Barry Amundsen (6
"Thanks to Lydia and
elaborating what will the rapture be like"
Thank you Lydia,
Yes, I too have been amazed at the cavalier attitude by many
believers on the subject of the rapture, just as you describe.
There is a belief concerning the rapture that I feel is not
scriptural wherein every believer will simply and suddenly
vanish leaving startled unbelievers left behind to wonder where
everyone went. I think this idea must have come from that
scripture about "one taken and the other left" as well as
popular books and movies and Larry Norman's song etc. however,
there are many scriptural reasons that I believe that our
rapture will not be like this at all.
(For one thing, I don't think that that scripture is about our
rapture but actually is describing a copy devilish rapture to
the battle of Armageddon, conducted by unclean spirits like
frogs that gather people at random as described in Revelation.
Jesus never revealed our rapture which is why Paul could still
call it a "mysterion" something not yet revealed. Yet Jesus
spoke of this other gathering and when His disciples asked in
Luke's gospel where Lord? He said to the place where dead bodies
fallen in battle are, where also flesh eating birds will gather.
All of which is described in Revelation and it says that these
spirits work miracles to gather people from all over the world
at once to battle and they call it a great supper. We also are
raptured to a great supper but a heavenly one. Satan copies
Okay, so if that is not our rapture where one is taken and the
other left, then how is our rapture described that differs from
that scenario? Ours is very different from that. In that
counterfeit rapture, the participant is "taken" yet in our
rapture we are invited to go out to meet the Bridegroom and then
enter with Him through an open door. This requires our choice to
go to Him. Also there are certain things that are happening in a
sequence such as graves opening and dead in Christ rise first.
This would at least give us some amount of advance warning,
however small because we are assured by Paul that the dead in
Christ rise first and then we which are alive and remain will be
caught up together with them in the air. That part is missing
from the one taken and the other left scenario.
Another big clue that seems to be ignored by the popular view is
what the angel said at Jesus' ascension that when Jesus comes
back for us, that He "would so come in like manner as ye have
seen Him go into heaven". So how did Jesus go into heaven? Were
the disciples standing there talking to Jesus and suddenly and
without warning He vanished into thin air and left them
wondering where He went? Of course not. He was speaking to them
and as He spoke and as they watched He slowly began to rise up
into the air and continued to rise until a cloud covered Him
from their sight. They stood there looking up into the sky until
the angel had to tell them to not stand here looking up but go
and do what Jesus said to do. But I think it is a huge clue that
Jesus tells us when you see certain things begin to come to pass
THEN stand and look up your redemption draws nigh. And then we
can expect to see Jesus literally float back down from the
clouds and be seen up in the sky coming back for us. Or else the
Angel could not have said that.
So now that those things are beginning to come to pass, we are
perfectly in correct posture to be standing looking up at least
in attitude, fully expecting Him to show up and I believe that
He will come just as he left floating down from the sky one day.
Well, for that to happen, He would have to be pretty close to
the earth or no one would be able to see Him, right? That
suggests to me that He will have to visit every town and village
on earth calling people out of graves and then calling the alive
and remaining. Or perhaps the dead rise all at once and then He
will begin making the rounds to every place on earth to call
believers to come up and join them. At least in my mind I cannot
imagine any other way that Jesus could come back in the same
manner that He left if we all just vanish and teleport into
outer space somewhere.
The point is that this does not look at all like most Christians
have been led to believe the rapture will be like and yet this
is what the Bible describes. It is for this reason that I
believe that when the rapture begins to happen, many Christians
will not even believe that it is the rapture and this is where
discernment will be required in order to get in on time. Imagine
if you were called to go outside because people were seeing a
man flying down from the sky and you went outside and sure
enough, there is a man flying in the sky and maybe other people
flying up there with him. Would you be able to believe that it
is Jesus and the rapture or would there be a possible fear and
perhaps a discussion could break out among believers whether
this indeed is it or what? Well, if the rapture does look like
it was when Jesus left, then there would indeed be time for the
wise and foolish virgins to have the exchange about the oil. The
wise will be able to come to the proper conclusion that this
must in fact be Jesus, but the foolish will not be able to be
convinced until they study their Bible further (go buy more oil)
to see if it fits. By the time they see that it does, it will be
too late and the opportunity to get in will have passed.
Every description of the rapture that I know of seems to have
the raptured ones participate in some way. Behold the
bridegroom, go ye out to meet Him... Suggests that there is a
participation on the part of the ones to whom He appears. They
are not just lifted away automatically. Likewise, in our Old
Testament example, where the Israelites are brought to the
promised land, they are invited to go in and posses it and they
could have done so by God's miracle but they feared the giants
and would not go.
Is it possible that a similar sort of test may await us at our
moment of invitation as well? If it does then some of our
trusted teachers and Christian leaders have not prepared their
people very well. For example, I heard Chuck Missler say to
anyone who may have a post-trib view, he said, "That's okay, the
rest of us will explain it to you on the way up..." And the
audience laughed. The suggestion is that even if you don't
believe in a pre-trib rapture, if you are a Christian you will
be raptured just the same whether you like it or not. I have
heard other Christians say the same thing too. But the Bible
says to them who look for Him will He appear the second time.
The proper expectation seems to be important in the Bible.
Similarly, if someone has been led to believe that the rapture
is a guarantee as a byproduct of salvation and if in fact it is
not necessarily so, that could be a big problem.
The extra oil then to me is the knowledge of the Holy Spirit
about these things as a result of putting Him first and being
taught these things by Him so as not to be caught off guard when