Future Employees of Rapture Ready

I have always been fascinated when considering the transforming effects the pre-trib rapture will have on the world. The instantaneous removal of the Church will someday render the word “astonishment” insufficient to describe the catastrophic nature of what will have just happened. When the rapture takes place, I am convinced it will be 100 times more stunning than any other moment in history. I’ve said this before.

In the past, no single event has managed to touch every individual on a personal level. For example, in 1941 very few people had even heard about Pearl Harbor, let alone knew someone involved in the incident. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon fall into the same category. Everyone saw the calamity on television, but it’s unlikely that more than 1 percent of the US population knew any of the victims who worked in the Twin Towers or the Pentagon, or who were aboard the commercial airliners hijacked by the terrorists. After the rapture takes place, everyone left behind will know someone who will have been mysteriously taken away. It could be a neighbor, a distant cousin, or a person’s entire immediate family.

The rapture will bring to an end many theological debates. Everyone who will have lacked the capacity to make the right choice before will, at that time, have overwhelming evidence that should convince them to reset their spiritual priorities. I’ve invested a lot of time addressing the post-rapture world because I see that future period as the most productive in the history of the Christian faith.

The Great Awakenings of the 1700s and 1800s will have nothing on this time of mass conversion. Multitudes will be saved during the tribulation, and God will use a specific group of Jews to spread the Gospel throughout the world. Before the rapture, the lack of urgency will have caused people to neglect their faith. During the tribulation, there will be no way to avoid having to choose between God and the devil. The threat of death will persuade many people of the urgency of coming to Christ, and it will make soul-winning champions of them.

At first, it is going to be very difficult for new believers to find their footing. Because every born-again believer will be taken in the rapture, the tribulation saints will have an extremely steep learning curve. It is quite ironic that many people who will have loathed the Christian faith before the rapture will become devoted followers during the tribulation hour. Because the tribulation will be hell on earth, there is hope that even the most stubborn of sinners will be forced to admit he or she needs a savior. In the following section, I’ve selected a group of celebrities who are known to be atheists, or who are hostile toward the Christian faith. The internet is so clogged with information, I don’t expect any of these individuals to ever read my comments about them, and I obviously have no way to guarantee that the rapture will cause them to come to the truth. I entitled this article “Future Employees of Rapture Ready” because I hope some of them will undergo a life change similar to what Paul experienced on the road to Damascus.

Richard Dawkins – A biologist by trade, he has written several books that promote evolution and debunk the idea that there is a God. I’ve read Mr. Dawkins’ book, “The God Delusion,” and I was surprised to find him mention Rapture Ready. On page 254 of his book, he focused on a comment I made about the site, which is a perfect fit for this article. At the bottom of RR’s main page is an announcement that reads, “If the rapture should take place, resulting in my absence, it will be necessary for tribulation saints to mirror or financially support this site.” I don’t understand why Dawkins found offense in an obligation that he believes will never come his way. Well, Dick, that obligation may soon be upon you, and I think it would be a very fitting end to have the money you earned debunking the idea of a God to someday be used to magnify His glory.Bill Gates – One of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution, he has been listed by Forbes Magazine as the world’s richest person from 1995 to 2007, with recent estimates putting his net worth near $56 billion. As the former head of Microsoft, Bill would be very qualified at the task of disseminating the information on RR through various forms of computer technology. The fact that he quit Microsoft to work on a foundation full-time indicates that he has a heart for ministering to people’s needs.

Warren Buffett – “The Oracle of Omaha,” is famous for his ability to make wise financial investments. Buffett is the head of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway. With an estimated current net worth of around $52 billion, he is the world’s third-richest person. He seems like a very down-to-earth man, so it is sad to read that he does not believe in a divine Creator. I hope the rapture will cause Warren and many others to make a mad dash to the Lord’s mercy seat, exchanging his earthly wealth for treasures that have a lasting value.

Jon Stewart – In 2006, “The Daily Show” host ran some footage of a CNN program that talked about the end times. In the video footage, a CNN correspondent mentioned the Rapture Index, and it sparked Stewart to make a wisecrack about his own index being out of sync with the one on RR. Seeing as how the rapture event will invalidate the Rapture Index, Jon is more than welcome to revamp it with one that would focus on Jesus Christ’s return. It’s much easier to forecast the second coming of Christ, so Mr. Stewart should have no trouble retooling the index.

Salman Rushdie – This British-Indian novelist and essayist achieved fame with his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses. His book provoked violent reactions from Muslims in several countries. Rushdie faced death threats and had to go into hiding for several years. The tribulation will require brave men to stand up against the Antichrist. Rushdie has already proved that he can promote an unpopular message in the face of heavy opposition.

Ted Turner – The founder of CNN has never been shy about expressing his views. In the past, he’s made some very negative comments about religion, saying, “Christianity is a religion for losers.” At one point in his life, Turner intended to become a missionary. All that changed when his younger sister, Mary Jane, contracted a form of lupus and suffered terribly before dying a relatively short time later. All his prayers for her recovery, an hour a day, he said, were for naught. The fact that Ted still has a missionary’s zeal, demonstrated by his work with secular causes, leaves hope that the rapture shock will be enough to rekindle his previous desire to serve the Lord.

Penn Jillette & Teller – The team of Penn & Teller are most widely known as professional magicians. They also host a program on the premium cable channel Showtime that debunks pseudoscientific ideas, supernatural beliefs, popular fads and misconceptions. There will be plenty of falsehood in the days that follow the rapture, so Penn & Teller’s skills would be very helpful in combating error.

Steve Wozniak – I included Bill Gates from the PC side of the computer world, so thought it would be best to cite someone from the Apple camp. Steve Jobs would probably be the best choice, but I wasn’t able to locate any resource material on his spiritual stance. Steve Wozniak is the co-founder of Apple Computer and has a well-documented history of being an atheist. He could be helpful in disseminating biblical truth to the minority of people who own Macintosh computers.

In the aftermath of the rapture, millions of people will read the articles on RR. I challenge anyone who may stumble onto this webpage to find your role in the Kingdom of God.You may be thinking that you’ve hopelessly squandered your life. Well, you need to realize you have a huge advantage: you’re still in the race. Opportunity will have come to an end for everyone taken in the rapture. While most Christians slowly accumulated rewards over their lifetime, you have the ability to close the gap by sprinting to the finish line.

Rapture Ready will be an “employment agency” at that time, one whose only charge will be the Great Commission.

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28: 18-20).

— Todd Strandberg

Second Chance For Salvation

Tribulation Salvation
I would like to begin by stating that I am not telling people that they don’t need salvation today. However, I am a realist, not an idealist. Reality dictates that after the rapture, people will be left behind because of their own unbelief, procrastination, or pride. The point of this article is not to reassure people that they can wait to believe in the Lord until after the Rapture happens. It is simply a look at what the scriptures have to say about salvation during the Tribulation. Those people ‘lucky enough’ to actually live through that time of wrath will have the opportunity to repent, but they also need to know that they will likely be martyred for their faith. It will be a long, hard road.

The foundation of our relationship with the Lord is faith, not proof. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The Lord asks us to have faith in Him, and to trust Him by faith alone. It is my belief that, by rapturing the church as He said He would, God is making one last attempt to prove His deity to those who resisted. God’s purpose is ALWAYS redemption. While He IS removing the church to protect them from His wrath, He is also reaching out to a lost and dying world”

As described by Jesus in the book of Matthew, the Tribulation will be a time that has never been seen by this world and never will be seen again (24:21). The rapture, in itself, will be a major calamity unlike anything the world has ever seen. There is no guarantee that those who are unsaved at the time of that great event will live through it long enough to repent!

Lately, I have seen some differing opinions on the issue of salvation during the Tribulation. Some people believe that only the Jews in general will be saved. Others believe that only the 144,000 Jews mentioned in Revelation will be saved. Still others believe that no one will be saved during the Tribulation, however, I cannot find scriptural support for those positions and during my study on this topic, what I did find actually disproved all of these ideas.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about this issue. (All following emphases are mine.)

1. What does God want? 

Malachi 3:6a For I [am] the LORD, I change not

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
God is not an ever-changing God. He is now as He was and as He will be. It is His desire that all men come to salvation. These verses prove that His purpose is to redeem the lost. We can trust that does not change because of the rapture, but, rather, the rapture is because of that purpose.

2. Can people repent during the Tribulation?

Revelation 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

Revelation 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

Revelation 16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

From these passages, we can see that mankind will be given the opportunity to repent during the Tribulation. These are but a few of the references found in Revelation that show repentance and the lack thereof during the Tribulation period. Therefore, we can be confident that God’s offer of salvation and forgiveness will still be available.

3. Who are the Tribulation Saints?

Revelation 7:9 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 7:13-14 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. 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.

The people who repent and turn to God during the Tribulation are called the Tribulation Saints.  First we see that they are a multitude from all nations, of all peoples and tongues. Therefore the Tribulation saints will not be limited to only the Jews or the 144,000. In addition, they will come out of the Great Tribulation, therefore they can not be the Old Testament saints or the Church. It is simply logical to believe that “the multitude that no man can number” are the people who turned to the Lord during the Tribulation.”

4. What is the purpose of the two witnesses?

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

The purpose of the two witnesses is to preach the gospel to all the world during the Tribulation. The fact that the Lord has seen fit to send these two men to accomplish this further clarifies that there is the opportunity for repentance and salvation during the Tribulation.

5. Is there a point of no return?

Revelation 13:16-17  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 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.

Revelation 14:9-10 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

During the Tribulation, all people will be faced with a destiny-sealing choice. This is what is referred to as the “mark of the beast”. Scripture indicates that it is tied to the economy, as no man will be able to buy or sell unless he accepts this mark. Additionally we can see that the mark represents the worship of the Antichrist and the acceptance of his reign on earth. Much speculation abounds about what this mark will be–ranging from a tattoo to a computer chip–but truth be told, until it is instituted, no one will know for sure what it will be. What is important to note here is that the acceptance of the mark will be a willful action and direct rejection of the Lord. The wrath of God will be poured out on those who accept this mark. This passage indicates that it will be hell on earth for those who accept this mark.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

This passage states that the Tribulation Saints who will be martyred for proclaiming the name of Christ will live and reign throughout the millennium. It also states that those who have taken the mark will not be a part of this group–their fate is determined as well. The distinction that the Lord is making here is that the mark will be a defining moment–the point of no return. Once this decision is made, fate is sealed for eternity.

6. Who will populate the Millennium?

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

At the end of the Tribulation when Christ returns to set up His millennial reign, the earth will be populated by those who believe in Him and survived the Tribulation.

7. Who is the restrainer?

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

This scripture shows that the Antichrist cannot rise to power or be revealed until the restrainer is taken out of the way.  One prevalent theory holds that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer that will be taken away, thereby making salvation impossible. However, reading from the book of Joel, that theory is not acceptable.

Joel 2:28-29 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

This passage shows us not that only will the Holy Spirit remain on the earth, but also that the Lord is now and will be willing then to forgive those who repent. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent and will remain with the believers throughout the Tribulation. Without His influence, no one would be able to be saved! The restrainer referred to by Paul in this letter to the Thessalonians is the workings of the Holy Spirit in the church.

8. What about the great delusion?

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12  [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  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.

Wow! Now there’s some scary stuff. Paul is saying here that the Lord will send a great delusion to those who rejected His truth so that they will believe the lies of the Antichrist. Will those whose hearts are hardened to the message of salvation today still be hardened to it tomorrow? Romans 1:28 tells us that God is patient but He has his limits–He will turn over a stubborn person to a debased mind.

The big question here is, what truth did they receive?  In other words, what did they know?

Let’s take a look at five distinct representatives of society.

Case 1: This is an Orthodox Jew with an MBA from Yeshiva University (Jewish College). He knows all about Jesus, but from a historical perspective. He believes that Jesus was just a man that the Gentiles elevated to God status. Out of the blue, I asked him one day what he would think if the Messiah came and it turns out to have been Jesus all along. His response? “If he shows up with holes in his hands, I’m not buying it.”

Case 2: This is a devout Muslim. He knows about Jesus, as Islam teaches that Jesus was one in a line of great prophets. Islam also teaches that Jesus (not Mohammed) will return at the end-of-days and gather the faithful to Allah. He also believes that Jesus was not God but, rather, just a man.

Case 3: This person knows the story as well. She is a scientist and rejects the need for God in her life. She can see the benefit for others, just not for herself.

Case 4: A former co-worker of mine is a self-proclaimed Druid. He outwardly rejects the notion of God altogether. He says he wants nothing to do with a God that will allow bad things to happen. Case closed; end of discussion. When his wife went into the hospital for surgery, he was asked priest or rabbi by the admitting nurse. He told her to, “bring me a bush to hug”.

Case 5: This is the all paths to God person. This person believes that, just as the Lord confused the tongues at the tower of Babel, He also sent different messengers to different people at different times. Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed are all a part of the Godhead as well as the coming Jewish Messiah, whose role it will be to wrap it all up into a nice neat little package. Two years ago, this described me. Sadly, this is also the fastest growing “religion” on the planet today, and is sweeping college campuses like a storm under the name Baha’i.

Assuming these cases are symbolic of the prevalent mentalities in the world today, and representative of people who do not come to repentance prior to the Tribulation, are they all damned? That sure is a lot of people now, isn’t it?

No one knows what God’s litmus test is regarding the “what did you really know about the gospel” question. During the Tribulation, He will send a deluding influence which will allow people to be tricked, but only if their hearts are hardened to the truth.

If you are reading this and the Rapture has already happened, do not be fooled! Earnestly pray and ask the Lord to show you the truth. Keep your heart open to the answer. If you honestly want to know, just ask Him and He’ll tell you.  Hereis some additional information that will explain in greater detail.

So what’s the bottom line? 

This is why it is so important to come to faith in Jesus now. Better to be safe than sorry!

Trust me on this one–hedging your bet by waiting on the Rapture is a risky position to be in. I can assure you that you don’t want to be driving down the highway being followed by an 18-wheeler driven by a born-again Christian when the Rapture happens. By the time you realize what hit you, it will be too late.

Are you really willing to gamble on the odds that you will live long enough to get a second chance?