C: Comments and R: Response
C 1: Will Jesus return and take believers to Heaven (the “Rapture”) before the antichrist will come to rule over us? Or will believers have to go through the antichrist’s reign, “the great tribulation,” like all living on the earth will have to endure?
R 1: We must all be prepared to remain one with Jesus until He returns for us, no matter when He returns for us. For no one knows when Jesus will return, only that He will return for us. Some believe the “Rapture” will happen 7 years before Christ returns in power, while we believe we will be “Gathered” 30 days before Christ returns in power. Gathering
*"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Mk 13:32 NKJV+
Paul replied to some believers who were worried because men, who had been associated with Paul, were teaching that the resurrection of the dead had already come. The “Gathering/Rapture,” when Jesus return in the clouds for us had already occurred. Paul told the believers not to be deceived, that Jesus will not come for us, we will not be “Gathered/Raptured” to our Savior until the antichrist, the man of lawlessness appears in the Temple of God, proclaiming himself to be god.
*Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 2Ti 2:17-18 NIV+
*Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 2Thess 2:1-2 NASB+
* Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 2Thess 2:3-4 ESV+
We will all be physically under the antichrist’s control until his 3 1/2 year reign ends. We must be prepared to be severely tested, prepared to die for our Savior. Time (1 year) + Times (2 year) + Half Time (½year) = 3 1/2 Years
*He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. Dan 7:25 (NKJV)
*If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. Rev 13:10 ESV+
The beast (antichrist) will physically kill many believers, any who will not take his mark, will not say he is god. Yet physical death is better than eternal punishment in Hell, for any who will deny our Savior, and take the mark of the beast, say he is god.
*And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. Rev 13:15 NASB+
*And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Rev 14:11-12 ESV+
After the antichrist’s 3 ½ years of rule are over, Jesus shall return to “Gather” both the living and the dead up to be with Him forever. Resurrecting up or giving immortality to our bodies as they are glorified, and then taking us to Heaven.
*but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets. Rev 10:7 ESV+
*Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” Rev 11:15 ESV+
C 2: Will any have a second chance to come to Jesus and be saved, if they are “left behind” on earth, after believers have been “Gathered/Raptured” to Heaven?
R 2: This is the scariest part most are not aware of. Anyone who has heard about Jesus will be given a delusion by our Heavenly Father, so they will follow the antichrist when he comes. Not only will no one have a second chance who has heard about Jesus after the antichrist appears on earth, they will believe the lie, believe the antichrist is Jesus and follow the antichrist. They will become our enemies, as they worship the antichrist (beast), help him conquer and kill believers, those of us who will not take the mark of the beast.
*The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 2Thess 2:9-10 NIV+
*And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Thess 2:10-12 NKJV+
*So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" Rev 13:4 NKJV+
Many will be deluded in nations who were Christian, for they knew about our God, even though now the majority of the people have rejected Him, and they are no longer Christian nations. This includes the United States, where the majority no longer truly believes in our God, and our laying the ground work, which will make it possible for the antichrist to rule the world when he comes. And these who have not become one with Jesus, will be deluded by our God, and will assist the antichrist to rule over us when he comes.
*All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. Rev 13:8 NIV+
*Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. Matt 24:9 NKJV+
Those who will be deluded will include those from many different congregations who do not follow the word of God. It will also include many of the congregations which true believers attended, many who we worship side by side with. Any who are lukewarm in their love for our Savior, who love the pleasures of the world more, or rely on their own works for salvation. They will follow the antichrist when he comes, becoming our enemies, as they help him catch and kill believers.
*So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Rev 3:16-17 ESV+
*"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Matt 7:21 NKJV+
*"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness .' Matt 7:22-23 NASB+
Some may be deluded in our own personal family, our in-laws, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. Some may be deluded in our own immediate families, our brothers, sisters, children, or even our spouse. Any who have heard about our God, and surely we should have told our family about our great God, yet have not truly accepted Him, will be deluded into believing in the antichrist. They will be our enemies when the antichrist comes, and will help him conquer and kill believers, conquer and kill us.
*And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Matt 10:36 ESV+
*"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. Matt 10:21 NASB+
*At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, Matt 24:10 NIV+
There is limited time left for those who have known the truth about our God, but have not come to Him. Yet we all must accept the Spirit into our hearts, before we die, or before the antichrist comes. Or we will be lost in Hell forever. Tribulation
*However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Ro 8:9 NASB+
*But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Matt 24:13 NKJV+
Copyright 2013 by Ron Borkey
+ ESV “Scripture quotations marked [ESV] are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version,” copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good New Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
+ NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (1995 Update) Copyright © 1981, 1998 The Lockman Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit, La Habra, California. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."