Apocalypse

Apocalypse-pale-rider-smallI believe we are very close to the unveiling of a nightmarish scenario that was predicted thousands of years ago. The Bible paints a picture of horrific disasters, calamities, and wreckage, far beyond anything that has ever happened on planet earth. Jesus said, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”1 He said it is going to be so terrible that unless those days were shortened, no one would even survive it!2 This time period is known in the Bible as the Tribulation. This is the coming world Apocalypse.
As horrible and depressing as it is to know that untold misery and suffering is about to befall our planet, the great news is that God has provided an escape plan!


When I was sixteen, I read the book of Revelation for the first time. As I turned each page, my heart was pounding and I became more and more disturbed. I’m sure my eyes looked like fried eggs. I was reading about the time of tribulation that was coming to this earth and was horrified at the thought that I might be one of those unfortunate people who would have to live through it. Here is a summary of just some of the things I read:

Imagine

  • One fourth of the world’s population killed by war and famine (Revelation 6:8). By today’s population standards, that would amount to 1.5 billion people.
  •  An earthquake so great that every mountain and island moves out of its place (6:12-14).
  •  Hail and fire mingled with blood that burn up 1/3 of all the trees and green grass (8:7).
  • Something like a great mountain falling into the sea, which destroys 1/3 of the sea and all living creatures in it (8:9).
  • A meteor that hits the rivers and springs poisoning the water causing many to die (8:10-11).
  • An army from the Euphrates area that will kill 1/3 of the remaining population, which means that altogether more than 2/3’s of the world’s population will die (9:14-19).
  • A man (Antichrist) will arise to rule the world. He will receive a deadly head wound and be miraculously healed. He will claim to be God and will demand to be worshipped as such (13:3-8).
  • A false prophet, who performs miracles, will have an image made of the Antichrist and cause it to come to life. Then he will demand all to worship it or face death. Those who do worship it will receive a mark in their hand or forehead (666), which will permit them to buy and sell (13:9-18).
  • Those who receive the mark will receive gruesome punishments, such as their bodies being covered with “foul and loathsome sores,” (16:2), their water supply being turned to blood (16:3-6), the sun’s heat intensified causing them to be “scorched with a great heat” (16:8-9), pain so severe that they “gnawed their tongues because of the pain” (16:10-11), and enormous hailstones falling on them (16:21).

But the Bible foretells of an even ghastlier fate awaiting these individuals who worship the Antichrist. For them the worst is yet to come. Revelation 14:11 describes the judgment that will befall them after their lives on earth have ended. It says, “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever and they have no rest day or night, who worshipped the beast and his image and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
Just the thought of that happening to me sent shivers down my spine. I determined I had to find out more.
I am convinced that these things are going to take place very soon, but before I go into the proof, it is imperative for you understand exactly what the escape route is. And not only will you be escaping a future from hell, you will also be escaping what is about to befall the earth.
I had always assumed that we could only hope we were going to heaven because I thought going to heaven was based upon how well we conducted ourselves while here on earth. But my search led me to the wonderful discovery that we can know we are going to heaven because the way to heaven isn’t paved by our good deeds, but God, Himself, paid our way by His death on the cross.
As shocking as this may sound – whether someone goes to heaven or hell has nothing to do with how that person lived his life. It only has to do with whether a person believed or didn’t believe in Jesus Christ alone to be his Savior. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”3
People who are trying to make themselves worthy of heaven by their efforts have no idea how impossible this is. When it comes to being righteous, the Bible says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”4 The standard for righteousness is not human righteousness, but the very righteousness of God. A person has more chance of sprouting angel wings than he does of making himself worthy of heaven!

But the Bible says you can have God’s righteousness put to your account, not as something you earn, but as something freely given to you. And it comes only by believing. It says, “Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and upon all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”5
Did you notice that it says there is no difference in the eyes of God between big sinners and little sinners since all miss the mark of perfection? The whole reason Christ died is because only God could pay for our sins.
The moment you put your faith in Him alone, God counts that faith as righteousness. The Bible says, “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”6 The condition to receive this righteousness is that you stop trying to earn it! The verse I just quoted says, “to him who does not work.” You cannot be trying to work your way to heaven and trusting Christ to pay your way at the same time. He didn’t come to be your Assistant; He came to be your Savior. If you were drowning and someone saved you, that person didn’t pull you half way in and then leave you your part to do. The reason Christ is called our Savior is because we have no part in getting ourselves to heaven. As long as we think we do, then we are rejecting Christ as our Savior. The simple message is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”7
Someone may object saying, “But don’t you have to repent?” Yes, but the word used in the Bible doesn’t mean to turn from your sins. It means to change your mind. This is easy to prove since the first person in the Bible to repent was God! A good example of this is found in Exodus 32:14. God was going to destroy the children of Israel because they had built a golden calf, but Moses interceded on their behalf and God repented. So what did God do? He changed His mind.

So if you think that you have to do more than put your faith in Jesus to go to heaven, you need to change your mind and trust Him alone.
Please don’t misunderstand me. Once a person has believed in Christ to get him to heaven, he should turn from his sin, and live a life that is pleasing to God. But the question is why should he? Is it so he can secure a home in heaven or is it so he can get rewards in heaven? Turning from sin requires work and effort on the part of the believer, but according to the Bible there is no work to do to go to heaven. Works are for rewards. Jesus said, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”8 The Bible teaches God rewards His children for what they do. Those who obey Him can experience answered prayer and peace of mind now during their earthly life, and crowns and eternal treasures await them in heaven.
If someone trusts Christ alone to get him to heaven and does absolutely nothing for God, will he go to heaven? Yes he will, but according to the Bible he will experience loss of rewards in heaven9 and on earth. Rewards can be lost, but eternal life isn’t a reward so it can’t be lost.
I finally understood and believed this message at seventeen. I no longer hoped I would make it to heaven. I knew! It says in 1 John 5:13, “These things have I written to you who believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know you have eternal life.”
I also found out the wonderful news that not only would I escape hell, but also the coming Apocalypse. Those who have trusted Christ alone can be assured that they will also escape the coming time of tribulation.

God’s Escape Plan

The way the Bible describes God’s plan to deliver His children from this coming time of tribulation is almost too hard to accept. This event is so incredible and extraordinary that I would have trouble believing it if it weren’t for the Bible’s fantastic track record of fulfilled prophecy.
If I were going to write a novel about this event I think I would begin my story with a funeral. As grieving family and friends file before the open casket to say their last goodbyes to the deceased, the body suddenly disappears along with several of the people attending the funeral. Do I think such a thing could happen? Yes, and it probably will.
Or how dramatic would it be for a surgeon to be performing open-heart surgery and just as he is about to close the chest, the patient disappears off the table!
Someday, a great multitude of people, (the Lord alone knows how many), will suddenly vanish from the face of the earth, along with all the bodies of the Christians who have died. This is what is commonly known as the rapture. The word rapture comes from the Latin word raptare, which means, to be caught up or to be snatched up. In the Greek New Testament the word is harpizo, which means the same thing.
To show what it means to be raptured (snatched up), I’d like to share a story from the Bible. In the first century, an African man of high position traveled in a chariot all the way from Africa to Israel to worship the one true God. The man, a eunuch, was the accountant or treasurer for an Ethiopian Queen.
On his trip back home, he was reading a passage from the Hebrew Scriptures that he couldn’t understand. What he was reading was a passage written by a prophet 700 years before Jesus’ birth, which foretells the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53). God, who promises
to make truth known to those who seek Him, instructed His servant, Philip, to go explain it to him.
This encounter led not only to the African eunuch believing in Christ as his Savior, but also to his decision to become a follower of Jesus. Because of this, Philip baptized him.
Immediately after Philip had baptized him, something phenomenal happened. It says, “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Phillip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more…”10 Amazingly, Phillip disappeared! It says that the Lord caught Philip away. In other words, the Lord supernaturally took Phillip from once place to another place. One second Philip was with the African eunuch and the next second Philip was in a city called Azotus.11 He was caught away by the Lord (clothes and all!).
The exact same word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, which is one of the main passages in the Bible dealing with the rapture. It teaches that there will be a generation of Christians who go to heaven without experiencing physical death. One second they will be here on earth and in the next second they will be snatched away to meet the Lord Who is coming to get them. At that moment their physical bodies will be transformed.
Let’s look at it. It says, “I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

This isn’t the only place in Scripture where this event is prophesied. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”12
A mystery was a truth never before revealed. And the truth Paul was making known was that believers living at the time of Christ’s return would never have to experience physical death (which is the meaning of the word sleep). All believers who are living at the time of Christ’s return are promised that their bodies will be transformed and become immortal. The Apostle Paul expressed it like this, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”13
This wonderful occurrence is something that God wants every generation of Christians to anticipate at any moment. Why? As the Apostle John explained – “And everyone who has this hope in Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure.”14 Knowing that the Lord could return at any time is an incentive for believers to be living a life worthy of praise at His return, rather than being ashamed before Him at His Coming.15 The Apostle Paul says there is even a special crown awaiting those who love His appearing.16


 

So if God wants every generation to live as though it could be the last, what makes me think we are the ones who will see the rapture?

If you give me a few minutes, I think I can give you some convincing evidence that we are that privileged generation.

  • Israel reborn – After almost 1,900 years of being scattered throughout the world, the Jewish people returned to their homeland and became a nation in one day (May 14, 1948). Never has there been any ethnic group in all of history that has been driven off their land and then to come back after so many years to re-inhabit it and still retain their identity.

It is a fact that Bible teachers from ancient times, who took the Bible literally, have taught that the Jewish people, who were driven off their land in 70 A.D., would be brought back by the hand of God to become a nation once again. Think about it – they were teaching this when there was no land of Israel! The Jews were scattered throughout the world without a nation of their own and the prospect of there ever being such a nation seemed impossible. Yet these Bible scholars understood that the God, who cannot lie, was going to someday gather the Jews back to dwell upon the land He promised to Abraham.17

What is astonishing is that for almost 1,900 years no other nation wanted the land! Why? The reason is because it was a barren wasteland. When God first gave the land to the children of Israel it was so lush and fertile it was known as the Land of Milk and Honey. So how could something so fruitful and productive become so barren that no one even wanted it? The answer is simply amazing and it is concrete evidence that the Bible is true. The Bible says the land can only be productive when the Jewish people inhabit it! Thousands of years ago, God had warned them that if they were unfaithful to Him, then He would drive them off the land and that the land would then become an infertile, fruitless wasteland. This has been perfectly fulfilled throughout history.

Consider this prophecy written 3,500 years ago. It not only foretells how the land would become barren, but also even foretells what non-Jews would say about the land when they would see it. The passage says, “ … and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it, will say, ‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah…’”18 Mark Twain visited this land area which is now Israel and in 1866, he wrote a book called Innocents Abroad. In it he described the land as a desolate country – devoid of both vegetation and human population. He wrote, “It is a blistering, naked, treeless land.” This is simply amazing!
And not only did the Bible foretell the devastation that would befall the land when the Jews weren’t living in it, but it also predicted that their land would be fruitful once again when God re-gathered them. When the first few Jews trickled back in the 1890’s, they purchased malaria-infested swamplands from the Arabs. Through hardship, toil, and much suffering, the Jewish people turned the desert and swamp into a blossoming and fruitful land. Like the prophet wrote, “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them. And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”19 Every year, Israel exports more than $2 billion worth of produce. That is astonishing!

  • Jerusalem became the capital of Israel at the end of the Six Day War (June 7, 1967).

What is so significant about Israel having their ancient capital back? Because this fact was prophesied 2,500 years ago! The prophet Daniel foretold that the coming Antichrist would come to Jerusalem and desecrate a Temple that will be built by the Jews.20

As incredible as it sounds, there will be a Temple rebuilt in Jerusalem. It could be on the site where the Dome of the Rock stands or some scholars believe it could be built nearby. The Temple has to be standing in order for the Antichrist to desecrate it.
In the first century, Jesus explained to His disciples that the Temple that then stood would be so completely demolished that not even one stone would be left upon another – it would be completely torn down.21 This was perfectly fulfilled in 70 A.D. But the Lord also told His disciples that shortly before He returned to this earth, the Antichrist would stand in the “holy place.”22 This could only refer to a rebuilt Temple.
Preparations for a rebuilt Temple have been carried out by The Temple Institute, in Jerusalem, since 1987. In the current political and religious environment of the Middle East, the rebuilding of Israel’s Third Temple seems impossible. But what appears impossible is no obstacle to the plan of God. It will happen.

  • Advanced technology

The Bible foretold of people all over the world watching an event as it was occurring. Within the last hundred years, skeptics used this prophecy as proof that the Bible wasn’t true, because until recent times this was far beyond what was technologically possible. The prophecy concerns two witnesses who will be preaching in Jerusalem during the Tribulation period. It says these two prophets will be killed by the Antichrist and people throughout the entire world will be able to see their dead bodies. People are going to be so happy to see them dead that they will celebrate. How could the Bible have foreseen the modern inventions we have today—television, Internet, Satellite dishes, along with the hand-held devices that so many use today. It is only because of these inventions that we do have the ability to view Jerusalem in real time from all over the world. The prophecy states, “Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put in graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.”23

  • Revival of Roman Empire (European Union)

The prophet Daniel, who was taken into captivity to Babylon in 605 B.C. foretold that Rome would someday become a world power. He also foretold it would be restored to power again in the last days.24 This revived Roman Empire will eventually be headed by the Antichrist.
After hundreds of years of Europe existing as separate and independent nations, the Treaty on European Union was signed in Maastricht (the Netherlands) on February 7, 1992 forming the European Union.
The former Prime Minister of Belgium, Paul Henri-Spaak, was the first Chairman of the General Assembly of the United Nations (1945), and one of the key founders of the movement toward European unity. He said: “We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and, be he God or the devil, we will receive him.”

  • Cashless society on the horizon

Over 1,900 years ago, the Apostle John foretold that there would be a system established where all buying and selling transactions would be controlled by the Antichrist. This would require a cashless society. The Bible says that when the Antichrist is in power only those people who receive a mark on their forehead or hand will be allowed to buy or sell.25 In other words, business will be done electronically rather than with cash. A headline on September 23, 2013, read, MasterCard tracks global ‘cashless journey.’ The first paragraph of the article said, “MasterCard (NYSE: MA) today unveiled a new global report, “The Cashless Journey,” that tracks how 33 major economies are progressing from cash-based to cashless societies.”

  • Society is being conditioned to receive what the Bible calls the “mark of the beast.”

The headline, Is there a microchip implant in your future?, was published August 30, 2014, on FoxNews.com. In the article, the reporter stated, “Microchip implants like the ones pet owners use to track their dogs and cats could become commonplace in humans in the next decade.”
Of course I am not saying that microchips will be the mark of the beast. What I am saying is that we currently have the technology that can assure the identity of the one using it.
No one knows for sure what the mark of the beast will be – it could be a tattoo or implantable chip. The point is that the technology that now exists could be used as an identification system to track every human being on the face of the earth.

  • World has explanation for the disappearance of millions of people.

As strange as this sounds, many people who reject the Bible do have an explanation for millions of people vanishing from the earth. In fact, they’re expecting it! They believe the earth will purge itself of those who aren’t ready for the next stage of man’s evolutionary development. Where do they get this information? What the Bible would call demons, these people call “ascended masters.”
These people are ripe for Satan’s final delusion because they are already under his deception now.
There are others who will end up believing the Gospel after the rapture because they know the Bible prophesies of such an event. The whole world, at this time, will hear the Gospel.26 But those who refuse to believe during the first 3½ years are the ones who will receive the mark of the beast. There is no such thing as a believer receiving the mark of the beast, only unbelievers. It says, “…they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.”27

  • Group of nations prophesied to attack Israel are currently aligned for the first time in history.

The Bible, 2,500 years ago, describes a group of nations headed by Russia that will seek to invade Israel, but God Himself will defend Israel and destroy 5/6 of their troops. This is known as the Battle of Gog and Magog.28 Two of the major nations of the confederation are Russia and Iran. Please think about this – never before in history have these two nations had an alliance until now! Another fascinating fact is that in the last 40 years, the nation of Iran has gone from being Israel’s greatest friend to Israel’s greatest foe. Also, the nation of Turkey, which is foretold as joining Russia in this campaign, has just recently become hostile to Israel.


As we watch events unfold, there is no question that we are witnessing things foretold thousands of years ago. And just as Jesus Christ literally fulfilled prophecies concerning His first coming, He will literally fulfill the hundreds concerning His second.

Someday there will be no atheists

There is a day coming when no one will be able to deny the supernatural. After the Christians are taken off the earth at the rapture, Satan will be given free reign to manifest himself on a global scale by means of signs and wonders. He will empower a man, who will rule the world, to have godlike powers. This man (the Antichrist) will make a seven-year pact with Israel. After 3 1/2 years he is going to break that treaty and will enter the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and demand to be worshipped. The Bible calls this man such things as “the man of sin,” and “the son of perdition.” It says that he “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”29
This passage goes on to say concerning him, “the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”30
As shocking as this sounds – everyone on earth will someday know the God of the Bible exists! But instead of accepting Him as a God worthy of worship, they will consider Him the enemy of mankind. Hundreds of years before the Lord came to this earth, the prophet Daniel foretold of the Antichrist and how he would say terrible things about the true and living God. Daniel wrote, “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of Gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.”31 It says, “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.”32
Those who reject the God of the Bible will believe in a god, but that god is Satan and the Antichrist! Revelation 12:19 calls Satan a dragon and chapter 13 calls the Antichrist the beast. Verses 4-6, say, “So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.”
When God’s judgment finally falls upon the world, people will recognize the source of those calamities and will curse the God of heaven. This is made clear from the following verses- “And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues…”33 “They blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and their sores….”34 “And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.”35

How will it all end?

Who hasn’t heard of the Battle of Armageddon? What exactly is it and when will it occur?
The 7-year tribulation period is going to culminate with the Antichrist gathering troops from all over the world to fight against the Jews in Jerusalem. Even though they know that God is behind the Jews, the world will be under such a strong delusion that they will still think they can fight against His people and win! This is described in the book of Revelation where it says demonic miracles will convince them they can actually win a battle against God and His people. It says, “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. …And they gathered them together to the place in Hebrew called Armageddon.”36
This event was foretold by King David, 1,000 years before Christ where it describes the thinking of those gathered to fight in Jerusalem. David wrote, “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.”37
The Battle of Armageddon isn’t describing one battle, but a campaign. It will begin with the armies of Antichrist coming against Jerusalem. At first it will appear that they are winning the battle. Half the population of the city will be taken into captivity.38 But, it is at this point, when all seems hopeless, God Himself, will intervene. It says, “Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…”39
The Lord will come to the defense of Israel and put to death all the soldiers that come against Jerusalem. The description of their death, even though written 2,500 years ago, sounds like something that could only occur during our current nuclear age. It says, “Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.”40
It is at this point that the Jewish people engaged in this battle are going to realize that this is the Second Coming of their Messiah (Christ), not the First. It will be a great day of national mourning.
For 2,000 years, for the most part, the Jewish people have rejected the One who was prophesied to be born in the town of Bethlehem.41 But the same prophet who foretold 500 years before His birth that He would present Himself as King to Israel “lowly and riding on a donkey,”42 also foretold His Coming in glory as Reigning King. And, amazingly, the same verse that declares He will come as Reigning King, plainly states He had come previously and had suffered at the hands of the Jews!
Read this for yourself. God is speaking and He says, “And I will pour on the House of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced.”43 When did the Jews pierce their Lord? Anyone familiar with the facts concerning the death of Jesus Christ knows the answer to that question. It was when Jesus was on the cross that a Roman soldier pierced His side with a spear.44
When the Lord comes back to this earth, He will put an end to the governments of this world and establish His own. The Bible says, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever!”45

Many who feel secure will be shocked!

Because I am convinced we are so close to the rapture, I wrote this booklet for two audiences – for those who will read it before it takes place and for those who will be left behind. If you are reading this before the rapture, and you’re not convinced it’s only believing in Jesus that gets you to heaven, I plead with you to read the Gospel of John and see for yourself that the one and only condition to go to heaven is to believe in Jesus Christ. Why do I suggest the Gospel of John? Because John said he wrote his Gospel account so that you could have eternal life. He wrote, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”46
If you are of the number that have been left behind, I plead with you to put your faith in the One Who already paid the price to get you to heaven. A few years of incredible suffering here on earth are nothing compared to the unspeakable mental and physical suffering of those who will spend eternity in a lake of fire.
I can’t even begin to imagine the heartache and misery of those who never doubted for a moment they were going to be rescued from this time of unimaginable suffering and anguish here on earth, only to find themselves left behind. Sadly, they will find out too late that they had accepted a message they thought was the Gospel, but, in reality, was a counterfeit. How many people have asked Jesus into their hearts, completely ignorant of the fact that a lady made that saying up for a song? How many people have put much effort into making Christ the Lord and Master of their lives, not realizing that doing so is a requirement to serve God and has nothing to do with going to heaven? And how many think that if they don’t maintain a certain lifestyle after they believe in Christ they will be rejected from heaven? All these people have something in common – they think they have to do more than believe in Jesus to go to heaven.
But, according to the Bible, we are saved from hell not because of what we do either before we believe or after we believe, but by faith in Jesus alone. Ephesians 2:8.9 say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Jesus said, “He who believes in Me has everlasting life.”3 Please note, He didn’t say, “he who asks Me into his heart” or “he who turns from his sin.” There is no extra step, no extra condition. Faith alone in Christ alone is the Good News of how to go to heaven. And because you do nothing to earn the gift, that means you can’t do anything to lose this gift. Jesus said, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”47
God alone made the one-time-payment so that He could offer you eternal life as a gift. God accepts us, not because of what we do, but because of what He did! Jesus didn’t make a down payment; He made a complete and perfect payment.

I’ll never forget hearing a man explaining what he thought was the Gospel. He explained that it was necessary to turn from sin to go to heaven and that turning from sin required a sacrifice on our part. But he assured his audience that the sacrifice involved was going to be worth it. But do we go to heaven because of our sacrifice for Him or because of His sacrifice for us? Do you see how clear that is? To teach one must turn from his sin in order to go to heaven is to teach works no matter how much someone may proclaim he is teaching that eternal life is a free gift. Would you consider something a free gift if you had pay for it? Someone may call heaven a gift, but if they add any element of human effort, it is no longer a gift. The word grace means undeserved kindness. The Bible says, “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.”48


So, dear reader, please let me impress upon you the importance of making sure you are one of the number who will be taken at the rapture. The message you need to believe could not be more simplistic. Jesus Christ, who is God Almighty, has already done everything necessary so that we can spend eternity with Him. The only difference between someone going to heaven and someone going to hell is whether that person believed in Jesus Christ alone or not. Jesus said, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”49
When a person trusts Christ alone to get him to heaven, he enters into an eternal relationship – he is a member of the family of God. This relationship as a child of God is unchanging and unending.

But God longs to have an unique relationship with all those who are His children. This is offered to all, but can only be experienced by those who respond to God in obedience. Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
And what has He commanded His children to do? We are to be light in this very dark world. He commissioned His children to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Once you know heaven is your home, I plead with you to invest the time you have here on earth helping others to see the light.
Although serving Christ and making Him the Lord of your life has nothing to do with going to heaven, it has everything to do with attaining rewards in heaven. As someone once said, “Only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”
It is only the time we spend serving Christ that will result in eternal rewards.
The Lord said, “And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”50

Even so come, Lord Jesus!51

 

1Matthew 24:21
2Matt 24:22
3John 6:47
4Romans 3:10
5Rom 3:22-23
6Rom 4:5
7Acts 16:31
8Rev 22:12
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
10Acts 8:39
11Acts 8:40
12 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
13Philippians 3:20–21
14I John 3:2-3
15I John 2:28
162 Timothy 4:8
17Jeremiah 32:37-44
18Deuteronomy 29:22-23
19Isaiah 35:1Rev 13:16-17
20Daniel 9:27
21Matthew 24:2
22Matthew 24:15
23Revelation 11:9-10
24Daniel 7:23-24
25Revelation 13:16-17
26Matthew 24:14
272 Thessalonian 2:12
28Ezekiel 38, 39
292 Thes, 2:9,10
302 Thes, 2:12
31Daniel 11:36
32Dan 7:25
33Revelation 16:9
34Rev 16:11
35Rev 16:21
36Rev 16:14
37Psalm 2:1-3
38Zechariah 14:2
39Zech 14:4
40Zech 14:12
41Micah 5:2
42Zech 9:9
43Zech 12:10
44John 19:34-37
45Revelation 11:15
46John 20:31
47John 6:37
48Romans 11:6
49John 3:18
50Revelation 22:12
51Revelation 22:20

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