Where Will You Be After The Rapture?
by Pastor Raymond W. Barber
(Loyal Pastor for 35 Years of the Worth Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas)
"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: "For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. "And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. "And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. "And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. "And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. "And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."—Revelation 19:1–10.
Nothing will be the same after the sound of the trumpet, after the descent of the Lord, after the voice of the archangel, after the resurrection of the dead, after the translation of the living—everything will be changed. God is working out His plan. We are now living in what is commonly called the church age or the dispensation of the church or the age of grace. But one day ere long, the day of opportunity will end. When the last Gentile believer is saved and the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, then comes the rapture. It will be the end of the church age and the onslaught of tribulation. Following the Tribulation, all of His saints will come with Christ to establish His kingdom upon the earth.
He will fight the battle of Armageddon. John says:"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."—Revelation 19:15-16.
Then comes the great millennium, the period of righteousness and peace when the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas, and into eternity the ages will roll.
God has a plan. God has a program. God has a purpose. God has a prescription.
You are not an accident nor an incident. God has a plan and purpose for your life: It is either counting for Christ or a bad example to the world. I hope each of you can say, "I’m ready for the coming of Christ. I know where I’ll be after the rapture."
AT THE RAPTURE
Can you imagine the consternation that will be going on here on earth! Can you imagine the headlines in the newspapers all over the world the day after the rapture: "Millions Missing From Every Continent!" Someone asks, "How are we going to solve the employment problem?" God is going to solve that. Another asks, "How are we going to solve the food problem?" God is going to solve that. When Jesus comes, every believer will be taken out of this world. Planes will be flying through the air at seven hundred miles an hour; suddenly the saved pilots will be taken out. What about those left who are unsaved? Cars will be speeding across the highways; the saved drivers will be caught up, but their unsaved passengers will be left. What then? Ships will be sailing through the ocean; Christian captains will be taken out at the rapture. Then what happens to the ships as they sail unmanned through rough seas? Trains will be going across the rails; Christian engineers are caught up. What is going to happen to those trains and their passengers who are not saved? What an awesome day that will be! I’m glad that Christians will not go through that awesome period. God said He is going to spare us of it."Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [that’s the hour of tribulation], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."—Revelation 3:10
TWO CLASSES OF PEOPLE
There are two classes of people—saved and unsaved. Whatever else they are—their status in life, their nationality, their color or creed—they are either saved or lost. There is no middle ground.
Jesus tells us about two ways, two roads, two destinations, and two groups of people. I hope that you find yourself in the right company.
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."—Matthew 7:13-14Notice the contrast of many and few. Most people tonight are not saved. The world is heavily populated with people who have never been born again, dear and precious people who have never trusted the Saviour. What a harvest field! What an opportunity! What a great time to reach out and bring the lost to Jesus, ere the trumpet sounds and time as we know it will be no more! When night settles in, the opportunity to win the lost will be gone. It will be too late when the day of God’s wrath comes!
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." —Matthew 7:15–23Not everyone whose name is on a church roll is saved. Some are going into Hell from a church pew. They are depending on their good works or their baptism or their reformation or their turning over a new leaf or signing a card or shaking a preacher’s hand or going into a baptistery. But Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." You must have a new birth, a new life. You must be born all over from above. All who experience the new birth will be raptured when Jesus comes. All who have not experienced the new birth will be left upon the earth to go through the horrors of that awesome period called the Tribulation. The saved will be in Heaven after the rapture; the unsaved will be left on the earth!
THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE
That awesome period of time is also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Its duration is seven years. It is divided into two periods of three and one-half years each. The first three and one-half years will be a time of relative peace. During the last three and one-half years there will be bloodshed and carnage like the world has never known. In the beginning of the seven-year period, Jesus has already come, the church has been raptured, the saints are gone, and the Antichrist has taken over. By the way, the only thing keeping the Antichrist from taking over right now is the bodies of believers. The Holy Spirit is not in this pulpit, not in the microphone, not in the building nor in the walls. He is in born-again believers. The Bible says the Man of Sin, the son of perdition, the Antichrist, cannot come on the scene to rule the world until the Holy Spirit, who lives in believers, is removed. The Tribulation is described as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. It is a time to refine the nation of Israel, God’s earthly people, to get them ready to go over into the kingdom age. At the same time, there is a secondary design and purpose—to punish and judge all nations of the earth. All nations, all unbelievers, will be affected by the Tribulation.
The Antichrist will make a covenant, a seven-year treaty.
"Seventy weeks [weeks of years or 490 weeks] are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem, the central point, and Israel, the chief people], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks."—Daniel 9:24-25.
Let’s do some math. Threescore and two is sixty-two, plus seven, which is sixty-nine weeks. Those sixty-nine weeks are already passed, and there is a great gap between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week. We are now in that period called the dispensation of grace or the church age, and when it ends, the seventieth week will begin—the Tribulation Period or the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
God’s clock stopped when the Jewish nation rejected her Messiah; it doesn’t begin again until after the rapture of the church, during the Tribulation Period, seven years of torture.
"And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself [the crucifixion of Christ]: and the people of the prince [the Antichrist] that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."—Daniel 9:26.
We believe that the Roman Empire will be revived and the head of that empire will be the Antichrist. He will ultimately rule the whole world religiously, governmentally, economically—in every way. Everything is now shaping up toward this time: a one-world religion, a one-world economy, a one-world government. All are in the stages of being set tonight for Jesus to come and for the Antichrist to take over.
Thank God, we are not told in Scripture to look for the Antichrist! We are told to look for the Christ of God, Jesus, who shall rise with healing in His wings.
The unsaved world looks for the Antichrist, but we don’t. We are looking for Jesus. I’m like the fellow who said, "I’m not looking for the undertaker; I’m looking for the Uppertaker." How wonderful it would be to cheat the undertaker! Christian undertakers will go to Heaven, but there won’t be any need for their skilled services there because there will be no more death.
"The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." We know what happened in A.D. 70 when the Romans, under Titus the Roman general, destroyed the city of Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, which still lies in ruins today.
"And he [the Antichrist, the Man of Sin] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years]: and in the midst of the week [after the first three and one-half years] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." —Daniel 9:27.
Daniel is saying that at the beginning of the Tribulation Period, the Antichrist will make a covenant with Israel—God’s covenant and representative people. God made a covenant, and the Antichrist counterfeits what God does. The Antichrist, empowered by Satan, will make a covenant with Israel. He will allow them to go right on with their oblations, their sacrifices, their religious rituals. There will be relative peace for the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation. Then, at the end of that first three-and-one-half-year period, the Antichrist will break that covenant. He will turn on Israel. God will open the earth to protect His chosen people from the onslaught of the Antichrist. What an awesome day! What a day that will be: such bloodshed and carnage! The scene is greater than we can imagine.
We read in Revelation 6:13–16...
"And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man [every culture of civilization], hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains: "And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."
This is the last great prayer meeting; but remember, they have been blaspheming God. The people are praying to the wrong things.
"For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" —Revelation 6:17.
No one will be able to stand under the wrath of the Lamb.
THE SEVEN VIALS OF GOD’S WRATH
Let’s look at a summation of the great vials of God’s wrath in Revelation, chapter 16:
"And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth." —Vs. 1.
This is God Almighty’s wrath poured out on a Christ-rejecting world.
The First Vial
"And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." —Vs. 2.
Man’s number is just under the number of perfection, just under the number of God, which is 7. The mark of the Beast is 666; and all those who do not have the mark of the Beast either in their foreheads or their hands cannot buy nor sell.
How close are we to that? Everything is mechanized and plasticized; and we are going into a non-currency economy. Everything is shaping up to the point that one can be tracked and traced anywhere in the world in a second or two.
The Second Vial
"And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea." —Vs. 3.
The Third Vial
"And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood." —Vs. 4.
After the rapture, when we are at the marriage supper of the Lamb, Christ-rejecters on earth will turn on the faucet, and only blood will come out. That is what the Bible says. If you try to make liberal sense out of the Bible instead of literal sense, it will become nonsense! It is literal; it is actual blood from the faucet.
"And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. "For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. "And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Al-mighty, true and righteous are thy judgments." —Vss. 5–7.
God will still be a just God.
The Fourth Vial
"And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. "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." —Vss. 8-9.
The Fifth Vial
"And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, "And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds." —Vss. 10-11.
The judgment of God didn’t bring repentance. These men who were scorched by the sun blasphemed God.
The Sixth Vial
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." —Vs. 12.
When someone asked Mao Tse-tung many years ago, "How many men could you send into war?" he answered, "Two hundred million!"
The Revelation says there will be two hundred million soldiers marching across the continent, across the Euphrates toward the land of the Bible.
The Seventh Vial
"And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great."—Vss. 17-18.
This earthquake will be unlike anything the world has ever known before. It will be a day like has never been and will never be again.
"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell [Tokyo, London, Havana, Moscow, Miami, San Francisco—all of the great cities]: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." —Revelation 16:19.
The sensual world system comes before the mind of God to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
"And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. "And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent [one hundred pounds]: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."— Vss. 20-21.
That is to happen on the earth. Do you have loved ones who are unsaved? You had better do your best to get them to Jesus! Do you have unsaved friends? You had better do your best to get them to Jesus! When the trumpet sounds, the day of grace is over, and the great day of God’s wrath is come.
THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB
While this is happening on earth, Christians will be in Heaven enjoying the marriage supper of the Lamb! That is a seven-year honeymoon! I remember when my wife and I were married, we went around the block in a car furnished by a dear friend. He even paid for a room in a hotel. Yes, some of us had just a simple room for a weekend honeymoon. But when Jesus comes, we will have a seven-year honeymoon! We are His bride, we are married to Him, and He is going to come for His waiting bride. While we’re having a seven-year honeymoon, the awesome judgment will be happening on earth.
I am so glad that Christians have already found their refuge in the Rock of Ages.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.
Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know,
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone:
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Ladies and gentlemen, I bid you to run away and hide tonight in the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
Where will you be after the rapture?
END OF ARTICLE
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