One of the main events to occur just before the rapture, was the signing of a peace treaty, mediated by the antichrist himself, whether in full power, or up and coming in his career is unsure. [How ripe is our world, in its current state of affairs to fulfill that prophecy any day now?—Yet this is a 2500 year old prophecy!]
At the very start of the seven years of tribulation on earth, just after the rapture of God's people, a war will be started, because an alliance of nations will form in the Middle East that breaks the peace treaty, and moves on Israel. The two leading countries of this alliance are listed in detail, in Ezekiel 38 & 39 are Russia and Iran—straight from today's headlines. Later in the Tribulation, there is to be a nation spoken of in Revelation 9, with over 200 million troops that march from east of the Euphrates on the Middle East: Red China boasts that exact number today, and they are east of the Euphrates. In Revelation 9, one third of men will be killed, and one third of the earth burned up in this unprecedented warfare [sounds eerily like nuclear weapons] (Not possible until the weapons of today) And lastly, Revelation 13, describes a monetary system that the entire world unites under, which involves buying and selling with only a number—we are the first generation to have that capability; the technology is here now—just in need of implementing. All of these things and much more, are listed as occurring just before or just after we are taken home. So again… how close must we be?
Before we journey through the events of Rapture, a common question asked is: "With millions of people disappearing all over the world, how will Satan rationalize and explain away this event?” The Scriptures are silent on this, but they do paint a very descriptive picture of the world's mentality and knowledge of God at the moment of the rapture. First of all, realize that all who truly believe anything said about Jesus, and this moment of time, are now gone; leaving those who know nothing about Scriptures, or those who believe nothing about Scriptures, or those who want nothing to do with what they already know is true about Scriptures. 2 Thessalonians 2:3: falling away: apostasia (meaning to forsake, defect, purposefully reject, not just ignorant of, but hostile towards) Paul and John write in detail about the attitude and spirit of the world during the last days: Romans 1:24-32, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 2 Timothy 4:3-4. We’ve seen the world strive to create new ways of sin and depravity in entertainment, lifestyles and laws. We’ve seen the world around us choose to strike out in pure hatred, of anything that stands against them having their own way anymore. We’ve seen the world completely turn everything around, calling all that God says is bad- good and right, and loving, and calling all that God says is good- bad, and bigoted, ignorant, selfish, and hateful. John 16:2-4.
Therefore, if all true Christians were gone, those remaining will be a combination of those who are scared and clueless as to what God has said would happen, those who are so justified in their own sin through selfishness and pride, that they think they are the one's God is pleased with, and those who are purposefully rebelling against the God they already know exists. One very powerful possibility is that the antichrist could proclaim to the world that all those troublemaking, haters and bigots have been removed, as a punishment to the "Haters", and to remove the obstacles keeping them from creating the righteous and accepting culture god wants; and the lukewarm church living in apostasy that is left, will probably be proclaiming that it couldn't have been the rapture, because the, "true loving church" is still here, with the pure hatred shown by most of the unbelieving world, towards those who don't condone their desires, this is a real scenario. Lastly, realize this fact: there will be a number of people touched in their hearts, who do see this for exactly what it is—the hand of God—and they will come to Christ for salvation—but now, they will suffer through the wrath to come before going home.
Titus 2:13, Luke 12:37-40, 45-46: we are not supposed to live fearfully every moment, but notice the servants are living life as normal while awaiting the Master’s return, to the point they become complacent, lazy and sinful as they wait, seemingly to support that we are raptured while living under normal conditions, not during times of trial and tribulation. Regardless, this verse stresses that we should live in expectation of His coming at anytime, and live our lives serving and watching for Him. Jesus was talking about those who have already believed and called Him Master—not unbelievers—and they get weary of living and watching for Him in love, so they embrace the world again (they leave Him) and Jesus says that, when He returns He will give them a place with the unbeliever. Even for those of us who love Him and are waiting for His Return, we don't often think about or anticipate how that moment is going to be. One reason is that it seems so distant and irrelevant to our lives, that it is almost unreal; the other reason is that many of us know so little about the rapture, it is difficult to anticipate and imagine how it will be. We, of all generations should be excitedly, and expectantly looking for this event like no other before us.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: God will bring with Him, those asleep (meaning passed away), when He returns—not raise, not awaken—meaning they are already with Him. Isaiah 26:19-21, 1 Corinthians 15:50-55, Luke 17:34-36: on an ordinary day (or night) (someday soon), believers will hear the literal shout of Jesus Christ as He bursts into the Heavens and calls us to Him (It may awaken you in your sleep; you may be at work, at home). What will you be doing when you hear His voice? What will His voice sound like? What will He shout? His Voice will be accompanied by the shout of an archangel! (Michael is only one listed in Bible) Immediately following, we will hear the Trumpet (Shofar) ringing across the land (only believers). At the last blow of this trumpet, in the twinkling of an eye (Nano second), we will go from seeing, hearing, and feeling whatever is around you at that moment, as you do now, to seeing those around us in the clouds instantly, experiencing everything with new, transformed senses, and new bodies—age, hair, strength—all new.
What vibrant colors, and sounds, and smells might we instantly be overwhelmed with at that moment? Immediately following this awesome transformation, we will feel ourselves propelled towards the heavens to meet our Savior Face to face for the first time. There, we will meet up with some who left earth with us, we will reunite with some of the loved ones passed on—who've come to be reunited with their incorruptible bodies as well, and, with some that we have never met this side of Heaven before, as we are all changed, and rallied together for the most amazing trip of our lives thus far. We’ll be high above the earth, surrounded by friends, family, reunited loved ones, and new loved ones unmet. We’ll be experiencing everything in this world, for the first time, with new and unimaginable senses, and we’ll be literally beholding the physical Glory and Presence of Jesus Christ for the first time in our lives, as we are gathered by the millions around Him above the earth.
What will His Voice sound like as He speaks to us all for the first time audibly? What will His demeanor be, as He welcomes and celebrates His Beloved? He will be as excited as us, for sure, because this is what he died for—to bring us home, and this is His moment. To journey, with the Savior, into Heaven Itself, will we travel through space, or enter Heaven another way? Revelation 19:11: This could be referencing the gates of Heaven opening as we leave together, or it could be referencing the heavens above the earth opening.
However, know this: Heaven is a real, physical place; it’s not just a spiritual dimension somewhere.
What will our welcome into Heaven be like when we arrive? John 14:1-3, John 17:24: What will it be like when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords walks into the Gates of His Father's Kingdom, with the Bride He has rescued and brought Home for the Marriage Ceremony, parading behind and around Him; which He gave up everything for, and died horribly to save, surrounded by countless angels, and The Father Himself, who have known and adored Jesus Christ, who watched His humble actions, His unbelievable sacrifice, and His Plan unfold since the Creation of the Universe—now they see the triumphant entry, of our King with His prize. Imagine the cheers, celebration, singing! This must be one of the most precious and glorious moments in Jesus' heart, and we will be there to share it with Him as His prized beloved! When you enter Heaven’s Gate, you will enter surrounded by loved ones passed, present, and unmet. From this point, there is much activity going on with the raptured Saints in Heaven with Christ, and simultaneously on earth during the Tribulation.
Next week, we will walk through the Judgment Seat, or Bema Seat of Christ, that all believers stand before, The Marriage of the Lamb to His Bride, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. All of this may be right at our door, and everything we’ve discussed today will be lost the first sound of his voice. With all of this at stake, choose Christ—live for Him, truly! The night is at hand—be about His will.
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