The American Rapture
By: Pete Garcia
The further we move into the last days, the more rank deception and the blurring of truth mixed with error will become.
To the unsaved, Biblical, fundamentalist, Christianity is as popular as the Plague was in the 13th century. To the Catholic, the goal ever was to bring the two lines of the church back into the fold of the Roman Catholic Papacy. To the Protestant, Christians need to engage the public by allowing the world into the Church.
And to the Evangelical, the embracing of ancient mysticism and seeker friendly visions will both validate faith by experience, and allows justification for them to build their kingdom in the here and now. To them, we need to let go of this idea that Christ could return at any moment, and realize that the only way the world is going to get better, is if we stop looking up, and start looking around.
If I didn’t know any better, I might be inclined to agree with them. They act as if China and Africa were the last places to receive the Gospel. But historically speaking, if you think about it, the Americas were the last section of earth to have received the Gospel. We have two great oceans (the Pacific and Atlantic) that represented an immense barrier to the rest of the world from traversing across. It wouldn’t be until man had the technological capability to cross that great distance, and be able to sustain themselves, would these continents be introduced to Christianity.
Church tradition holds that Mark the Evangelist (author of the Gospel of Mark) went to Africa and founded a church there in Alexandria, Egypt. The rest of the 70 disciples are listed as having gone out in every direction after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. But much to the Mormon’s chagrin, not one of them came to the Americas.
Most of the Middle East and North Africa were Christianized by the 3rd century and remained so up until the 7th century, when Islam came swinging through, violently converting the multitudes by the sword.
Christianity had been found in ancient China as early as the middle of the 6th century, and flourished there until the middle of the 8th century, when Emperor Wuzong banned Christianity, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism altogether. A monk in AD986 wrote:
“Christianity is extinct in China; the native Christians have perished in one way or another; the church has been destroyed and there is only one Christian left in the land.”
But Christianity remained there in varying stages and sizes from the 13th century onward thanks in part to the Mongols. Christianity remained not only in Africa, but also in other places as well from the 1st century onward. The church divided itself between those who came out of the Alexandrian church (Philo, Origen, Augustine, Catholics), and those who came out of the Antioch Church line (Donatists, Montanists, Novatians, Anabaptists, etc.), and so has it ever really been. As we well know, that from the 1st century onward, Christianity has had an ever-present manifestation in Europe from then until now.
Remember what Acts 2:1-12 state, And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. (vs.5)
And so the Gospel went out to the world after that Pentecost; to Africa, to Asia, and to Europe. Many non-Catholics today would say that the reason the Middle Ages were called the Dark Ages, was because the Gospel had been suppressed by Roman Catholic Church for a thousand years and only had been rediscovered when Martin Luther’s posted his ’95 Theses’ did the world “rediscover” the Gospel message. This seems to counter what Christ said in Matthew 16 in that ‘He would build His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it’. I think there has always been a remnant, and the gospel has been over and around this world many times over despite Catholic and Protestant oppression.
Despite the goings on in Europe and the rest of the world, the Gospel had not reached American shores until Christopher Columbus’s discovery in 1492. It was his intent to spread the Gospel to the Indies, not realizing a great land mass lay between Europe and Asia.
Was Columbus perfect? No. Was he a flawed man who made mistakes? Yes, but nonetheless, God uses flawed people all the time to accomplish His will. When Christianity did come over, it flourished. Then America became in a sense, a repository of Christians, Christian thoughts and ideals, and ultimately, a safe harbor for the Jews.
First thing we have to realize, is that Israel was designed to be a kingdom of priests and a special treasure to God. (Ex. 19:1-6) They were to be a light unto a lost and dying world, and testify, that the God they served is the only true God. And while they stumbled, and ultimately fell, there were times when God’s majesty shone through His servants to the Gentile powers, marvelously. (Dan. 2:47; 6:24-28).
Israel is the sign for God’s prophetic timetable, because God gave Israel the prophecies, signs, markers, and dates for His dealing with the world. (Isa. 2, 11; Jer. 25:11-12; Dan. 9:24-27; Ez. 36-39; Zech. 12, 14; Luke 21:24; Matt. 24:15-21, 32-35, etc.) Israel is also the only nation in history to have a one on one covenant with the Creator of the Universe.
The United States, like Israel, is also uniquely designed for a specific purpose as it pertains to Israel and the world at large. We were the only Constitutional Republic founded as a Christian nation in history. Our constitution guarantees our liberties, upon the sole principle that our rights are granted by our Creator, and not from other men or other organizations. When our nation was founded, it was founded largely on the Judeo-Christian principle of Individual Soul Liberty.
We have been perceived as a Christian nation for most of our existence. That is not to say that everyone in America is a Christian, or that the perception of our Christianity matches the reality of it, but it is what the world going back to our founding has largely thought of us.
Just read Alex de Tocqueville’s accounts as he travelled through the United States in the mid-1800s. While our uniqueness certainly had the Hand of the divine in it, I’m not equating America with Israel as it pertains to the Holy Scriptures. What I am saying, is that just as the Church was the great unknown mystery to the OT prophets, America was the great unknown mystery to the table of nations in God’s dealings with this world. Why is this you ask? Because God orchestrated our design as a nation which would:
a) Be a safe haven for Jews.
b) Be in a position of power to defeat the Axis powers, and end the Holocaust.
c) Be the world’s first true superpower, who was first to recognize Israel as a nation again after 1900 years in Diaspora. Globally speaking, what was the last thing America did right to tilt the balance of evil in the world? WWII.
I’m not saying that America hasn’t done right either before or after, because we have for the most part, been a force for good in the world. But WWII was that defining moment in our history, which really set in motion, a series of events. From the use of the Atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the Marshall Plan, to the forming of the United Nations, the Cold War, and by recognizing Israel as a nation. We became a superpower from that point onward.
Although Christians can be found in every corner of the world, America is the last bastion of Christian liberty left in the world. When we are gone, so goes the world. In a divine sense of irony, we also happen to be the one nation that all other nations depend on for an economically stable, global economy.
I realize that other nations have Christians in them, and I’m not saying American Christians are better than Christians in Europe, Asia, Australia, or anywhere else. Our political system has been one that has sheltered Christians for the better part of 400 years. Think about that for a moment. Who has been running this world since the Garden of Eden? [Luke 4:5-7]
While we had no government from 1492-1776, we had an overwhelming presence of Christian men and women which needed no protection, for there was no danger of it being erased back then.
From 1776 onward, we had a Declaration of Independence by which our nation protected the right for people to practice their faith without interference from the government or from anyone else. Was it always perfect? No. But the safe guards were well established to protect us, as America began its long slow march towards decadence and ruin in which we find ourselves today. We are at this point in history, a godless nation. Even Vladimir Putin called us ‘godless’, and that is really saying something.
We are Godless, because we have all but turned our back on Him in our government, schools, media, and public marketplace of ideas. Now, in these times when Christian persecution is beginning to rear its ugly head, we are seeing the convergence of two biblically significant time spans that were unique to Israel in regards to judgment and testing….one is 70 years, and the other 400 years.
As we approach the year 2015, we should take heed. We need only look at our former archrival, the Soviet Union, and see that God only allowed them to be that Godless, atheistic, Communist regime for 70 years (1921-1991). For our 70 years began at 1945, and will end at 2015 and I believe that it means we are about to see a fundamental realignment in the global, political, economic atmospheres. God allowed Israel to be in Babylonian bondage for 70 years. God also gave Tyre, 70 years before destroying her. (Jer. 25:11-12, 29:10; Dan. 9:2; Isaiah 23)
Why is 400 years significant? Well, the Israelites were in Egypt for 400 years. At first, the memory of Joseph preserved them and allowed them to flourish as strangers in a strange land…a pharaoh rose up who did not remember Joseph. This leader turned, and began to brutally oppress the Israelites until they were completely in bondage. We all know the story, but Moses was chosen by God to lead them out of Egypt in the Exodus, and they then spent 40 years in the desert for their unbelief before being allowed to go into the Promised Land.
Traditional history records that the American nation, began in earnest in 1620 with the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, Mass. From 1620-2020 is also 400 years, and I believe that the Church (not Americans) will soon be experiencing our own Exodus into our Promised Land. [Phil.3:20-21]
Note: These things I am pointing out don’t specifically state a Rapture will take place right at the year 2020. I’m not saying that. I think it will be before personally. What I am saying is, nothing I’m pointing out conflicts with what Scriptures state about our Lord’s soon coming.
If we were to tie that 2020 date to Israel’s rebirth (1948), it would be right at 72 years, which would fit in the middle of the Psalm 90:10 criteria for the length of a person’s life. Which would support Jesus’ Parable of the Fig Tree, being that generation will not pass away, who sees the budding of the Fig Tree.
One last thing to consider, there only takes two trumpets to be a “first and a last”. The first was the ‘trumpet of God’ at Mt. Sinai when the nation of Israel was gathered for the first time. The last time the ‘trumpet of God’ blasts will be at the gathering of the Church (of all ages) at the Rapture of the Church.
And while the Rapture is not predicated upon anything other than our personal relationship with Jesus Christ what is unique amongst American Christians (as opposed to anywhere else), is that we have Christians sprinkled throughout every layer of business, government, medicine, military, etc. in our society. Those left behind here in the US, will feel our absence harder than anyone else, anywhere else in the world. The collapse of the US, will force the world to realign.
Jesus said that His Coming would be as it was in the days of Noah, and the Days of Lot. We know that according to the Scriptures, those days were marked with great violence, wickedness, the acceptance of sodomy as normal, ‘strange flesh’, and the abnormal, supernatural, corruption of the flesh (mankind).
But what Jesus alluded to in Matthew 24, and Luke 17, was that the world would be seriously blinded by the ‘normalcy bias’, as if life were just going along swimmingly; marriage, given in marriage, buying, selling, etc. And His Coming, would rock this world in such a way, that they would never see it coming. Nobody outside of the truly born again, watching Church will see it coming. Paul stated in 1 Thess. 5, that it was in that time, they were calling for ‘peace and security’, and then sudden destruction comes upon them as ‘labor pains’ on a woman. Although we don’t know the ‘day or hour’, we should recognize the season.
I don’t know the day or the hour, and I’m not setting dates…just writing out what makes sense to me, so take that for what its worth. I certainly don’t know everything, but I know that our God is faithful, and the Scriptures are true. I know as Christians, we don’t have a holy city we make pilgrimage too, no Wailing Wall we can cast our prayers into, nor do we have a land that we can even call our own. We are ambassadors, pilgrims, sojourners, and travelers through this world. (1Peter 2:11-12) We are in the world, but not of the world. (John 17:14-15; Rom. 12:1-2) And we aren’t instructed to pray towards a holy city, but…
“when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”