I had to leave for a 6 p.m. meeting. I told my daughter I’d be back around 8 p.m.

“Your dad and brother are here if you need anything,” I said. She was 10, old enough to stay by herself, but I felt better knowing others were around.

“I’m really tired,” she said. “I’m going to take a nap.”

There is Hope

I told my husband where I was going and that Jenny was taking a nap.

She woke up an hour later and went to look for them. The house was dark and eerily silent. She called for her dad and brother and looked everywhere in the house. Her dad’s car was in the drive.

She panicked. Where were they? They wouldn’t just leave unless…

This was before cell phones. Who could she call? She tried a couple of numbers, but it was Saturday and people were gone. She turned on the radio and couldn’t hear the Christian station. Of course, in the house it was hard to get that station.

Finally, she called Poppy, her grandfather, and sure enough his wife picked up the phone.  Jenny was sobbing by now. “I’m so-o-o-o glad you’re there.”

“What’s the matter? Are you hurt?” her step-grandmother asked.

“No, everybody is gone and I was afraid the Rapture happened and I’d been left behind.”

In a few minutes, her dad and brother came back. They’d gone for a bike ride.

The movie, Left Behind, had just come out in theaters. I guess they did a really good job of showing what happens when all believers are taken out of the earth before the Second Coming.

A remake of the movie will be released Oct. 3, 2014.  Dates and times surrounding the actual hour when believers in Christ are taken out of the earth isn’t known. However, the Bible has some interesting things to say about this time we have come to call, The Rapture.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”1

For those who have accepted Christ as their personal savior, it will be an awesome day of days. For those who have been left behind, it will be a terrible day of days followed by even more difficult days.

Perusing through the end time events as mentioned in the Bible can be  confusing. The outline of events after the Rapture, when Christians both living and dead are taken to be with the Lord, includes several events. Below is a listing as I understand it and as my pastor, Jeremy Risner, explained. Don’t freak out if we are wrong. We admit to not knowing everything!

  • Judgment Seat of Christ, where Christians receive their rewards based on how they lived their lives
  • Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • Tribulation and Great Tribulation, where God does a final effort to draw man to Himself
  • Second Coming of Christ
  • Saints return with Christ for Armageddon
  • Satan defeated and thrown into the abyss for 1,000 years
  • Millenial Reign of Christ, which includes world peace and Jesus ruling as king
  • Satan released and allowed to try and deceive people born during this time
  • Final defeat of Satan
  • Final Judgement
  • New Heaven and New Earth where all things are put back right.

When will this happen? The Bible is clear: No one knows the date or time. Scriptures do tell us that we need to keep watch and “be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”2

However, there will be signs, like birth pains. There will be wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution and wickedness increasing.3

The important thing is not when Jesus is coming but to be prepared for His coming. “jesus is coming back,” Risner said. “I better be ready and I want to help others be ready.”

How can we do that? Jesus answers that question when He says, we should be like faithful and wise servants, “Whom the master has put in charge of the servants in His household to give them their food at the proper time. It will be good for that servant whose master finds Him doing so when He returns.”4

Jesus, of course, referred to Himself as the bread of life.5 Those who are hungry eat and live, receiving the gift of salvation

Jesus is very specific about the accountability of each Christian. Each of us have been given talents and resources. Like the parable of the talents, where the earthly master holds his servants accountable for what he has given them, so our Heavenly Father holds us accountable for what He has given us.6

“The sheep and goats will be separated,” Risner said. “Your motives matter. Your deeds matter. Persecuted or not, those who push through the hard times will be rewarded.”

What kind of rewards might there be in heaven where streets are paved with gold anyway? In heaven, things will not matter.

Think about standing before God to give an account of your life. But before you can say a word, people begin lining up behind you, The line stretches as  far as the eye can see. These are people who are there because of the time you invested in their lives, because of the money you gave so others could minister to them, because of the things you endured so they could hear the message of truth. This is your reward.

In the end, souls are the only things that matter.

Do you care that others may be left behind?

My daughter knew she wouldn’t be left behind, but still there was this fear lurking inside her. We talked through her salvation experience. After that conversation, she was sure she would not be left behind when Jesus comes to take His bride to heaven.

What about you, are you sure, you will ascend with Christ when that day comes? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and savior?7

Will you hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant?”8

What would you need to do today to hear those words tomorrow?

 

1 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

2 Matthew 24:44

3 Matthew 24:4-13

4 Matthew 24:45

5 John 5:48-51

6 Matthew 25:14-28

7Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16, Romans 5:8-9, Romans 10:9-10

8 Matthew 25:23

 

Sweet-Grace-3D_600pxTeresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.

Becoming A Butterfly
Stranded, Broke & Ugly
Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 260 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. She has two more books, "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help" and "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" in addition to "Sweet Grace" and "Sweet Freedom Study Guides". Her fourth book "Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God" will be available in summer 2017. All books are on Amazon. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss or writing tabs at TeresaShieldsParker.com. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.

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