Why have all these people just disappeared?
Was it UFO's? A paradigm shift? Evolutionary leap? Or something else?

If you're reading this, then one of two things must have happened.

Since I don't know which reason brought you here, I will present this page from the second point of view; that people all over the world have suddenly disappeared.

The views below reflect my own beliefs. Other Christians may have different opinions concerning
validity, timing, or other aspects of the rapture. I will comment on this at the end of the page.

What happened?

I'm sure that you are very confused. Depending on how recently this happened, the world may still be in a state of chaos and confusion. Families may have been divided, with some members disappearing and not others. The sudden disappearance of people such as pilots at the controls of aircraft, motorist on the streets and highways, public officials, and others, may have the world in a near state of panic. In some cases, people may have seen their friends and loved ones disappear right before their very eyes!

You may have heard (or may soon be hearing) many different explanations for this phenomenon. Some of them might be:

So which of these explanations is the right one? Answer: None of them! All of these are lies and deceptions. Some of the people spreading these explanations may truly believe what they are saying. Others who are clinging to these theories may either be too scared to accept the truth, or are deliberately attempting to prevent those remaining from learning the truth. The sad thing is, many people will accept one of the above explanations, and thereby, throw away any chance they may have had to find out what really happened and what to do about it.

By now you're probably thinking, "OK! OK! So what do YOU think happened, Dave??" Simple. The Rapture of the Church. Christ has returned to claim His bride.

I'm sure some of you are thinking that this is just as off the wall (if not more so) as the other explanations listed above. (But is it any more incredible than what has apparently just happened?) Or some of you may be wondering what I mean when I talk about the rapture. Hopefully, this page will answer questions for both groups, skeptics and searchers for the truth alike.

First of all, what is the rapture?

The rapture is an event that Christians have been awaiting for almost two thousand years. Before Christ ascended into heaven, He told His desciples "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 unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:2-3. A passage that describes this "coming again" is found in 1Thessalonians 4:15-17: "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (preceed) them which are asleep. 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."

The word used in the Greek manuscripts for "caught up" is harpazo. The same word is used in the book of Acts, in the story of Philip explaining the scripture to the eunuch. After the eunuch had been baptized, Acts 8:39 says, "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing." This verse says that the eunuch saw him no more. This is the same thing that has just happened to the church, with the difference being the destination of those caught away. In Philip's case, the next verse tells where he was caught away to, the city of Azotus. But for the rapture of the church described in 1Thessalonians, we have been caught up "in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

You may be wondering: If this was the rapture, why are there so many good people or church going people still here? Unfortunately for these people, just leading a good life, or going to church, was not, and is not enough to save a person. According to the Bible, the only way to receive salvation is to truly give your life to Christ, and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. While these people you may be thinking about might have lived good lives, and done many charitable things, they apparently never accepted Christ. They may have thought, as many do, that all they needed to do in order to go to heaven was to live a good life, and do good deeds. But all the good deeds in the world are not enough to obtain salvation. The Bible says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. Some of these people may be adhering to one of the explanations I listed above.

Likewise, many people thought they could get to heaven if they would just go to church every Sunday. They may have claimed to be Christian, and they may intellectually believe that Christ was a real person, but in their hearts they never truly turned their lives over to Christ and accepted Him as Lord and Saviour. No matter how often you go to church, no matter how much money you may have put in the collection plate, without turning your life over to Christ, it's not enough. These people may have fulfilled what they thought were their Christian obligations, and done everything their church may have told them they were supposed to do in order to be "good Christians," but they came no closer to salvation than the Pharisees in the Bible. Christ spoke of the Pharisees in Matthew 15:8-9, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." A few of these people may even have fallen for one of the alternate explanations, but some of them will realize what has happened, and turn to Christ with all their hearts. Unfortunately, they have realized their error too late to escape the times to come.

So what's next?

The majority of Christians believe that there will be a final period of judgement beginning with the signing of a peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27). During this time, world conditions may initially get better, but will soon decay into chaos, catastrophe, and wars the like of which has never been seen on this planet (Matthew 24:21). It will be literally, hell on earth, because Satan will have full reign on earth during this time. If it has not already begun, you should prepare yourself for this. Christians referred to it as the Tribulation. During this time, the judgements and the wrath of God will be poured out on the world, at the height of which, Christ will return with His raptured church and the armies of heaven (Revelation 19:11-15) to claim the earth and its kingdoms for God, and to set up His eternal reign. (Revelation 11:15)

During this period before Christ's return as a conquering King, two leaders are going to emerge that will seem to have all the answers: One religious, and one political. These will be under the control and direction of Satan. The bible refers to them as the beast from the sea, or simply the beast, and the beast from the earth, or the false prophet (Revelation 13:1-18). You may have heard Christians refer to the political leader (beast) as the Antichrist. Although he may rise to power from seeming obscurity, the majority of people and nations will follow him without question. He may even claim to be Christ or God. The religious leader (false prophet) will support him completely. There will be some who resist him, but they will be dealt with ruthlessly. Perhaps not at first, but eventually he will not allow any opposition. This political leader will more than likely be the one that negotiates the peace treaty with Israel, thus beginning the seven-year Tribulation. If he doesn't negotiate it directly, he will be heavily involved in the process. At some point, a one-world government will be instated; probably a universal religion as well. In order to be a part of this world government; that is, in order to buy or sell anything at all, including food and necessities, you will be required to take some sort of global identification mark (Revelation 13:16-17). The more recent theories believe that this will be some sort of computer I.D. chip that will be embedded under the skin of your right hand or forehead, although it could be something completely different.

Under NO circumstances should you accept this mark!! You MUST refuse to accept this mark, no matter what the cost, even at the cost of your own life!!
I will explain this in a moment.

During this time there will be many natural disasters and catastrophes. As much as I hate to say it, the majority of the world's population will be killed. Those who aren't killed will be subjected to plagues and pestilences. It will be a terrible time for the earth and its inhabitants. But there IS a glimmer of hope for those who will accept it.

One more chance

Besides being a final time of judgement for the earth and its inhabitants, this period is also a final "wake-up call" to try to turn people back to the Lord. This period of time is the last chance the inhabitants of the earth will have to turn their lives over to Christ, and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour. You still have the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven. If you had loved ones disappear in the rapture, you still have the chance to be with them. This will not come without a cost, however.

When Christ established His church, he said that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Now that the church has been raptured, this is no longer in effect. People who come to Christ during this time will be especially despised and persecuted. I will not deceive you. If you accept Christ during this time, there's a very good chance that you will be killed for your faith. Revelation 13:7 says of the beast, "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints (the believers), and to overcome them: . . ." The beast will be a tool of Satan, and will do everything in his power to wipe out anything or anyone that opposes him. What you must keep in mind is Matthew 10:28, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Satan and his workers can only destroy your body, they cannot touch your soul. God, on the other hand, has the power to cast the souls of unbelievers into hell for eternity. If you are killed because of your faith in Christ, there is nothing more Satan can do to you, and you will be with Christ, looking forward to an eternity in heaven.

The mark

As I mentioned earlier, during this time a one-world government will be instated. In order to be a citizen of this global government, and in order to buy or sell anything, even food and necessities, you will be required to accept some sort of global I.D. mark. Revelation 13:16-17 says, "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."

You MUST NOT accept this mark! If you do, you will be consigning yourself to an eternity in hell! Revelation 14:9-11 states, "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 (undiluted) 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: 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.'"

However, if you refuse to accept the mark:

Revelation 20:4 "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement 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."

This is why you MUST NOT accept any global I.D. mark during this time. If you do, you will be throwing away any chance you may have to enter the kingdom of heaven. After repenting of your sins, and accepting Christ as your Lord and Saviour, this is the most important thing I can tell you about the post-rapture world!

Other signs

Other signs for you to look for during this time, in order to verify the truth of what I'm saying are:

For the last two, read Revelation 6:1-8, Revelation 8:7-13, Revelation 11:13, and Revelation chapters 9 and 16.

If you wish to accept Christ

If, after hearing the things you can expect, you wish to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, read on.

Many pages will give you what is called "the sinner's prayer," and there's nothing wrong with that. However, I feel that, while I can tell you what to pray about, and what to ask for, the specific words should be your own. This way you have to think about what you're saying, instead of just reading words from a piece of paper, or a computer screen. So, if you're ready, here's what you need to do:

Before praying:

In your prayer to Jesus:

After praying and for the rest of your walk with Christ:

If you have done these things, and were completely sincere, congratulations! You have become a child of God. The most important thing you can do now, is to read your Bible faithfully. Learn as much as you can in order to stand against the persecution which will come. Pray for the Lord to guide you in your studies and to open your heart and mind to His word and the knowledge it contains. You will face severe trials in the days, months, and years ahead, possibly even death. But if you stand firm in your faith in Jesus Christ, you may lose your life but your soul will be saved and with Jesus in heaven.

Matthew 16:25-26: "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?"

Papers by others concerning this time
I'll add more as I find them.

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Other rapture beliefs

There are other interpretations concerning the validity, timing, and other aspects of the rapture and the tribulation. What I have presented here is what's known as the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory, which states that the church will be raptured before the beginning of the Tribulation. Other Christians hold different beliefs. Some don't believe in the Rapture or the Tribulation as I have presented them at all. While I acknowledge the existence of different beliefs, in order for me to be true to what I believe in, I must present this page as it is. I have links on my Prophecy and Christian sites page to mid-trib, pre-wrath, and post-trib sites if you wish to examine them.

My comment to my brothers and sisters in Christ who have different beliefs about the above issues: We can discuss it when we get to heaven. Then we'll know for sure who was right and wrong. After prayerful study of this issue, I believe the Pre-Trib position is the most prophetically valid. With that said, let me also say that I am perfectly willing to concede the possibility that I may be wrong. After all, I am only human, and as such, realize that I'm not perfect. However, regardless when the rapture occurs (or even if it doesn't), it has no bearing on my faith in Jesus Christ. In addition, even from a Pre-Trib stand point, I believe that Christians are going to go through severe persecution shortly. And speaking as an American who loves this country, I don't think the U.S. is going to be around as a world power much longer. This may sound like an extremist position, but the United States, as a nation, has turned away from the Lord God, the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And now we are subtly and slowly turning against Israel, His chosen. Looking at our society, it's easy to see the shadow of Sodom and Gomorrah. And like Sodom and Gomorrah, I believe the Lord will execute judgement on our nation. I also believe that it will happen much sooner than we expect.

My other prophetic beliefs are listed here. While I believe that end-time prophecy is very relevant to today's generation, I also believe that Christians can have disagreements in this area, and still remain unified in Christ. Consider this: If I'm wrong, then this information will never be needed, because the church will still be here to serve as a watchman. However, if I'm right, then this information is vital to those left behind..

If you have a prophecy site, whether pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, pre-wrath, or no rapture at all, and you would like me to add a link to it, e-mail the URL and name of your page to me. I'll be happy to add it to my Prophecy and Christian links page. If, after reading this, you still feel compelled to point out my errors to me, please feel free to do so. I will, of course, read any and all correspondence I receive.

The Armory Main Page | Spiritual Warfare | Christian Encouragement | The Prayer Room
Hostage Situation | Short Thoughts | Articles | Leave a Word of Encouragement
Prophecy Survey | Bible Study Tools | Virtual Hell | Links | Hillbilly Dave's