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Oops, I Guess I Wasn’t Ready
– by Todd Strandberg
I realize this web page will be addressing two audiences: those of you who read this page before the rapture and those of you who read it after the rapture. My focus here will be on those who have found this page after the rapture of the Church. For anyone reading this material before the pre-trib rapture, I highly recommend that you ponder the negative consequences of being left behind and seriously consider committing your life to Jesus if you have not done so already.
Right now, I'm sure there's a tremendous battle going on, with people offering various points of view and trying to explain why much of the population has suddenly disappeared into thin air.
It's likely that the media is teeming with possible explanations for the disappearances. It would be foolish for me to try to guess what authorities will be telling the general population. I will boldly say the cause of this event was supernatural. The mass disappearance of all these people was the result of the Lord Jesus Christ removing from the earth all believers who were spiritually ready. This catching-up of the Christians into heaven is referred to as the rapture of the Church.
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words"
(1 Thes 4:16-18).
(1 Thes 4:16-18).
"Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality"
(1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
(1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
Why Didn't He Take Me?
If you are reading this after the rapture, you need to realize that you have been left behind. At this time, you may be feeling rejected by God. You might be saying to yourself, "Why didn't He take me?" or "I don't understand; I've led a good life." The problem isnï¿½t that God rejected you; the problem is that you have rejected Him. By not committing your life to Jesus and by declining to follow Him, you have left Him with no choice but to leave you behind.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven"
"For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother"
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool"
Is There Hope For Me?
Depending on when you read this article, you may have heard people say, "Because we've missed the rapture, we are lost forever." That assumption is totally wrong! The only way you can find yourself eternally lost is by receiving the Mark of the Beast on your right hand or forehead. Barring that, as long as you have breath in your lungs, you can gain salvation by trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior.
"... him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out"
"Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name"
According to Revelation, a huge number of people will be saved during the tribulation. Some scholars have predicted that tribulation believers would grow to outnumber the saints that were just raptured.
"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" (Revelation 7:9).
"And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14).
Why Do I Need Jesus Christ To Be My Savior?
To be allowed to pass through heaven's gate, you need to have all of your sins removed. The only industrial strength cleanser strong enough to thoroughly remove sin stains is the blood of Jesus Christ.
You could say heaven is much like the "clean rooms" where computer companies make their microchips, and sin is like any dust or dirt that might try to find its way into one of those rooms.
The manufacturing process for microchips requires "clean rooms" to be absolutely spotless, with virtually zero free-floating dust or dirt particles that could damage the delicate microchips.
Because humans are naturally contaminated with all kinds of dirt and dust particles, whenever workers enter one of these "clean rooms," they need to wear a special suit that prevents them from giving off particles.
To prevent heaven from becoming contaminated with sin particles, God has long set the requirement that anyone desiring to enter into His untarnished dwelling place needs to be covered by the blood of Jesus.
The sin decontamination process is very simple - you simply ask Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for it. First, admit your sinful state. Next, ask Jesus to forgive you of your wrongdoings. Finally, make Jesus Christ Lord of your life by surrending your will to Him.
By dying on the cross, Jesus made it possible for each of us to be granted a full pardon from the punishment of eternal damnation. The reason so few people accept this pardon is that they don't think they need a Savior or they want to find their own way of salvation.
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
"...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
Changing Your Direction
After making Jesus the Lord of your life, you need to change the direction of your life. I remember when I was a young lad, I was on vacation with my parents, and we were headed to a city in Minnesota. We made a turn that some of us in the car questioned. It wasn't until almost an hour later that we realized we were definitely headed in the wrong direction. Well, after having a spirited debate about proper automobile navigation, we found our bearings and headed toward our original destination.
Once you realize you have been heading in the wrong direction, the only option that makes sense is to turn right around and start heading in the right direction.
You cannot just say a few words and then continue on your merry way. You need to make a full commitment to Jesus Christ by reading His words and following His examples of holy living.
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it"
There Will Be Strong Delusion
I imagine that on the Sunday immediately following the rapture, every church on earth will be filled to overflowing. Suddenly, all those left behind will discover a need to renew their faith.
Unfortunately, the revival is going to be very short-lived. The Apostle Paul, in the Book of Thessalonians, predicts that because most men's hearts will still love unholy living, they will follow after a deception that God Himself will send. Jesus foretold that the false prophets would arise using "great signs and wonders" to trick people into believing satanic lies.
There will be no middle ground. The people who failed to fully dedicate their lives to Christ will be totally ensnared by the demonic delusion that will sweep over the world.
"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness"
(2 Thes 2:10-12).
(2 Thes 2:10-12).
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect"
During the next few years, a world leader--whom the Bible calls the Antichrist--will arise. At first, he will seem like the most benevolent leader who has ever held office. However, by the end of the tribulation, he will easily put the likes of Hitler and Stalin to shame. Because the lies of the Antichrist and false prophets will be so pervasive, you will need to assume that everything you read and hear in the mass media is tainted doctrine. Your only source for the truth must now exclusively come from the Bible.
Do Not Trust Christian Leaders
In the coming days, you will see and hear messages from some of the biggest names in Christendom on radio and TV, and these messages won't be ones recorded before the rapture. The broadcasts you'll be hearing will be either live or taped after the rapture. They will be from Christian leaders who have also been left behind.
Millions of people will be reassured by the fact that their favorite Christian celebrities are still here on earth. I expect most of these well-known leaders, possibly out of embarrassment, will be working feverishly to disprove the rapture event. They may say things like, "I don't know where or why those people disappeared, but I will tell you this: That was not the so-called rapture of the Church."
I'm sure it will be quite confusing to hear people who were regarded as the leading authorities on the pre-tribulation rapture now proclaiming contradictory theories. Don't listen to them, no matter how well respected they appear.
Many religious and political leaders will attempt to persuade you into believing some logical explanation for the rapture. All of their lies will be contrary to the Word of God. Remember, they were left behind just like you; what business do they have instructing you?
Enduring To The End
Well, folks, here comes the unpleasant news. Most of you will likely have to choose martyrdom if you wish to maintain your commitment to Jesus Christ. There will be no middle ground. During this tribulation hour, you will have to choose between two masters--the Antichrist or Jesus Christ.
Your decision to follow Jesus will not be a popular one. The majority of the world's population will soon be falling captive to the Antichrist's hypnotic words. Because true believers will refuse to join the chorus of praise, the Antichrist will demand that all nonconforming Christians be put to death.
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints"
"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled"
At first, it may seem rather easy to secretly be a follower of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, very soon the Antichrist will be requiring everyone to receive a mark in his or her right hand or forehead. This electronic implant will be the means by which everyone will buy and sell goods and services. If you do not have this implant, it will become quite obvious.
"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name"
Because the Bible says that everyone who receives this implant (Mark of the Beast) will be eternally lost, I'm going to strongly advise you to decline the offer when the government informs you that it has your implant ready for insertion.
"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name"
In the coming persecution, you will probably face some of the greatest trials that Christians have ever had to endure. How long will you have to endure? From the time the Antichrist declares himself to be God, there will be only 1,260 days until Christ returns to earth.
As time passes and the suffering caused by the tribulation grows more severe, your desire to see Christ should grow all the more stronger. From my understanding of Scripture, I would guess most tribulation saints will not live to see the conclusion of the tribulation. If you are facing a situation that requires you to lay down your life, I promise you that the brief moment of pain will be nothing compared to the pleasures of an eternity in God's glory.
"And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved"
Links to further Left Behind Letters -