I am sorry you are reading this letter. If I had witnessed the instantaneous removal of every Jesus Follower from the Earth and the resulting chaos, I would be terrified. My goal in writing this is to help you survive.
WHAT IS HAPPENING? All of the people who trusted in the death of Jesus Christ on that horrible cross and his resurrection for the forgiveness of their sins—Jesus followers or Christians—have bypassed death and gone to Heaven in a moment often called the Rapture. (I Thessalonians 4: 13-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Matthew 24) Those who have disappeared are safely home, in Heaven. You may need to grieve their absence in your life for now, but Heaven can also be your destiny. Whatever your background, Jesus Christ is the key to unlock eternity with God and his followers.
Since you were left behind at the rapture, IT IS TIME TO RETHINK YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM.
- Perhaps you thought you were a “good enough” person without need of Jesus, but you were LEFT BEHIND. According to Romans 3:23, each one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
- In Matthew 7:23, folks who thought they had heaven nailed with good works were quite surprised. Jesus said, “I never knew you.” I suspect many who were LEFT BEHIND were also shocked. Some apparently thought of Jesus as the Savior, but they did not have a relationship with him. I know who the President is, but I do not personally know him. There is a huge difference between factual knowledge and relationship. I invite you to really know, love and serve Jesus Christ.
- Perhaps you shut out Jesus because the church or “Christians” offended you. Jesus followers are sinners who are trying to learn and follow his ways. Don’t miss Heaven because of us. To evaluate Christianity—consider Jesus Christ. Jesus is holy, but He is also inviting, humble, and offering forgiveness with grace to all who ask.
- “Good enough” doesn’t work, “Good works” doesn’t work, and criticizing Christians doesn’t work either. Please Admit your own need of God’s intervention while you still have the opportunity. According to the prophecies of the Bible which predicted the rapture, a huge percentage of the earth’s population will die during the coming Tribulation.
- Perhaps your family was faithful, and you figured their good works and many prayers were your ticket into heaven. You were LEFT BEHIND. Jesus’ death on the cross is the only valid ticket, but you must personally Believe in Him to receive it.
- Perhaps you had entirely dismissed Christianity as boring, ridiculous or irrelevant. Being LEFT BEHIND is your wake-up-call! Please Commit to following Jesus, and find a Bible!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO—to go to heaven, to have eternal life, to be saved by the blood of the Lamb, to be born again, to get adopted into His family? These expressions all describe a relationship with God the Father by means of trusting his only Son, Jesus Christ, as your Savior and serving him as Lord. Jesus described himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) To initiate this relationship, talk with God. According to Revelation 3:20, Jesus is awaiting an invitation into your life. Prayer is a conversation with God, your Creator. Since He is present everywhere, you can speak aloud, write it out, or simply order thoughts in your head, and He will hear you.
Admit your need—brokenness, sin, and humanness.(I John 1:9, James 5:16)
Believe Jesus has paid the penalty for your failures & wrongdoing. (John 3:16)
Commit to serve Him as God, the Lord of your life. (Psalm 37:5-6)
WHAT IS COMING? I believe you will have a very tough time here on Earth for the next 3½ to 7 years. This horrific period is referred to as the Tribulation. Studying the Bible (a collection of books written by God using various people in different time periods), one can see patterns, connections and repetitions between the Gospel warnings, the Prophetic warnings, and Revelation. Scholars have debated its details for years; does the Tribulation follow or precede the Rapture? You may amuse yourselves now knowing the answers to some scholarly questions. What is beyond debate, however, is that God’s wrath will be awful—one curse follows another as described in the book of Revelation. I want to encourage you to persevere through the Tribulation that has begun. Having your heart right with God needs to be your first priority. Not only do you need Jesus in your heart/life (Revelation 3:20), you also need the Holy Spirit to guide you. May God enable you to teach others what I have just explained to you. Bring as many as you can with you into Heaven. Jesus is praying for you, and so am I.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
- You are caught up in a war between the enemy of our souls (Satan, the Devil, the Father of Lies, the Accuser of the Brethren) and Almighty God and his army of angels. It is clear God will win, but there will be many casualties. By studying the Bible, you can gain some idea of what is coming, your role and resources. (Revelation 12:11, Ephesians 6).
- Revise your thinking and lifestyle to become a spiritual and physical soldier—alert and observant, disciplined, obedient to God, mobile and unencumbered, strong and able to endure hardship.
- Find those who are also seeking God and his Bible. You will need each other to survive. Create a unit and team up. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
- The people LEFT BEHIND will divide into two groups. There will be many looking to the government to save them and restore order. You have heard of the anti-Christ, and perhaps the unholy trinity, and the “Mark of the Beast.” They will come into power and oppose Jesus Followers. Whatever you do, do not accept a micro-chip or mark on your forehead, arm or hand in order to do business. This is crucial. Earthly survival is not worth an eternity in hell. (Revelation 13:16-17)
- I suggest you move into survival mode. Forget luxuries. Identify the essentials that are needed: food and the means to cook it, water, clothing for seasonal weather, good shoes, and shelter. In your thinking, go past “camping” to “disaster.” Hard times are coming.
- I expect that your survival depends on your ability to function outside the system because the enemy is in power. Get smart. Get offline. Do not leave an electronic trail. No credit cards, only cash or barter.
EMBRACE HOPE. Jesus will return as the conquering, victorious King of Kings. Connect intimately with God and other Jesus followers. Read the Bible; learn to recognize the Shepherd’s Voice. (John 10:4) Sometimes a Bible verse or passage just comes alive and seems to speak to you personally. Perhaps you have a new idea that answers a question you have asked Him. Often, the Lord repeats himself. He will give me a thought that I later recognize in a Bible verse, and I hear the same thing in a sermon. God answers us in a variety of ways. The best way to recognize His voice is to read the gospels again and again to get better acquainted with Him, His sayings, His ways, and His truth. Knowing and loving God is the top priority. Pray constantly for His guidance, protection, provision, and perseverance. You are now the Persecuted Church, but you are loved.
Change your lifestyle to that of a soldier, a survivalist, a missionary on the move. If you think about it—Jesus was as disciplined as a soldier, he lived as simply as a survivalist, and he was a missionary on the move. Follow Jesus. Jesus is Faithful and True, so feast on His promises found in the gospels. Anticipate the Joy of his Return, the Hope of Glory, the Beauty of a New Earth and New Heaven.
Heritage of Hope aims to prepare for the end of this life, but an individual departure is assumed. What if you were part of the Rapture? If you suddenly disappeared, would your family know what to do? Would they be with you? Only Father knows how the prophecies will play out, but the way of salvation is clear. Feel free to copy this letter and include it with your important papers . . . in case of Rapture! Melody Miller