On the last day of school in the third grade (I went to Victory Christian Academy), we watched a movie titled Thief in The Night. Or something like that. I can't remember much about that movie, but there is one thing that has stuck in my mind ever since that day. One of the very first scenes shows a woman waking up, the news coming from her radio that millions of people had randomly disappeared, and she notices her husband/boyfriend is gone. She looks around and realizes he too has disappeared. That is the first encounter that I can recall where I learned of the rapture.
A lot of people have heard about it, especially in a day where movies are always being made predicting what the end of the world will be like. People are fascinated with the book of Revelation, along with movies like 2012. & The idea of our loved ones vanishing into thin air is terrifying.
When I came home from school that day, I was petrified. I remember from that point on, I would wake up thinking all of my family was gone and that I had been left behind. There was actually a time when I stayed the night with a friend who got up in the middle of the night and went to another room - I thought the rapture had happened and I was left. I was a little kid - who wants that to happen to them?!
As I grew older, I would continue to think about the rapture. I learned various tidbits from another Christian school that I had attended and figured - Oh, well the world has to be in pretty bad shape for Jesus to come back. I've got time.
Pause right there. That's a scary statement. I knew I was lost, but I didn't know. I didn't understand salvation; I thought you just got up and went to church, did Godly things. I didn't understand my need for a Saviour. I had been in church my entire life, but it had never truly been explained to me consistently. Weird, huh?
I met up with my good ole fear of the rapture when I began attending church with my husband (well, he was my boyfriend then) two years ago. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I say that in a good way, of course. I really liked our church, but I couldn't stand end times preaching. I always heard them say Jesus could come back at any time. Not only did I feel like these old farts were begrudging me my youth, but they were saying Jesus was coming back. That thought still scared me. Somehow I knew that I just wasn't going when He came back for His believers.
If you read my blog post Free!, you'll learn of one of the worst experiences I had with this style of preaching. An end times prophecy preacher (not a prophet; I believe all prophecies have already been made and that's why the Bible is finished) came to our church and was preaching heavily. It got hot. & I didn't return to that revival the rest of the time he was there. People were getting saved; people I thought were saved, but had been lost all along. & It infuriated me.
As much as I tried to say all of these people were loons, I continued to get even more terrified.
January 3, 2010 was the worst. Our pastor passed around the microphone for whoever wanted to tell their testimony; the story of when they got saved. I played it cool for probably a minute, but then I started to get very uncomfortable. I began to see myself in each and every one of these people. I thought I was a Christian, I thought I was a good person, but I wasn't. I was lost. I knew that if Jesus came back at that very second, I was going to be left behind. I needed God's salvation. They all kept saying that!
Phew! I remember squeezing my husband's hand with dear life, because I knew I was in the same place. I was fighting it and getting angry because I didn't want to admit that I too was lost. I didn't have a testimony, a moment in time where I KNEW I accepted Christ into my life. I was lost. I squeezed my husband's hand even tighter when I knew Jesus could come back at that second and Joshua would be gone out of my life forever. I was so scared I couldn't even see straight. No one was really even talking about the rapture at that point, but it was ever present in my mind. It was my reality.
I fought it for a few more minutes. I tried to rationalize - What about all of the good I've done? I go to church every Sunday. I prayed a prayer when I was a kid asking Jesus into my heart. I got baptised. I teach in a Christian school. I read my Bible. I pray for people. I'm good enough for Heaven! SHUTUP CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!!!!! But no matter what I tried to tell myself, I had no peace.
I broke down and tears began to fall down my face as I began to admit I was lost. The pastor called for invitation at the very moment I made this realization and I got up to the altar as quickly as I could. I can't remember what I prayed, I can't remember much of anything at all. I just know that the Lord saved me. & Once I had it settled in my heart, I knew where I was going should I die or if Jesus came back. I still do, because salvation is a one time deal. I have peace. I have the peace that passes all understanding.
It may seem like the idea of talking about the rapture is a scare tactic, but it's more than that. Some prosperity preachers may use it to get your money, but God just wants to show people the condition of their heart. & Because I was arrogant enough to think that I was good enough for Heaven, He had to get in my face and show me that I wasn't. No one is good enough on their own. A lot of people have a problem with that, because they don't like to be uncomfortable. They don't like being scared. However, if it is as terrifying to you as it was me, don't you think you ought to figure out why that is? The reason why it was scary is because I knew it was going to happen to me. I just knew it. Unfortunately, I had no one to go to tell and express these feelings to when I first learned of it. There was no one to explain that I was lost and that I needed Jesus. I spent 19 years of my life believing in lies because I didn't know the Truth.
For the record, I never deal with these fears anymore. Someone misdiagnosed them as anxiety problems, but ever since I accepted Christ into my life, I have been free of that fear. I am freeeeee!
Maybe whoever is reading this has heard of the rapture and how scary it can be, but doesn't really understand what it all means. If you don't know that you're saved, what'll happen to you when you die, or where you'll be when Jesus comes back - the best thing to do is to start asking questions.
This is the greatest example of how I am Walking in His Grace: I am saved.
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. - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: - Mark 13:35
& If you want to learn more about salvation, go here.