After the Rapture – Part 23
Acts 16: 31
Many of the followers of this series are deeply concerned about family, friends and loved ones not being raptured and being left behind for the horrors of the 7-year tribulation period. I had a hard time understanding Acts 16:31 for a long time as it just didn’t seem possible for a person to pray family members into heaven. This is a personal decision each individual person on earth must make for themselves. No matter how much I want them to forsake the world and follow Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, it just isn’t going to happen unless they make the personal decision themselves to do so.
In Acts 16, the Apostle Paul and Silas have been arrested and jailed for the horrible crime of publicly teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the street corners of the city. They are beaten, chained, shackled, placed in stocks and confined to the deepest and darkest part of the prison with all the rats, vermin and cockroaches.
At midnight, Paul and Silas are praying and singing hymns loudly for all the prisoners to hear. A large earthquake struck the prison, and all the chains and shackles fell off all the prisoner’s arms and legs, plus all the prison doors were unlocked and swung open. The chief keeper of the prison awoke, and seeing what happened, drew his sword to kill himself in disgraceful failure, thinking all the prisoners had escaped. But the Apostle Paul stopped him and showed him that all the prisoners were accounted for. The chief jailer fell to his knees and asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
This is where I’ve been stumped for years. The words “AND THY HOUSE” never made sense to me as I couldn’t figure out how it could be both ways? I knew the many verses on how God answered prayer, so I directed my prayers at asking God to place people in the pathways of family and loved ones to fill the void where I hadn’t been successful in my past witnessing efforts.
You see, I’m one of those crazy uncles who preaches to brick walls with little success. I couldn’t understand why I could successfully witness to people outside of my family, yet have zilch success at home? It was very frustrating.
It finally dawned on me that Satan had taken control of part of my prayer life, tricking me into subtly believing my prayers weren’t working.
How did I know they weren’t working? The rapture hadn’t happened yet. Why hadn’t I given the Holy Spirit his space so He could operate? Why was I blaming myself for my family’s lack of spiritual enthusiasm? Why did I feel so guilty when I couldn’t break through in my witnessing efforts?
So, this is the lesson I learned from all of this. Most of you probably know it already as I am famous for being the last person on the block to find things out!
God answers prayer, but you must have the faith, trust and confidence that God will answer. I was so busy watching every move on each and every loved one, that I was praying amiss. All I needed to do was pray earnestly and sincerely, and then step back and let God do the rest. I didn’t need to be checking on God regularly to see how He was doing with my family and friends. Even though I see little progress with my group, I can’t let Satan get the upper hand by leading me to believe my prayer life isn’t working.
So, I now know that my prayers will be answered, and I no longer need to pine and whine; because I am no longer impatient with God for not doing things by my timetable. He knows good and well when the rapture will be, so I no longer need to remind Him we are running out of time.
After I came to this understanding, the Holy Spirit hit me between the eyes with another left-behind letter idea, only this letter doesn’t go into any box for later. This one gets handed out immediately face-to-face. I am going to include the general text in this article that goes to everyone, but I’ll not include the cover letter that is personalized for each individual of my family and friends.
This text will sound very elementary to most of you, but bear in mind I am writing to people who haven’t spent a lot of time at Bible study.
And I hope some of you will be able to use this letter on your family and friends whose eternal future you might be concerned about. The purpose of this article is to give you ideas and suggestions for a letter to be handed out before the rapture and not left in a left-behind box for when it might be too late for some, or maybe not get into their hands at all.
A “Before the Rapture” letter
I am writing this to you in a very simple form as I am sure if I would hand you a Bible, it would become very overwhelming to you, and you would become discouraged by its sheer volume and ancient language styles. So I will briefly quote God’s Word directly from the Bible. I will be picking out the best parts and verses I feel refer directly to you. So don’t let boredom set in, as that is what Satan wants is to bore you or make you sleepy just to keep you from the truth in God’s Word. Lies, trickery and deception is how Satan has operated for over 6,000 years.
Your first step is an open mind towards letting the cares and hassles of this world hinder your efforts to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. All of you just have too many things to do and too many places to go in this world. But that will end soon, and then where will you go?
Then you will find His HOLY SPIRIT coming on to you in a way that will give you an eagerness and hunger to want to learn more about God’s Word. You will want to learn more on your own without it being a tiresome chore. You will look forward to it.
Satan and his mind games cause it to be a boring chore. I have found out that in the past when I ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, direction and strength, He comes through. But remember, God knows all of your thoughts, your heart and your feelings, so always be sincere and truthful in your heart. Nobody can trick or fool God.
Always remember that God is the creator of EVERYTHING, and nothing “evolved” on its own. The Word of God is perfect and without error because God is infallible, perfect and without error. Satan, on the other hand, is the father of all lies (John 8:44) as Jesus states,
“There is no truth in him (Satan). When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Satan and his fallen angels are spirits roaming the world, continuously seeking who they might spiritually devour and destroy (1 Peter 5:8). That is to lure you and trick and lie to you to get your soul into hell for all of eternity. That is Satan’s attempt at revenge against God for Satan getting kicked out of heaven. But it was his own fault.
Satan is very good at lying and deceiving. He can make it appear as a good thing when it is really “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
That is why Satan’s evil bunch makes sin look so good and attractive. If it feels good, do it! These evil spirits take many forms to appear good. The Bible states in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, “False apostles, deceitful workers, TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES into apostles of Christ, and no marvel, for Satan himself is TRANSFORMING HIMSELF into an angel of light.”
Enough on Satan.
My purpose is to advise you on your eternal future in which I want you to be with me in heaven for all of eternity. I PRAY DAILY by name for all of my family’s salvation, plus I have your names on many worldwide and nationwide prayer groups who also pray that you will soon come to the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ.
It isn’t enough that you believe there is a God. Jesus’ stepbrother James wrote, “Thou believest there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, AND THEY TREMBLE” (James 2:19).
And you can’t get into heaven by your own good works. You can go to church daily and twice on Sunday, and it doesn’t mean squat. You can keep score and say you do a lot more good things than bad things, but it won’t get you into heaven.
“For by Grace are you saved through Faith; and not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This is very important. Don’t believe the lies that there are many ways into heaven. Jesus is the judge as to who goes where, and who doesn’t. Here is what He says:
“I am the way, the truth and the life. NO MAN cometh unto the father, but by me” (John 14:6). When Jesus said “no man,” He means “NO MAN.”
“For there is ONE GOD, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, THE MAN JESUS CHRIST“ (1 Timothy 2:5).
Don’t let anyone fool you that there are many mediators between God and man. God says there is ONLY ONE, and the ONLY WAY to the Father in heaven is through His Son JESUS CHRIST. There is only one way through one mediator. Jesus is THE ONLY WAY.
Now what I’ll do is quote some of God’s Word as to His glorious plan for your eternal future. All you have to do is accept Him as your Lord and Savior. This is something you can do in your heart and in the private, quiet time in your room just between you and Jesus. You don’t have to have a crowd.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:6, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, shut thy door, pray to the Father in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall answer thee openly.”
Jesus Himself proclaims that you pray in private. And that is what Jesus Himself would do many times when He was on earth. He would leave His Apostles behind and retreat to an isolated, private place and pray to His Father in private. This is recorded several times in the Bible.
This is most important to you. Jesus said “Verily, verily (translated meaning “truly, truly”) I say unto thee; Except a man be born again, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (John 3:3).
You can also do this “in your closet” in private with God. He knows your heart and thoughts, so He knows if you really mean it or not. So with haste, I urge you to think and pray on this and do it immediately.
What all believing Christians look forward to is the rapture of Christ’s Church up into heaven. Don’t confuse this with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. They are two separate events that are seven years apart.
The rapture will be a surprise to the world. No one will see it coming. At the rapture, Jesus Christ DOES NOT set foot on earth but rather calls all the dead believers and saints out of their graves and those who remain alive on earth to meet Him up “in the clouds.” This is to save His Church from God’s violent, angry wrath that will plummet the Satan-controlled, evil, sinful earth and its millions of left-behind souls for the 7-year tribulation period. Christ’s Second Coming will happen when the 7 years of tribulation are up. The rapture and the Second Coming are two separate events, seven years apart.
Jesus spoke directly about the rapture when He said to His apostles, “Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house (heaven) 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 unto myself, THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO“ (John 14:1-3).
Jesus spoke these words and made this promise to us about the rapture 2,000 years ago just before His death in a kangaroo court, and resurrection. A few years later, the Apostle Paul expounded on the same subject with these words from two of his epistles:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep (die), 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” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
“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).
If you are raptured, you don’t have to worry one bit about the 7 years of tribulation-period horror, evil, and torturous living; because you won’t be on earth but rather with Our Lord Jesus Christ, plus with me and all of our saved family, friends and neighbors in heaven. With all the Christians gone from earth, the new Christians who have had a change of heart will be subjected to the hate and intense anger of Satan who now rules earth for seven years. You must make every effort not to be caught in the left-behind tribulation period.
Many of the Apostles and Disciples left verses of encouragement for those eagerly looking for the rapture. Here are just a few:
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
“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” (John 3:16).
“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Jesus said, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come onto the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
My final thought is that you don’t want to be “tested” by God during the tribulation period. If you are raptured, no further “testing” is necessary. You passed all tests when you became “born again.” So go to “your closet” or anywhere you choose IMMEDIATELY and do it now.
(ALL EMPHASIS AND CLARIFICATIONS FROM KJV BIBLE IS MINE)
FOCUS ON JESUS Ministry
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