be included in the rapture (if it happens before you die). Answer this question for me and we will know for sure: the Bible says, in Romans 10:13, “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Evan, have you called upon the name of the Lord to save you?”
“Yes. I have. I most certainly have.”
“Then you will not be left behind; plain and simple.”
“Praise God. That is a relief. So, go ahead, tell me about the Rapture.”
“Let me quote Mark Hitchcock’s book, 101 Answers To The Most Asked Questions About The End Times
“The Rapture is that future event when Jesus Christ will descend from heaven and, in a moment of time, resurrect the bodies of departed believers, transform the bodies of living believers immediately into His glorious presence, and then escort them to heaven to live with Him forever. The Rapture is the blessed hope of the church.”
“When is this supposed to happen?”
“That is the question for all the ages, Evan. Only God knows the date and time. So we are to look with expectancy— anticipating that at any moment we might hear the mighty shout and trumpet blast calling us home.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-2
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
“We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.
“When is all this going to happen? I really don’t need to say anything about that, dear brothers, for you know perfectly well that no one knows. That day of the Lord will come unexpectedly like a thief in the night.”
2 Peter 3:8-13
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.”
“Life in these mortal bodies often brings conflict, sadness, sorrow, uncertainty and discouragement, Evan, which is why verse 18 in 1 Thessalonians, above, is so crucial: So comfort and encourage each other with these words! When a friend, a fellow believer, is at rock-bottom, encourage them with these words! We cannot hear them too often and need the life-changing assurance God’s word brings to our souls.”