I remember several years ago when I was a teenager at my church’s youth camp, I heard a sermon entitled, “What to do if you miss the rapture”. At that time, the recording was on a cassette tape, and we were encouraged to get a copy to leave where those left behind could find it.
Thirty-five years later, I doubt anyone could find my cassette tape or be able to play it if they did. I do wonder how many people will someday use a search engine to ask this very question when they realize they have indeed missed the rapture of the church.
Maybe you are reading this and you have never heard of the Rapture. Let me explain.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV
“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. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
You will not find the word “rapture” in the Bible. However, it describes a biblical event. The word means, “catching away”, and we use it to refer to the catching away of believers to be with the Lord in Heaven. Here are some facts:
- Approximately one-third of all the prophecies in the Bible deal with the second coming of Christ.
- Jesus’ return is mentioned 318 times in 216 chapters of the New Testament.
- Both 1 & 2 Thessalonians are written around the theme of Christ’s return.
- Several New Testament chapters are devoted to this topic.
No One Knows the Day or Hour
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matt 24:36-44 NKJV (Also see Mark 13:32-37; Luke 17:26,27,34,35; 21:34-36)
If you are reading this and the Rapture has not occurred, I want to urge you to make sure you are ready should today be the day that the Lord returns! You might be tempted to think this will not happen in your lifetime, but if you study Bible prophecy, you can see the signs of the imminent return of the Lord are all around us!
I recently posted “What Will September Hold” which linked readers to a sermon about many of the signs of the times we are witnessing as they unfold before our very eyes. We do not know the day or the hour, but we can know the season, and I believe we are living in the very last days.
What to Do if You Missed the Rapture!
I know this may seem unconventional, but now I want to address anyone who finds this post at some time in the future and the rapture of the church has already happened. I am sure you are frightened, possibly alone, and are experiencing a world of mass chaos. Many who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior disappeared in a moment. This would have caused much disaster with countless vehicles, machinery, aircrafts, and the like left without anyone to operate them. This is just the beginning of the great difficulty to come.
What should you do? Try not to panic; there is still hope for you. It would have been much better if you had accepted Jesus as your Savior before the rapture, but you can still do this. Ask Jesus to come into your life as your personal savior. Repent of your sins, quit sinning, and confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord.
Gather as many Bibles as you can find, keep one close and begin to commit it to memory. Hide the rest, because they will most likely begin to be confiscated. Read the following:
- The whole book of Daniel
- Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39
- The whole book of Revelations
- Matthew chapter 24
- Luke chapter 21
- Then begin reading the whole New Testament. I hope that you are able to locate a study Bible with commentator help. Many of these passages are full of symbolism that is difficult to understand, but it describes the times you are experiencing.
Following the rapture, there will be a seven-year period of great tribulation. Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21-29 speaks of a time of trouble and tribulation such as has never existed. There will be seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments, seven thunders, and seven bowl judgments. These will be horrible to endure and many will die. You can read about all of these beginning in Revelations chapter 6.
The first seal in Revelations chapter 6:2 is about the rider of a white horse. He is the Anti-Christ, the ruler of a one-world government, who will quickly rise to power. You MUST NOT take his mark or his number!
“Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.’” Revelations 14:9-12 NASU
It will be difficult to avoid taking this mark, because it will be required to buy and sell. You may be tortured and have to die for your belief, but you must not worship the image of the Anti-Christ.
Here is the good news. If you will stay faithful, you have the below promise:
“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Revelations 20:4-5 NASU
Following this one thousand years of peace, you will enjoy the new heaven and new earth for all eternity. (Revelations 21:10 – 22:9) Stay strong, and we will meet some day in heaven.