What to do if you were left behind!
This page is a resource that we use for Christian bible study. We have developed some of the information on this page and we have borrowed information from other studies which are freely available. Our intent is to provide a study resource that we can access when traveling. We do not disagree with anyone's personal interpretation of scripture and our thoughts are not offered as an argument for the perspective from our understanding of this revelation. Please feel free to read or use the study material if it is of help. Thank you
Were you “left behind”?
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, told us to always be expectant, always to be ready, for the day that He calls His people, both living and dead. This event is not the second coming of the Messiah nor is it the “end of the world”. For those who have an expectation for this event, it is a blessing and the beginning of preparations for a time when the people of earth will be governed by God’s truth and God’s justice - for everyone. It’s termed by some Christians as the Rapture – that is - in the "twinkling of an eye", people who live or have lived by their faith in Jesus Christ will join Him.
So what if a lot of Christian people suddenly disappear and you are still here on earth; does that mean you’re not going to go to heaven? Not necessarily, however, it does mean a series of events over seven years will occur which represent some people in our world being pretty bad and God introducing a series of 21 cleansing steps (judgments) which will prepare the world for the physical return of Jesus Christ, that will be His second coming. If you become a Christian during this seven year period, that is wonderful, however it’s also going to be a struggle - though very much worth it in the end.
It seems to be God’s intent that people should not completely understand the Rapture or know when it’s going to occur. However, this event does have plenty of references in scripture which tell us that it’s going to happen just before that seven year period. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, told us this more than a few times; that is, He’s coming to remove His people before the great time of sorrow occurs (that is the seven years of evil and judgment). This seven year time of sorrow is what Christians generally call the Tribulation. Our current review is intended not so much to define these events or to speculate on when they will occur as to reflect on what it means for us as Christians right now and for folks who might note that the Rapture has occurred and they are still on earth.
People, both Christian and non-Christian, often associate the Rapture, the Tribulation (time of sorrow), the final battle at Armageddon and the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ as the end of the world. That’s an incorrect understanding as the life of all people will go on throughout eternity. We feel that the Rapture is about Jesus’ relationship with His people through faith. Since the time that Jesus went to sit at the right hand of the Father, Christian people of faith are the light of God’s grace to the world through the action of the Holy Spirit in both individuals and the local church. Jesus will remove faithful Christians in the Rapture; at that moment in time, the Holy Spirit will end His role in the Christian Church Age and the final actions in the conflict of good and evil will play out.
If the Rapture occurs and you’re still on earth don’t be concerned for any family or friends who may be gone. They’re fine and with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Also, God did not forget you or reject you; you may have gone to a Christian church regularly, you may be a very good person - it’s just you were not ready. God’s salvation through Jesus Christ is still available for you; it’s just the next seven years will be a time of sorrow for almost everyone on earth and it will be much harder to profess your faith in Jesus Christ.
Christians, over the years, have looked forward to the Rapture not because it begins the “end-of-the-world” or the final solution for evil but rather because it represents the reunion of the Christian Church with Jesus Christ. We try to live with the expectation that the Rapture can be at any moment but we pray, provision and plan our lives in case God’s time for this may be far into the future. The peace, love and joy which our faith in Jesus Christ enables us to receive through His grace is meant for living life and so we do.
Faith and grace are linked; scripture provides an interesting insight in Jeremiah, chapter 2, verses 4-13:
“What injustice did your fathers find in Me? They went far from me … followed idols … became idolaters. I brought you into a beautiful country … and you have made my heritage an abomination. The priests do not ask “Where is the Lord” … those who handle the law do not know Me … rulers transgress against Me … prophets make prophesies by Baal and walk after things that do not profit. What nation ever changed its gods, which are not gods? But my people have changed their Glory for what does not profit. My people have committed two evils:
(1) they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters … and …
(2) they have made, for themselves, cups (e.g. containers, cisterns) which cannot hold water.”
Christian living develops our capacity to receive grace, as our faith develops with grace so also does our capacity to receive more grace; consequently, our relationship with God becomes closer.
Psalm 116, verse 12 asks the question: “What can I render to God for all His benefits to me?”
Psalm 116, verse 13 answers the question: “I will take the cup of His salvation and call on His name.”
The capacity of our faith to hold God’s grace of “living water” is a factor at the time of the Rapture. It’s also important for developing a person’s Christian relationship with God, this is the foundation for the fruit of the Holy Spirit which includes: joy, love and peace in our lives. Again, if the rapture occurred and you’re still here, God is still here also, very close to you, waiting with a desire to develop a relationship with you based on your faith in Jesus Christ.
Is There Hope For Me?
You may hear people say, "Because we've missed the rapture, we are lost forever." This assumption is totally wrong. According to the New Testament’s Book of Revelation, a huge number of people will be saved during the Tribulation.What should you do? In the Epistle of James there is a verse (chapter 4, verse 8): "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you" - you do this by professing faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and your personal Savior; by Savior you mean that you recognize that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ and by His voluntary death on the cross He purchased, for you, redemption for all your sins - past present and in the future. Thus the Christian is no longer under the law of the Old Testament but under the redemptive grace purchased for us by Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus rose from the the dead after three days and now sits at the right hand of God the Father making atonement for our sins. When God looks at a Christian, He sees Jesus Christ. This is why we confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior. God is one God - we refer to the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit to allow our limited perception of the spiritual to understand what God is doing in both our life and the world. We consider ourselves body, soul and spirit in much the same way however each person is a unique and single creation of God. When you verbally profess that Jesus Christ is God, risen from the dead, now in heaven with the Father and your personal Savior, you'll find that the Holy Spirit will take up residence in your heart and things will begin to occur which confirm that you have made the right choice.
A few more scripture passages:
Galatians, chapter 4, verse 9: "Now that you have come to know God ... or ... rather be know by God"
Psalm 145, verse 18: "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in truth"
Isaiah chapter 65, verse 24: (a promise of God to His people) "Before you call, I will answer ... while you are still speaking, I will hear"
The prophet Malachi provides an useful revelation in chapter 3, verses 16-17"
"Those who have reverence for the Lord:
(1) speak often with one another
(2) the Lord listens to them and hears
(3) the Lord remembers them
(4) they "think" on His Name
Note: the revealed Name of God, for the Christian, is Jesus Christ
Love, peace and joy.