When Mocking Turns to Judgment :: by Matt Leasher

In recent years the Christian faith has been under attack and ridiculed more so than in any other time period since its beginnings in the 1st century. This is largely due to the popularity of the doctrine of the Rapture. To the unbelieving secular world, the Rapture of the church is a thing of fantasy and fairy tales and has become the focus of their mocking and ridicule.

Recent evidence of this has been made manifest in the mainstream entertainment world with movies like Rapture Palooza and This Is the End where the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ are grossly mocked.

Shortly prior to this was the entire Harold Camping fiasco where he and his followers went on a nationwide campaign declaring that Judgment Day was coming on May 21, 2011 and then when that didn’t happen he changed it to October 21, 2011.

This caused many of the Rapture scorners to mockingly paraphrase Peter’s prophetic statement from his second epistle saying:

“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Little do they know but the Rapture mockers actually helped to fulfill that prophecy themselves

In a more recent account, Bible prophecy came under ridicule due to a comment from Michele Bachmann when the former congresswoman said that the Obama Administration’s poor relationship with Israel and their nuclear deal with Iran would help to usher in the biblical end-times and the return of Jesus Christ.

This time the mocking came right from our president himself, which isn’t surprising nor was it the first time! The ignorance of the Rapture mockers is truly a sad state of affairs because there is soon coming a Day when all of their mocking is going to turn into severe Judgment.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

Since most of the Rapture mockers are ignorant to Scripture, they more likely are also ignorant to the fact that the Scriptures point out that the mockers themselves will be judged. In fact, to be more specific there are even various Scriptures that point out that the “Rapture mockers” will be judged!

One of those Scripture passages is an Old Testament example, which shows that a Rapture was mocked even when it was seen by others. That example can be found in 2 Kings chapter 2 when the prophet Elijah is bodily translated up to heaven in the site of his assistant Elisha and a group of prophets from Jericho. At the end of the chapter we find Elisha walking along a wooded road on his way to Bethel from Jericho when a band of rebellious youths came upon him and began to mock him.

“Then he went up from there to Bethel and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, ‘Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!’ So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths” (2 Kings 2:23-24).

Now before we evaluate the above passage, it must be first pointed out that this is before the Age of Grace in which we are currently living in, and in those times God’s judgment often came—immediately. Whereas today, it is reserved and has been laid upon His Son. It is also important to note that in the above passage the “youths” are not tender young boys but most likely rugged young men traveling in a group of at least forty-two like a marauding gang.

The Hebrew word used for “youths” is also the same term used for Solomon in 1 Kings 3:7 denoting him as a young man. Another point of interest is that the gang is coming from “the city” in Bethel, which at that time was the chief center of pagan calf-worship.

This idolatrous gang had collectively ganged up on Elisha and mocked him to “go up, baldhead, go up, baldhead”, treating the prophet as an outcast and mocking him to go up to heaven as Elijah did, even though they were not among the witnesses that had seen Elijah go up.

Elisha had likely had his head shaved bald as a consecration to God, (perhaps the same consecration vow that Paul had taken in Acts 18:18). The youths may have recognized this and wanted him gone, considering Elisha as an adversary to their pagan based homeland. Elisha (whose name means “God is salvation”), then pronounced a curse onto them in obedience to Deuteronomy 27:14-26 which required God’s ministers to curse the disobedient. However, it was God that executed the judgment upon this wicked group of mockers, not Elisha’s curse or the appetite of the she-bears.

In fact, when this Age of Grace is over, God will likely use wild animals again in executing His Judgment upon a Christ rejecting world. In Revelation 6:8 it says that ‘the beasts of the earth” will take part in the widespread death that will occur in the beginning portion of the Tribulation.

There are many parallels in the above passage and the mocking that goes on today. The unbelieving world that chooses to mock the Rapture and God’s ministers are usually derived from atheistic groups or pagan based cultures that worship money and material things rather than God and treat the ministers of God as weak-minded outcasts. I can’t count how many times I’ve been told by unbelievers, “I’ll believe it when I see it”, in regards to the Rapture.

My response is this: “At that point it will be too late, and you’ll be on the wrong side of the fence!” The most important difference between the above 2 Kings 2 passage and today is that we are not to curse the mockers but to pray for them, for they are lost in darkness and do not realize the seriousness of their folly.

The role of the Church today is to be both a beacon of light with the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to also be watchmen on the wall proclaiming the lateness of the hour and closeness of God’s wrath and judgment before its too late. This is what Noah did for a hundred and twenty years before the Flood and it is also interesting to note that Enoch, who is a picture of the Church, was also raptured before the Judgment came (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5).

It is important to know, understand and expect that we will be mocked when we minister and warn the lost world around us, but it is God that will get the last Word.

“And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:15-16).

While this passage is speaking of the debase spiritual condition of Israel just before the fall of Jerusalem from the Babylonians, it can be paralleled with today’s condition of the world and its rejection of the church’s message of salvation through Christ alone and the soon to come judgment upon this world. Just like then, messengers of God are mocked, His Word, (the Bible) is despised and the word of the prophets are scoffed at.

The one and only difference between that passage and now is that “His people” (the Church), are not appointed to His wrath, (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9).

However, the rest of the world will be and there will be no remedy once it begins! There will still be a chance to come to Christ and secure one’s own eternal destiny, but nothing will be able to stop or alter the sequence of judgments that are recorded in Revelation chapters 6 to 19. It is written, and it will happen just as it is written.

The role of the church is and always has been to relay the life-saving Word of God to a lost world but more and more the world at large has rejected and even mocked those that have made it their will to share the gospel. What many of the mockers don’t realize is that they are not just mocking the “messengers” but God Himself who gave the message.

“Will it be well when He searches you out? Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man?” (Job 13:9).

The message of the coming Rapture of the Church has become a fantasized joke to the unbelieving world with the Church made out to be the goof-balls. However, the message of the Rapture is actually from the Lord not from a church. The Holy Spirit wrote it, the church just quotes it:

“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” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

Notice that the most famous Rapture verse in the Bible starts off by saying that it comes from the Word of the Lord, as I have bolded those letters in the above verse. It wasn’t something that Paul had just conjured up and he made it vitally important to point out that it is from the Word of the Lord that this mystery is revealed to us. It is quite likely that Paul had received a personal “Word” from the Lord regarding the Rapture of the church, but Jesus also hinted at the Rapture when He said:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Jesus could only have been speaking about the Rapture here because when He returns at the Second Coming, He is coming down to earth to set up His Kingdom and reign for one thousand years. Yet in the above verse Jesus says that He will receive His disciples to Himself, to where He is, and to the place where His Father’s house is, that He has prepared for us. That can only be Heaven and that can only be at the time of the Rapture when the Bridegroom comes to get His Bride.

For us, the Church, it should be no surprise that we are mocked when we preach Christ and the Rapture to the unbelieving world because if they mocked Him then they will certainly mock us. Christ was mocked to the degree of being dressed in a purple robe, given a reed in His right hand and had a crown of thorns twisted on His head (Matthew 27:29).

They mocked Him as an earthly king, yet little did they realize that they were mocking the King of Kings and Creator of the Universe. Since the Church is His Bride, then we too can expect to be mocked while here on earth, (John 15:20), but we will be crowned with Him in glory when that Day arrives that He calls us home (1 John 3:2).

Since the very beginning of the Church Age the unbelieving world has been mocking the Church. In fact, on the very day that the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples on Pentecost, they began to speak in tongues and when the unbelieving multitude heard it, they accused the disciples of being early morning drunkards.

“Others mocking said, ‘They are full of new wine’” (Acts 2:13).

From the very first moment of the beginning of the Church Age, the Church had immediately been mocked and accused of being drunkards. To be a drunkard means to not be of a sound mind due to alcohol consumption, but the Word of God declares that the Church has been given a divinely inspired sound mind, (with no alcohol needed)!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

The Church often comes under scrutiny from the academic community as the Bible is constantly being put under interrogation by atheistic professors and evolutionist. The doctrine of the resurrection and the Rapture are especially mocked among academic scholars and this has been going on ever since the apostle Paul first presented the gospel to the philosophers of ancient Greece:

“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, ‘We will hear you again on this matter’” (Acts 17:32).

The academic community tends to ridicule Christian apologists for devoting so much time to defending the Bible and the truths therein, yet they either give no time themselves to delving into these matters or they spend just as much time refuting it. They have turned the comforting promise of the Rapture into a ridicule against Christians to make us look foolish and alienated.

Those who mock the Resurrection, Rapture and the Word of God are clearly without the Spirit of God or they would have the proper discernment to know better (Romans 8:16). And to be without the Spirit of God is to be unsaved and living under the wrath and condemnation of God. For the Lord says:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (1 Corinthians 1:19).

The knowledge of the Rapture of the Church has been gaining momentum as that day draws more near, which has allowed for the mocking against it to increase as well. By this we know that we are in the last days as both Peter and Jude have warned that this would happen:

“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

“But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit” (Jude 17-19).

These prophetic verses are confirmation to the age that we are living in and the lateness of the hour just before God judges this earth and He comes to set up His Kingdom. For those that know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, this is good news.

“To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28b.)

But for those that reject Christ…this is the beginning of sorrows! The prophets wrote about the coming Judgment of this world and Isaiah gave a sobering message to the mockers of God:

“Now therefore, do not be mockers, Lest your bonds be made strong; For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts, a destruction determined even upon the whole earth” (Isaiah 28:22).

I can’t stress the importance of knowing and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior today. For we do not know what tomorrow brings but we are assured that there is coming a Judgment upon this world like this world has never seen and you do not want to be among those that that destruction is appointed for.

The Lord finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked turn from their ways and live (Ezekiel 33:11). If you are a mocker of God, His Word and the coming Rapture, you can change that today by asking Christ Jesus into your heart and allowing Him to change you into a new creation and to bless you with the discernment of the Truth of His Word.

As His new creation the words of your mouth will be transformed from the renewal of your mind to words of peace and praise rather than words of ridicule and mockery.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).