A Date To Remember
By Grant Phillips
On our calendars here at the house and on your calendars also are listed specific dates: birthdays, anniversaries, doctor appointments, holidays, etc., but there is coming a date on all calendars that will change the world forever as we know it.
In our minds we remember family birthdates and the date a loved one died, also dates we graduated from school and got married. Oh so many dates to remember. I know that we who are citizens of the United States of America remember most of the important dates associated with our country. Most of us had them pounded in our heads as students.
We can’t know the exact date, but the date the Son of God hung on a cross, died, was buried and rose again has touched the world like no date before or after. The date the King of kings and Lord of lords returns will have no equal, and this is another date we cannot pinpoint at this time. Yet, there is a third date that falls between the cross and the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the seven year period commonly known as the Tribulation. This date is known as the Rapture.
I like to call these special dates the three R’s. Schools used to concentrate on the three R’s which were reading, writing and arithmetic. The three R’s I am referring to though are redemption, removal and return.
R – Jesus redeems us at the cross
R – Jesus removes His bride from harm’s way at the Rapture
R – Jesus returns as King of kings and Lord of lords after the Tribulation
It is said that Jesus died on the cross on April 3rd, 33 AD. Maybe that date is correct, maybe not, but I’m sure it is at least close.
We do not know the dates for the Rapture and Jesus’ return at His second coming after the Tribulation. We know they are close at hand, but we have no date supplied to us. We do know that when the Tribulation begins Jesus will return seven years later, but we have no such information for the Rapture. There are no signs for the Rapture. We are only told to watch for the signs and we will know He is at the door, but if there are no signs for the Rapture, what is He talking about?
We are already seeing a tremendous number of signs beginning to form that relate to the Tribulation which follows the Rapture. Therefore, even though there are no signs for the Rapture, there are many signs for the Tribulation which follows it. That being the case, the Rapture is really getting close since it precedes the event (Tribulation) that has the signs we are now seeing. How close? Sorry, but I don’t know. That information is above my pay grade.
One day soon there will be a loud shout from Heaven to the Church (the bride of Christ), a call like the sound of a trumpet, to come forth and meet our Lord in the air. This date will definitely be marked on the calendars of all those who are left behind to journey through the following seven year Tribulation. The removal of the Church from this earth will certainly be a time to remember, for all who leave and all who remain. This will be a day that will shake the earth with mass confusion and hysteria.
Over half of the world’s population of those who remain after the Rapture will die. The world’s population at present is estimated to be 7.6 billion. It is estimated that of this 7.6 billion, 2.2 billion are Christians. Which means almost 29% of the world population would leave in the Rapture. However, I think that percentage is too high. I feel it is probably more akin to 10%. Either way, after the Church is gone, roughly 3.4 billion people will not survive the Tribulation.
It is taught that the Rapture is not a “starter” to the Tribulation, but I think it is in one respect. Let me explain with an example.
The horses are all lined up at the Kentucky Derby, and the starter gates are about to fling open. These beautiful muscled horses will thunder from the gates and race down the field to the finish line. But wait! There is a little kitten on the track just a few feet in front of the starting gates. If the horses are released now, there will be nothing left of the little kitten but a smear on the turf. Suddenly, it is snatched straight up in the air and saved from the thundering hooves of the race horses.
This is what I mean when I say the Rapture is a “starter” to the Tribulation. The Tribulation (the race in my example) cannot begin until the bride (the kitten) is removed from danger. The Lord will not allow His bride to be trampled by His own judgments upon fallen mankind. The Tribulation cannot begin until the Rapture first occurs. This is what Paul was telling the Thessalonians.
The Rapture; what will that day be like? For those who are part of the bride of Christ, the excitement and joy will be off the charts. There will be no way to equate the overwhelming happiness of the Church on that special date.
But what will be the initial reactions of those who are left behind? Of those left behind there will be many reactions, depending on the person.
- Some may have heard about the Rapture, but previously laughed it off.
- Some may be shocked to discover they are left behind.
- Some may consider UFOs and little green men.
- Some may not really care.
I would like to consider the first two groups; those who may have heard of the Rapture and those who may be shocked to discover they are left behind. In my opinion, the reaction will be closely the same for both groups. Unfortunately, the more they remember of what they heard about the Rapture and especially the following Tribulation, the more intensified will be their fear.
Aside from the shock and terror of losing loved ones who have disappeared, a fear of what has actually happened sets in. These two groups have possibility heard enough about the Rapture and that dreaded event that follows it, to cause a sickening overwhelming nausea. It will be a gut-wrenching reality because they know what lies ahead. These dear folks are overcome with remorse, asking themselves over and over, “Why did I not call upon Jesus to save me?” “Why did I not make sure about my spiritual life?” “Why did I not listen?”
While the devil’s crowd celebrates that those goodie, goodie Christians are gone, those who straddled the fence and waited too long are sick with grief and fear.
The Rapture date could be May 2, 2018 (today). It could be June 12, 2018. It could be September 27, 2020. It could be any date on the calendar. Only God knows what that date will be, but hopefully on this date (the date you read this) you will be born again and become a child of God.
Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) If you want to be saved, then that means God is calling you. Go to Him now and put your faith in Jesus. If you do, He will save you by His grace. If you do, you will leave for Heaven, whether by the portal of death or the Rapture, and experience joy unspeakable instead of a fear beyond belief.
Most people are taking this event much too lightly. Those who speak of the Rapture are called escapists, quacks and religious nuts. Unfortunately, many of those left behind will be praying out to God, wishing they had listened when they had the chance.
Folks, I don’t know when God will write this date upon the calendar, but when He does He will not come as the little baby in the manger, or the blood-soaked lamb upon the cross. He will come as Almighty God, snatch His bride from danger and then release His judgment upon this fallen world. Those seven years to follow the Rapture, and especially the last 3 ½ years, will be so unspeakable that, but for the grace of God, there would be no survivors.
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22)
Add a new date to your calendar now, today’s date, the date you became a child of God.