Why Some Don't Believe It

The subject of the Rapture speaks of something we have never seen before, nor does it have any equivalent expression in anything any of us has ever experienced.

Mankind's view of life is linear, that is, he thinks things will just continue on as before, and on, and on ad infinitum. So it's difficult and awkward to speak about an experience so far removed from anything any of us has ever experienced.

Jesus said that the last days would be "as it was in the days of Noah."2 Let's examine this a bit more closely. What exactly was the story with Noah?

The whole topography of the earth was different in the days before the flood. It's very understandable that men would think Noah crazy for the things he was saying. Try to imagine being alive back then, and seeing this spectacle of a man building a ...a WHAT? You're building a WHAT?"

Not only had the people never seen a flood, they hadn't even seen rain. And here was this old man - it took him a lifetime to build that, that, that ..."WHAT?" And as he was building it, he preached to the people. The New Testament tells us1 that Noah was a preacher. He was a "preacher of righteousness." So picture this old man, swinging a hammer, building a boat to save his family from a deluge of water that was going to come and kill all the people except him and his family. In the heat of the day, imagine crowds gathering around to watch this old man sweat as he toiled under the hot Middle Eastern sun day, after day, after day, all the while preaching "righteousness" to a people who thought he was crazy.

"What is he saying?"
"That we're all going to drown in a flood, all except him and his family."
"Is he crazy?"
"You tell me."

This goes on for years. Then for decades. Noah ages, yet he continues working on that huge 450-foot vessel almost the length of two football fields and 45 feet tall, way more than three stories high. Children grow up hearing about this crazy man Noah, and tell their children, who tell theirs, and Noah is still building the boat. And preaching. And people just wag their heads when they go by. They get used to it and they've just chalked him up to being one of those crackpots. Every generation has their nuts, you know? Oh leave him alone. Just pity the poor man.

What is faith?

Faith is believing what God says. And typically, the people now honored for their faith were people put in positions of having to believe something they had never seen before. That's faith by definition.

Consider Moses. How would YOU feel if you were Moses? Here he is in the wilderness, he's just brought the millions of Jewish people out of Egypt, and they're stuck now between two obstacles. On one side is the sea, and on the other side are the armies of Egypt chasing after them with the intention of massacring them. How would YOU feel if you stood in his shoes? Everyone's looking at him with this "I can't believe you brought us to this" look on their faces, as the sound of an army of horse hooves rapidly approaches them.

Do you think Moses was some superman? No, Moses was a flesh and blood human being just like any of us. All he knew, is what God said. That's ALL he had to go on, as the facts on the ground suggested something quite different. YOU know the rest of the story, and that kind of takes the glory out of it because you tend to forget that Moses did NOT know the rest of the story. All he knew was that he was standing at the sea with anywhere from two to six million pairs of eyes on him, and the growing sound of horse hooves drawing near. To believe that he was going to get out of this alive would require that he believe in a MIRACLE, by definition, something impossible to happen. Most of us would have been groveling on the ground trying to figure out where we went wrong. But Moses knew that the Lord had told him he was going to bring his people of Egypt, and God didn't mean to bring them out to die at the hand of Pharoah's army. And they didn't. You know the rest of the story.

Noah, Moses, are they isolated stories? No, there are MANY.

Picture Joshua. Joshua is the military commander over the Israeli army. He's up against the walled city of Jericho, which the Lord has said He will deliver into the hands of Israel. But then the Lord tells Joshua how this is going to happen!!!

Picture yourself the military commander in this case. How would you explain to your soldiers that the marching orders are just that: marching orders. "God told me we're to march around the city once every day for six days. Then on the seventh day, we're to march around the city seven times and seven priests are to blow their trumpets. And then, if we do this right, the walls of the city are going to fall to the ground."

Once again, YOU know the rest of the story, but remember, Joshua didn't. Not only did he have to believe it himself, but he has to get his military men to believe it.

"We're going to do WHAT? We're going to just walk around the city every day? Not even on horseback? And then walk around it seven times with seven priests blowing trumpets? And, uhhhh, the uhhh, walls are going to just fall down to the ground?"

I could go on, the Bible is full of stories like these. What would you say if you were 90 years old and your wife 80, and God told you you're going to bring a son into the world? That's what Abraham was expected to believe. Not only was his wife 80 years old. but she had been barren all her life. She had NEVER born a child. And it sounded so funny to her that when she heard it she laughed out loud. And for that, God told them to name the child Isaac, because that's Hebrew for "laughter."

Was the child born? You bet he was. And he was the father of the Jewish people struggling today for life in Israel. More about that later.

The point is that faith is believing what God has said when what God has said defies common sense. And if that is the definition of faith, how many of us could live up to it if we were called on to?

Well we are.

This is a generation that was singled out millenia ago, and spoken of by the prophets of the Old Testament, and further explained by the apostles of the New Testament. It is signified as being the generation in which the nation of Israel, in dispersion for more than 2000 years, would be brought back to the land of Israel, to the land of their fathers. There's a LOT written about this generation. And some of it is going to put believers once again into the position of being called upon to believe something that they have never seen or experienced, and something that will be totally and completely supernatural. Something that will totally and completely defy common sense. Something so hard to believe that most people won't. Until after the fact.

Yes, THIS generation. There are many such things, almost impossible to believe, foretold to happen in THIS generation. For Israel -well anyone who has been watching the goings on in the Middle East will find it hard to believe what the Bible foretells that is going to happen there among the Jewish people. But what do you care, it doesn't involve you.

Or does it?

But the Israel story is not the event I'm directly speaking of. I HAVE spoken about that, and will continue to do so. But what I'm speaking about here today concerns not the Jews, but the believers in Jesus. Those who believe what Jesus has said, and what the New Testament writers have presented, are being called upon to believe that before the rest of the story happens in Israel, the church age must come to a close. And it will come to a close in a very supernatural way. It began in a supernatural way, and it ends supernaturally.

"The dead in Christ will rise first".

Those who have died believing in Jesus Christ, will be the first to rise. And this will happen BEFORE the "rest of the story" happens to Israel. Just to give you an idea of the possible timing.

So The dead in Christ will rise first. And then, the rest of the believers in Jesus who are alive at the time, will be "caught up" together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. That's called the "harpazo," or the "Rapture."

They will spend the next seven years WITH Christ, until the close of the Jewish story. At the close of the Israel story, Israel will be on the brink of destruction, and her enemies will have taken part of the city of Jerusalem. The great and last war, called the battle of Armageddon, will be taking place in Israel, and all will appear to be lost. At that point, ISRAEL'S Messiah will come. He will destroy his enemies, and bring the surviving Jewish people into the New Covenant, thus completing the Israel story which ends with the salvation of Israel.

I have often said that as I speak of the Rapture, I distinctly feel like Noah, because I have to speak of things that defy common sense, and that could never in a million years happen outside of supernaturally.

I'm wielding that hammer and warning the people.

"You're building a WHAT, Noah?"

"You're going to, uhhh, rise into the air, Paula?"

And it's hard sometimes. Sometimes I feel like Moses felt when his back was to the sea and several million pairs of distraught eyes were upon him. He wasn't going to get out of this one unless God SUPERNATURALLY intervened. It must have been an incredibly stressful moment for him.

The story was as dramatic with Noah, but it had a very, very tragic ending. The flood came. Noah and his family were preserved alive because they believed. But every other person on the face of the earth, all the old men, the old women, the children, the infants, the animals, all living creatures that walked the face of the earth, DIED. Some people say, "God wouldn't...." Well He DID!

So what am I saying?

For the world:

"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
Luke 17:26-30

For the believer:

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Let him who has ears to hear, hear.

1. 2nd Peter 2:5
2. Luke 17:26