When I was about twelve, I went on a trip with a good friend. Her dad was a preacher and had been invited to speak at a church. We stayed in the home of some people I didn’t know. They were very nice, very devout believers.
That night, their daughter (about our age) woke me up. She couldn’t find anyone in the house except me. Both of us, having grown up in fundamental, evangelical churches, were quite familiar with the rapture stories. For about half an hour we seriously discussed if we’d been left behind. My mama raised me to be sensible, however. We both knew for a fact we’d given our lives to Christ; there was no way we’d missed Jesus’ return for His church. After a bit of time, her mom and my friend returned home from making an emergency hospital visit for someone they knew. As I look back on this event, I’m sure the girl’s dad was in the house; I can’t imagine they left us alone.
Was I scarred because of this event? No – because I knew the truth. The Bible does teach that Jesus will one day return. It does tell us plainly and clearly that believers will be “caught up” to meet Christ in the air. How and when this takes place is not without some mystery, but no sincere Bible scholar can discount the facts of Jesus’ coming again.
I also wasn’t scared because I had responded to this teaching by accepting the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I confessed my sin and asked God for salvation when I was seven years old. I believed God’s word when I came to Christ in faith, and I believed it that day, because I knew His word promises eternal life for those who believe, and that I belonged to Him.
Today, more than ever, there are scoffers about the second coming/rapture of Jesus, just as scripture says there will be. Take this article from CNN’s website (also posted below). It’s another attempt to discredit the belief system of those who take God’s word literally and believe it is the infallible, inerrant revelation of God. It’s another one of the enemies’ bids to undermine God’s Word and cast those who believe it as crazy or unbalanced, or even as this article infers, cruel to teach our children about the rapture and second coming of Jesus.
God’s Word isn’t cruel, however. God tells us the truth so that we don’t have to be afraid of being “left behind.” If we choose not to believe Him, that’s on us.
2 Peter 3:1-18 – Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.