A Sudden Change
March 2, 2022 • By Ed Wrather
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. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV.
For those of us who were not alive during Hitler’s blitzkrieg and reign of terror we are now seeing an example of it with Ukraine. Peaceful people going about their lives without a threat to any other nation suddenly having their lives upheaved with numbers approaching a million now fleeing for their lives. Others have taken up arms and are now facing life and death situations that they never thought they would face. To those of us looking on from outside it is shocking and horrifying to see that such a thing is even possible in the time in which we live.
A shocking and sudden change has happened in Ukraine. In some ways it will be like that for those who are left here on earth when the rapture occurs. Those who are left behind and who refuse the “mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17)” will at times find their lives at risk. Those without having the “mark of the beast” will be unable to buy or sell. In Revelation 13:16-18 we are told, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” All of those refusing the “mark” will be likely hunted and put to death if they are found.
The truth is that not everyone believes there will be a “rapture” prior to the seven years of tribulation. Also, the word “rapture” is not in the Bible. However, for many of us it is clear that Bible speaks of the “rapture,” which will be a time when Jesus will return as He promised in John 14:1-3, “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.”
How can we miss that horrific time the Bible calls the “tribulation” in Revelation 7:14? Jesus tells His disciples and us how to miss out on that horrific “great tribulation” in John 14:5-6 as Jesus responds to the question of Thomas one of the disciples, “Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
There is only one way to Heaven and that way is through placing our belief and trust in Jesus Christ. We must believe in Him as we are told in John 3:16. Jesus offers the great invitation in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
How do you respond to that invitation? You respond through prayer which is simply talking to Jesus. You ask Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, the bad things you have done and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. It is not so much the words that you say, but whether you mean it in your heart.
Seeing all of the death and destruction in Ukraine along with the pandemic it does make us think that the “rapture” could come at any time. Jesus says in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” One thing I do know is that I do not want to be here on this earth during the “tribulation” and neither do you.