This is the seventh blog in a nine-part series where I’m looking at the concept of something ahead of us all that’s “Beyond Human Experience”. When wanting to plan for our future, the first problem we face is that we don’t know exactly what the pictures that are laid out in the Creator God’s Epic Play actually mean, nor even the exact order. Let me unpack now the seven events that I spoke about in the previous 3 blogs. I want to now look at our options if we are to seriously consider these ancient predictions in case they happen in our life time.
Looking back over my list of seven events (particularly blog 3.4), if technology and world governance gets to a place where, for example, we’re required to have a brand put on us — an identification number that’s linked to identity and finance (probably an invisible laser ‘tattoo’) — in order to buy or sell anything (this would include selling your time in employment in order to ‘buy cash’ or buying petrol to drive to work; selling produce from your back garden to buy bread; making house payments to complete the purchase of your half-bought home; buying gas, electricity, water; or buying an air ticket to quickly return to your home country before things really start ‘hotting up’) it may be tempting to think, “Well, I have to live. If my Maker is a ‘God of Love’ then Father God would want me to survive. He’s a loving God so He’ll forgive me.”
This is especially so if ‘not being able to buy or sell anything’ means homelessness and starvation! Perhaps we’ll wonder if this mark is the mark – the actual mark that’s mentioned in the Bible. Maybe there’s a worse mark later and this one’s ok.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on waiting for a tribulation to show up before you prepare a way for the Lord[i], it could be too late. For one thing, we don’t know which war is ‘the great tribulation’. Certainly WWI was shocking. They called it ‘the Great War’. No-one could think it possible that another war would top that one, until WWII showed up! Even then we didn’t know the extent of its unprecedented atrocities, until months and even years afterwards.
A tribulation would certainly make most people expectant of some sort of saviour. Getting airlifted out of a global war sound’s great! But a sudden rapture could also come before the tribulation. When we’re least expecting it. Jesus said:
“The coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”[ii]
Now if we start talking about a rapture, the sudden disappearance of more than a third of the world’s population (a loss of around 2 billion workers world-wide: basic service industry workers, bosses, company owners, government leaders, police and armed forces personnel), could certainly cause a tribulation. It would cause a complete infrastructure collapse, a financial melt-down, and a world-wide ‘war on asset claims’. Especially if it coincided with an unprecedented withdrawal from the earth of God’s Spirit of Peace.[iii] At the very least it would then require some sort of global identification of those who are left — just to restore order!
Others may be thinking, “Ok, well if Jesus shows up, then I’ll believe.” But the rapture could take place before He comes down to take up His residence on earth. For example, when the text says: “…the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones…”[iv] this could mean His Angel Army. Or, it could also mean His followers (His family) i.e. they must have went up at some point in order to come down with Him.
Added to the problem of imagery and no conclusive answers related to timing, most of us will want to at least ask the question: In a Nut-shell, How Can I Prepare for What’s Coming? Although Jesus said in the Book of Matthew Chapter 25 to ‘head for the hills’ and don’t even go down into your house to collect your coat, some people have disobeyed His instructions ahead of time and have instead stored up food supplies, only for them expire their ‘consume by’ date! As already said at the very start of this series, the Creator God has told us things in His Book so that we will be prepared and not caught unawares. If you would like to read more on how you can personally prepare for what’s ahead of us all, just click on my next blog: 3.8 Preparing for the Future?
[i] Matthew 3:1-3 (referencing Isaiah 40:3)
[ii] Matthew 24:37-39 [NASB]
[iii] Revelation 6:4
[iv] Jude 1:14