The Day Before Jesus Calls
By Dennis Huebshman
Starting with a disclaimer; I am not setting any dates or times; however, even according to our Savior, it will come as a “thief in the night”. What is the “it” being spoken of? It will be the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ just as He promised. There are two events involved, and the reasons for the returns are totally different. One, He sets foot on this earth; the other He does not. One can be “guesstimated” as to the “when”; the other is an “at any moment” occurrence. We need to be aware of these events “before” they happen, and plan accordingly. (any emphasis mine)
Paul talks about revealing a “mystery” in 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. To summarize these verses, Paul says “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom, nor the perishable inherit the imperishable.” The bodies we currently inhabit are not designed to last for all eternity. Because of the original sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), our bodies have been designed to be totally human with an aging process that eventually leads to death. That is natural death if we don’t perish from some other factor first.
Paul continues by saying not everyone will “sleep”, or in plain words, everyone will not die. There will be a mysterious event that takes place “in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet”. The speed of this has been calculated as less than one second. Also, the trumpet mentioned is not one of the judgments found in Revelation 8-10. Jewish people throughout history have used trumpets as a prelude to an important announcement or event.
The “dead in Christ will rise first”. These are all who have perished from the day of Calvary, right up to the instant of the call. He will not be on earth, but all who will be involved will be “caught up to meet the Lord in the air.” This will in no way include everyone who has ever lived during that time, but only those who truly accepted our Savior’s gift of eternal salvation. There will be far more left behind, than are taken. Jesus knew this would be so (Matthew 7:13-14), but He completed the process to cover any and all who would call on Him. The thief on the cross that asked Jesus to remember him, was undoubtedly the first to be covered by the “new” covenant. (Luke 23:40-43) When the dead are raised up, their earthly bodies, whatever is left, even if only a molecule, will meet their souls that have been with Jesus since their death, and will be joined together in a new imperishable, immortal body designed to last forever. All true believers that are alive at the call, will follow this first group, and their bodies will be converted on the way up to meet Jesus in the air.
This event is commonly known as the “Rapture” even though that word is not used in the Bible. It described just the same, and there were three instances recorded where this has already taken place. First was Enoch, who God took him (Genesis 5:24); then Elijah (2 Kings 2:11); and of course Jesus (Acts 1:9). Once all true believers are removed from this earth, the event known as the “Wrath” or “Tribulation” will start shortly afterwards.
Because this event is so rapid, there are different opinions of whether or not those left behind will experience anything other than someone’s immediate disappearance. Paul says, “the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command; with the voice of an Archangel; and with the sound of the trumpet of God”. I am among those who believe only the “saved” that are being taken up will hear all of this. Don’t forget, God controls time and how it affects us. He made time for us and is not bound by it as we are. He can make a second seem like a day, and a day seem like a second.
When Jesus actually returns for His “touch-earth” return, Revelation 1:7 says, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him; even those who pierced Him and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so, Amen”
Because there are two different “returns” by the Savior, we need to be aware of the reason for each and learn how to prepare for the positive one.
First, the entire 7-year tribulation period may be the antichrist’s last Hurrah, but the whole event is also the Wrath of God against this evil world. True believers right now do not have to fear going through that terrible time. Romans 5:9, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the Wrath of God through Him.” John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the Wrath of God abides on him.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that in Jesus, who rescues us from the Wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God has not destined us for Wrath, but for obtaining Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus calls up all past and present true believers, from Calvary to the present, to keep us away from the destruction that will take place. Most likely, we will return with Him at the end of the Tribulation as a part of His “Army” as given in Revelation 19:11-14. We won’t return to fight the evil forces, but to witness the Savior put down the tribulation with just His word. The first to feel His wrath will be the antichrist and false prophet, who will be the first occupants of the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 19:20) Against anything someone might think, the final Hell is not occupied yet.
Next comes the Millennial reign on this earth. Hard to imagine, but there will still be sin here. Satan will have been bound the whole 1000 years, but will be released for a “little while”. There will be one final rebellion, and it will be put down just as at the end of the tribulation, and satan will be the next occupant of the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:10).
Then, all those who died out of God’s will from the creation to the Cross, and all those who did not accept Jesus from Calvary to the very end of the Millennium will be lined up at the Great White Throne. This is not to see of they’re going into the Lake of Fire, but to learn their individual degree of eternal punishment they will be given. There are no reprieves; no pardons; no suspended sentences; there will be no hope. It will be forever. All of them will have already experienced torment just as the rich man in Luke 16. The white throne is their “final” judgment.
The actual touch-earth return of Jesus can be almost calculated to within a short period of time. Once the treaty is signed, and the antichrist makes his appearance, Daniel says it will be for “one week”, understood to mean seven years. The second half after the antichrist desecrates the temple, will be known as the “Great Tribulation of three and one half years. (time, times and half a time) We have to keep in mind, Daniel was Jewish, and the Jewish year is 360 days instead of 365. Also, Zechariah 13:8 states that two thirds of the Jews will be killed with only a remnant of one third left to welcome Jesus. It is most likely this will be the same fate of all the world.
Now, the one where there is no way to calculate the exact moment, is the “Rapture”. We know we are at least near that time as the end-time prophecies given by Jesus and Paul are all here at the same time. This event could be at any day, any hour, any moment or even at any second.
Once this happens, the future is set for everyone. Those who were taken up will in no way experience the Wrath that is to come. We will be with Jesus getting indoctrinated on hour Heavenly forever. Those who remain on earth are the ones that either knowingly rejected Jesus, or those who just never got around to establishing a relationship by asking Him to be their Savior. Their next period of time on this earth will be worse than anything they ever experienced.
This is why I named this message “The Day Before Jesus Calls.” Truthfully, He could call before this even gets posted. If not, and the fact you’re reading this, shows the Father has graciously given you a bit more time to repent, receive His Son, and be saved. (2 Peter 3:9) However, this isn’t something anyone should gamble with. To say I’ll call on Him later is just what satan wants you to do. The stakes are too high. The best option is to call on Jesus as soon as possible, and avoid any possibility of entering the Wrath period. He’s waiting for now, but as through all the happenings in the Bible, God will act, and fulfill all that’s written.
Today could very well be the one day before we’re called home. All who call on Him before that time will be saved. (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9-13) It’s completely each individual’s choice. There are only two options; Jesus or satan. Who would you rather spend eternity with?
Maranatha! (Come Lord Jesus!)