What to do if you miss the rapture! (Part 1)
Resist the Antichrists System
There is a time on Gods prophetic calendar which is called the Tribulation. That period of time follows an era which is known as the Church Age, the Day of Grace. There are billions who will be alive at the conclusion of the Day of Grace, but who will never have truly believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will then move into the Tribulation.
This is being written to them. You, even as you read these words, may realize that the true Christians are suddenly gone from the world. If that is so, you have entered a period of time that will be much different from anything you have ever known. A new course of action will now be demanded from you!
What to do if you miss the Rapture? Even as we write, we are quite conscious of the fact that the Rapture will come. That is the time when we, the members of the Church which is the Body of Christ, will be taken from the world. Our disappearance is the event which will end the Church Age and trigger the beginning of the Tribulation.
So we take this opportunity, while we are yet here, to leave behind a message for you. It is our testimony, and a set of urgent suggestions for you, that you may find to be tremendously valuable if you have missed the Rapture.
Those of us who are reading this before the Rapture has taken place, must begin to pray that God will use these writings to work in a tremendous fashion in the hearts of those people who will miss the Rapture.
Weve divided this into several sections, because, What to Do if You Miss the Rapture has to do both with resisting some things and with affirming some things.
Therefore, weve called this chapter, Resist the Antichrists System. You see, when the Rapture takes place and the Church is taken from the world, a new world ruler will rise to power. The Bible calls him the Antichrist, although you will know him by another name. He will become so powerful, that he will control the whole world under one political system. He will be so popular, that he will become the object of worship under a new religious system. Having missed the Rapture, you will find yourself enmeshed in the system of the Antichrist. What, then, should you do?
Believe the Gospel of the Kingdom
First of all, and most importantly, believe now the Gospel of the Kingdom. Believe the marvelous message that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. You see, during the Day of Grace, during the Church Age, we had the opportunity of believing the Gospel of the Grace of God, which says:
For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Those of us who believed that message became a part of the Church, which is His Body, and were taken out of the world at the time of the Rapture. Now, during the Tribulation, the Gospel of the Grace of God is no longer the message which leads to your salvation. The message you must now believe is the Gospel of the Kingdom. Thats the message which says:
. . . the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17).
Its the same message that Jesus preached during the days of His earthly ministry: the kingdom of heaven is at hand. It was refused in those days, and was withdrawn. Christ will now soon return to Earth in tremendous power and great glory. His coming, bringing to pass the Kingdom of Heaven, is inevitable! Listen to what Jesus said:
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14).
He was speaking about that message: the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The King is soon to be with you; you must believe on Him, embrace Him, and receive Him. Living in the Tribulation, you have no time to lose, because believing the Gospel of the Kingdom is the only way for you to be saved. It represents your only hope for eternal life.
Will there be those who will be saved during the days of the Tribulation? Yes, by the millions, and you, having moved into the Tribulation, can be one of them! Believe now that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of mankind. Receiving Him, and His message of the Gospel of the Kingdom, you will receive everlasting life, and you will inherit the earth, as is promised in the Word of God.
So the first and the most urgent thing you must do, is to believe this Gospel, the Gospel of the Kingdom. Then, you will be a part of a great program, in which the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to every nation in the world. The days of the Tribulation will not only be a time of terrible suffering for many, but it will also be a time of the greatest evangelism the world has ever seen. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
It might be good to remind ourselves again of the difference between the Gospel of the Grace of God, and the Gospel of the Kingdom. The Gospel of the Grace of Godthe message that Christ died for our sins and rose again, and when we believe in Him, we have life eternalthat message produces our marvelous entrance into the Church, which is the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit comes to live within our lives. We are children of the living God, and we inherit the universe.
Now in succession to the Gospel of the Grace of God is the Tribulation messagethe Gospel of the Kingdom. When you believe that Christ is your Messiah, the Messiah of Israel and the King of the universe, you accept the message that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. You, too, are given everlasting life. But rather than become part of the Body of Christ, you become a member of the marvelous program that God has ordained for a renewed and expanded Israel.
By the way, if youre reading this while it is still the Day of Grace, believe the Gospel of the Grace of God while there is time. It is the most wonderful offer that God ever gave to man, and has benefits far greater than those of the Gospel of the Kingdom. But if the day of Grace is over, my advice to you, having moved into the Tribulation, is that you believe the Gospel of the Kingdom. Its your only hope!
Now, there are other events that you will face, being alive during the days of the Tribulation, for which you must be prepared. By this time, you must realize that strange things have taken place in the world. Millions of believing Christians are now gone, having been taken in the Rapture to Heaven, and you have been left behind. You face some very serious considerations. The days of the Tribulation will be days in which it will take some stern convictions in order to survive!
Steel Yourself to Live Courageously
What, then, is our advice in resisting the system of the Antichirst? Having believed the Gospel of the Kingdom, secondly, steel yourself to live courageously. To be a believer during the days of the Tribulation makes you the custodian of tremendous privilege, but it also means you will face some genuine opposition in the world. The Book of the Revelation, which tells us so much about the Tribulation, speaks particularly about you! In a number of places, it says things like this:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11).
They resisted the devil, who came down amongst them. To be a part of that opposition is going to take tremendous courage during the days of the Tribulation. To fulfill the will of God in that time will be terribly demanding. So, you must steel yourself to live courageously.
Actually, the Bible says that about all time periods. The Scripture has advised believers in every generation in history to quit you like men (1 Cor. 16:13); to Be strong and of good courage (Joshua 1:6); and also:
Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:14-15).
The Bible calls for intrepid people in every age, but that tremendous valor will be even more in demand, during the days of the Tribulation. I hope that you deeply resolve to live courageously for Christ no matter what! And that no matter what may well take place in your own life.
Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-11).
That advice is never more applicable than during those days in which the Tribulation has come to pass. Prepare yourselfsteel yourselfto live courageously.
Dont Take the Mark of the Beast
Then let me say, at all costs, no matter what, do not take the Mark of the Beast. The beast is another name for this dreadful world ruler the Bible calls the Antichrist. He will be escalated to power, first over ten kingdoms, and then over the whole world. The beast will be a very efficient organizer, but watch outhes the devils man! He will put together a world government, which will demand that everybody becomes enrolled in its program.
That enrollment, without which you cant buy or sell anything, will be forced on every person in the form of a mark. You must be forewarned as to the dreadful consequences of taking that mark. Listen to what the Scripture says:
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall 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 ascends up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name (Rev. 14:9-11).
That is a very, very serious warning. The Antichrist will demand of each person that he receive a mark in the right hand, or in the forehead. Without that mark, he can neither buy nor sell. Every person without the Mark of the Beast risks the possibility of starving to death, but that is a risk you must take. Perhaps you can find shelter among others who have resisted the mark.
You must be one who resists receiving the Mark of the Beast, because if you take it, you cannot be saved. If you take it, you have made a permanent identification, into eternity, with the devils crowd. We cannot tell you strongly enough, the Mark of the Beast must be resisted at all costs!
We have an efficient organization going, even during the Day of Grace, in which computers are whirring, and planners are saying, weve got to get things organized. Already, there are suggestions as to how individual identification can be made unerringly, so that anyone can be found and identified anywhere in the entire world. At the time of this writing, the technology is already here!
The Bible says the whole world will yield to both the government and the religion of the Antichrist. The world will be called upon to take part in his system commercially, and will even be persuaded to worship him. The mark of that identification will be placed upon all his followers, so that they can be instantly recognized as part of the Antichrists system.
What happens if you refuse to be a part of the Antichrists system? You may face the possibility of martyrdom. You may be confronted with the demand, Take the Mark of the Beast, or die! If that happens to you, remember what you have read. Understand what is really happening, that it was all prophesied, and remember how it will end. Believe the Gospel of the Kingdom, and refuse to take the Mark of the Beast.
Allow for Martyrdom
I know, when we think about dying for Christ, being a martyr, that sounds like a terrible thing. But let me talk with you about dying for just a moment. The Apostle Paul has already said, regarding those who know the Lord:
O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? (1 Cor. 15:55).
The Church would never have been in the world, in any solid sense, were it not for those in the early days, who loved not their lives unto death, but were willing to live and to die for Christ. This they did in great numbers, perhaps by the millions, resolute for the Savior. Now that time of martyrdom may come again. If you are reading this in a time when the Rapture has already passed, you are living in the Tribulation, and must prepare for the possibility of martyrdom. If that possibility stands before you, remember that Christ said:
. . .be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
Theres a special martyrs crown, which God has prepared for those who give to Him their last full measure of devotion. That offer will be made, virtually to everyone, during the days of the Tribulation. There will be the choice to live, compromising with the system of the Antichrist. But remember, if you take his mark, you cannot be saved. If you take the road of martyrdomturning over your life, in order to remain faithful to Jesus Christyou will pass into eternal life with great rewards awaiting you.
If you miss the Rapture, therefore, you must keep these things in mind. And they deserve to be repeated, even for those who will read this while it is still the Day of Grace. For many of us on this side of the Rapture, one of the hardest things in all the world to contemplate, is the dreadful time that will be coming upon the world during the Tribulation. But if you have missed the Rapture, you are already in the midst of that time, and suddenly a very stern code has come upon you.
So again, first of all, be sure that you believe the Gospel of the Kingdom. Accept Christ as your Messiah. Believe that He is coming to establish His Kingdom on Earth, because He is! When your life is tied to His, then whatever happens, you know that you have eternal life. If you will be resolute for Christ in the days ahead, you have the chance not only to know Him, but also to reign with Him.
Steel yourself to live courageously. Courage has always been required of those who believe on the Lord, and now in many cases it will be the price of survival. In light of your decision for Christ, you have every reason to face the future with courage!
Remember that starting in a very small way, and then growing until it devours the Earth, will be the kingdom of the Antichrist. Why do we have the Tribulation? The Tribulation is God saying to man, Look. You have said youre autonomous. You have said you can run the world, and you dont need help from God. Okay, youve got it! Have it your way.
The Tribulation is the last installment of mans day, the time when man has the opportunity to run the world. The airwaves will be filled with the propaganda that man is creating Utopia. He thinks he can do it efficiently, but he will do it so poorly, that it will become one of the most dreadful hours in the history of mankind.
One-half of the population of the world will die during the Tribulation. One-fourth will die, as prophesied in Revelation Chapter 6, and one-third of those who remain are prophesied to die in Revelation Chapter 9. This will be the outcome of the fearful things you now see coursing across the world.
Now, one final question concerning the Tribulation: will the Tribulation go on forever? The answer is no. The Tribulation is a very finite thing. It will go on for a period of seven years, the last 3.5 years being particularly terrible. Jesus Christ told us about those years, warning that they would be so terrible, that:
except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved (Matt. 24:22).
Those days will be shortened by the glorious return of Jesus Christ, when He comes with ten thousands of His saints (Jude 14). He will deliver the beleaguered people of Israel; He will rescue the remainder of the world from the dread clutches of the Antichrist; He will set up His Kingdom. You must decide now to be true to that coming Kingdom.
Theres just a short time to endure the frightful things of the Tribulation, and then Christ will come. We will be a part of His magnificent rulership of the world, and of the universe. So in the light of that day, this is the day to be resolute for Christ. Jesus Christ is coming again. That, during the Tribulation, is your greatest hope: not just an expression, but your greatest hope. Be prepared for these events which are coming upon our world.
Destiny Newsletter continued