Rapture or Death / Reunion or Separation
By Dennis Huebshman
When we leave this earth, either by Rapture or by death, our eternal destiny will have been set. As Christians (all believers), our soul will be with Jesus at the moment of death; or at the Rapture, we will be converted to our eternal immortal body, designed to last all eternity as we rise up to meet Him in the air. (all emphasis mine)
For unbelievers, it’s a different scenario. If they have not repented and accepted Jesus as their Savior, their souls will go to a holding place, and will start their eternal punishment right then. There will be no rapture for any unbeliever, and after death, no more chance to repent.
Our Savior, being fully God, has no illusions of the saved to unsaved ratio that has taken place since the very beginning in Genesis 1:1. He expresses this in Matthew 7:13-14, which I have referenced frequently, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy (at least appears to be) that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. (14) For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard (only for those obsessed with this world) that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Jesus’ parable about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 covers this very well. Lazarus represents all believers who are faithful, and though his life here was hard, and often painful, he immediately went to “Abraham’s bosom”, or to a place of peace, rest and pure joy. This was before the “covenant of the Cross” had been fulfilled, but showed that all who followed God’s will up to that time would be at peace.
The rich man demonstrates that all who are attached to this earth, and lived for their own pleasures and enjoyment, would go to a holding place, often referred to as Hades. They would begin their eternal punishment immediately. Their next appointment will be the Great White Throne Judgment, where everyone there is destined for the Lake of Fire – Hell. (Revelation 20:11-15) This judgment is not to see if they were faithful or not, as everyone there was not. This judgment will determine the degree of punishment they will endure forever. Satan will undoubtedly receive the harshest punishment of all. Someone who was “good” but chose not to follow God’s will or did not receive the free gift from Jesus, will receive a lesser punishment, but it will still be forever.
One might say, “But how about the person that never heard of God or Jesus?” They always reference a native of Africa or the jungles of Brazil.
Consider Romans 1:18-21, “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (19) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For His invisible attributes, namely His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (21) For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Going next to Romans 2:14-15, “For when gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. (15) They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” Everyone that has ever lived, or will live on this earth, by nature will know there is a “divine Creator”, and some things, again by nature, are inherently wrong. Since the Garden of Eden, there has been a knowledge of good and evil, thanks to Adam and Eve. How someone who never heard of Jesus will be judged by the Father is known only to Him. However, we can be assured, He will be fair and just to everyone. As Paul said, their conscience will either “accuse or excuse them”.
It is obvious that all who have been given knowledge about Jesus will be held to a higher level of accountability. James brings this up in Chapter 3 verse 1 referencing those who would teach about God’s word. “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
For true believers, this life is a temporary stop-over on our way Home. We look forward to our final eternal Home with Jesus, and all the saints that will be there. Our greatest hope is that all our loved ones will be there also. If we could, we would gladly gather up all our loved ones, and take them to our Home that Jesus personally will prepare for us. (John 14:1-3) There’s just one issue with this; everyone must come to Jesus individually, or face eternity without Him.
We’re told about an event that will take place in an instant – in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). It will be when Jesus calls His Church (all believers) up to meet Him in the air. The dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Paul then goes on to say in verse 17, “Then we who are left, will be caught up…” indicating “we” as being believers. The reason is given in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “And to wait for His (God’s) Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the Wrath to come (Tribulation).”
There are many today that have listened to false prophets who preach what someone wants to hear, but not what they need to hear. First, they say all religions worship the same God, and Jesus isn’t really necessary for our Salvation. They will experience Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me; Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. (22) On that day (White Throne Day), many will say to me; Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? (23) And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of iniquity.”
While this may seem a bit harsh, Jesus would never say this to anyone who has truly accepted His sacrifice; called out for forgiveness; believes He is the Son of God; and have faith that His blood covers our sins; and that God raised Him from the dead to conquer sin and death for us. (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10: 9-13)
The ones that Jesus referred to, and it still holds true today, are those who are “religious” for personal gain. Acts 8-9 tells of a magician named Simon, who loved the attention he got when he performed. When the disciples arrived, and after laying hands on the newly “baptized” people, the Holy Spirit came upon them. Simon was impressed, and offered money if they would give him that power. He was looking for a way to gain even greater attention for himself by “using” this power for personal gain. Peter condemned this and told Simon that his wealth would perish with him.
More and more today, we see “prosperity preachers”, church services that are really great stage productions but without any serious biblical content; upbeat music designed to inspire more contributions when the plate is passed; and messages of love and peace, but no mention of repenting of sin, in order to keep the seats filled at each meeting time. Also, what God has said are abominations is being turned around as if He has changed His mind. News Flash; it was an abomination way back then; it’s an abomination today and always will be.
Rapture or death. It’s a one-time event where all believers will be removed, and all the rest will be left behind to experience the Tribulation. People will still receive and accept Jesus during that 7-year period, but at a cost they could have avoided.
Reunion or separation. Everyone will end up in one of two places; Heaven or hell. There will be no visitation between the two. Once again, I refer you to Luke 16’s parable about the rich man and Lazarus. For those in Heaven, it will be peace, Joy and love forever, and communing with all the saints that will be there.
Hell will be a dark place, designed for Satan and his angels (demons – Mathew 25:41); and everyone who did not do God’s will up to Calvary; and all who has not or will not accept Jesus as Savior from that time forward. There will be no fraternization there as each will be enduring their own misery – Forever.
Your choice, and even though it may seem impossible, there are those who are choosing today not to accept the Savor, but are openly following and worshiping satan.
Joshua 24:15 (paraphrased), Choose today who you will follow. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
With all the signs that are present that were given by Jesus, Paul, John, Peter and others, we could see the Rapture take place at any moment. As mentioned above, it will be “in the twinkling of an eye”, which has been calculated to be less than one second. It’s totally your choice. Please consider the consequences of not having Jesus in your life, and call on Him today. He is waiting, but the time is growing short.
B’shem Yeshua – (In the name of Jesus)