CAN A BELIEVER BE LEFT BEHIND?

 

Most Biblical scholars would agree that the Biblical end times is initiated by the event called the rapture where Christ re-appears and those who stand firm in their faith in Christ are taken up into heaven to be with Him forever. Undoubtedly the rapture is bound to be a quite a dramatic event. There exist a number of characterizations of the rapture. Here is a short video that captures the surprise, the supernatural, universal nature of the event and also the regret that accompanies those left behind.

From the various references that describe the rapture, it is generally inferred that the rapture is a passive event, which as it unfolds takes away all those who profess faith in Christ. In Jesus’ description of the rapture in Luke 17 though, there is a twist which suggests that the rapture will be a decision making process as is the rest of life for all who are pilgrims.

30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot’s wife!

What Christ is saying is that when the rapture does happen, the last thing we ought to do is run back to our houses, lockers and banks to grab what we think is precious. Any such action would only betray our greater love for something in this world in comparison to Christ. The example of Lot’s wife is striking. She was given an opportunity to escape the destruction that was upon Sodom and Gomorrah. The only condition that God had given her and Lot’s family was ‘don’t look back!’ Because if you do, you are proving your greater affection for that which is being destroyed in comparison to that which is truly precious and found in God. Lot’s wife, having spent a lifetime in Sodom, could not bear the thought of leaving everything behind and had to look back in longing for the pleasures that Sodom offered. She was turned to a pillar of salt- a result of her own decision to prefer Sodom over what God offered!

Our decisions fashion us and chart our destinies. One day when we were presented with the option to receive Christ, we took a decision to accept and follow Him. Thereafter it has been our decisions that have either taken us to the depths of intimacy in God or left us lukewarm in our faith and torn between two worlds. Our decisions have been without doubt as important as God’s sovereignty in our journey of discipleship. It is quite possible that when the rapture is upon the earth, there will be that one final decision to take. Would we want to go with Christ or would we rather stay behind? Would we eagerly welcome the 2nd coming of Christ or would we rather look at our jobs, houses, riches, honor in the society, our research, our works, our families and friends and say, ‘As good as the rapture is, I cannot bear to leave these behind and I’d rather stay’. Once again the Lord will look at us and say what he has been perhaps saying to us for a lifetime, ‘I wish you had chosen differently, but you are the master of your decisions and you get what you choose’. For a person who would rather choose to stay, the rapture might be a disappointment.

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