By Don Mcgee
For some reason deeply embedded in the mind of Almighty God planet earth was chosen as the battle ground against Satan. Sin originated in heaven when Satan attempted to take the throne of God (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28), but that is not where it will end. Of course, he was defeated in that battle, but the war was far from being over. Though Satan was unable to capture the Throne Room of Heaven he did not quit. Rebellion had been born, and God could not stop until it had been destroyed. The initial skirmish had been won, but the war for complete and permanent sovereignty was still to be fought. And it would be fought on earth.
I believe God created the world as we know it as recorded in Genesis at some point after Satan’s rebellion. No one has any idea regarding the eras of time that were involved in these matters. Time as we know it did not then exist, and God has chosen to not give us information regarding these events. However, we do know some things. In a manner of speaking the great eye of God scanned the vast emptiness and, for whatever reason, He chose to create a small planet where this whole sin/rebellion/redemption thing would be played out. Earth is just a speck of cosmic dust in the grand panorama of things, but a speck of dust more important than all others because of the battle being waged here.
At the beginning the earth was pristine in every way. Adam and Eve were perfect and did not ask for, nor even think of anything that might be lacking. Until, that is, one day when the evil one approached Eve while she was alone and put an idea into her mind that had heretofore never been considered. In essence, he suggested to her that if she would simply act in rebellion against God she would become a goddess herself. After all, it was not a big deal — just eating some fruit, and besides, the benefit would overshadow any retribution God might deal out to her. So she did it, and so did Adam. Satan won that battle, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to this present moment. Judging from what we see when we place current events over the template of the Bible, it looks like the grand finale is nearly here. The next event on the schedule is the rapture of the church when every Christian (in the true sense of the word) will be taken from this planet so quickly the time sequence will be impossible to measure. And then it will happen. The events associated with the last great battle will begin. (Yes, about 1007 years later another, and perhaps less significant, skirmish will take place, but it will not last long.) However, the big one will begin soon after the rapture, and the earth as billions have know it for millennia will be forever changed. This is called the tribulation, and Jesus said nobody would survive if the time would not be limited.
The tribulation period, also known as the 70th week of Daniel chapter 9, will be a time of unprecedented horror for those left behind. Anti-Christ will appear, catastrophic geological changes will occur, oceans and seas will be ruined, the world economy will collapse, God’s righteous judgment will be poured out and untold multitudes will die from war, famine, disease and an animal world gone berserk. Revelation 6-19 describes these events.
The disappearance of the church in itself will throw this planet into a level of chaos that is impossible to imagine at this point. Nobody knows how many will be taken. Millions? Hundreds of millions, or billions? We simply do not know. But, this we do know: it will put this world on its head in more ways than one.
The disappearance of multitudes will impact different countries in different ways, but the net result will be felt worldwide. In countries where relatively few people are Christians the infrastructure will see little immediate change. Saudi Arabia and other Moslem countries are strongly anti-God by official policy. That means there are few Christians there, and hardly any of those are in critical government, military and industrial positions. The same can be said about China, North Korea, etc. Again, this is a relative evaluation, and the principle is broadly applied.
Though America is basically in the toilet spiritually speaking, yet there are many Christians scattered about in most every field, even possibly some in Congress (tongue-in-cheek). Our military has many believers, and at least some of those are in the senior NCO and general officer ranks. When the rapture occurs it is quite possible our Armed Forces will go to a very high state of readiness, not knowing what happened and what to expect. If a number of commanders in critical positions are taken several things will happen.
First, the chain of command will be broken. To civilians that means little, but to those familiar with threat-response-protocol it means a lot. Intelligence-gathering will be affected, and the loss of some top-level analysts will seriously hinder the government’s ability to accurately sort out what has happened. This will cause panic, and panicky people are apt to go off half-cocked. Strategic and tactical communications will probably be affected. Whatever information that will be available will go up and down the chain of command with a lot of distortion. Indecision, doubt and a whole lot of second-guessing will most probably be running amuck — a dangerous thing at any time, and especially so then.
The stock markets of the world will probably drop like a rock with investors pulling out of everything while they try to figure out what has become valuable or worthless in a matter of just a few hours or less. Even when drastic swings in the global markets can be explained logically, financial panic still has a way of making everything go to pieces. This, however, will be compounded at the rapture for at least two reasons. Multitudes will suddenly disappear before the very eyes of throngs of people, some of whom will be big cogs in big wheels in big industry. Piles of clothes along with jewelry, dental fillings, pace-makers, etc. will lie rumpled in the exact place where just a nano-second before an associate was standing. In less than a eye-blink they will be gone. And secondly, 99% of those who see it will not have a clue as to what and why this has happened. The suddenness of this inexplicable event will be further complicated by those religious leaders left behind who will lie and use deception to answer the questions multitudes will ask.
Civil authority and emergency response systems will be in shambles. Several days ago a disgruntled customer at a fast-food place called 911 because the burger-joint had run out of their favorite meal—chicken nuggets! We are amused at this person whom we might label as an absolute, pedigreed and full-blown idiot, but we must not miss the lesson to be learned here. What do you think that same person, and tens of millions of others, will do when the rapture happens? Put into the equation the number of Christians that are in public safety professions and you have chaos at warp speed.
And we cannot leave out the criminal element. They, of course, will be left behind and it won’t take them very long to see this situation can be used to their advantage. They will not care about what happened or why. They will only see opportunity, and with emergency response agencies operating at minimum at best the sewer-dregs of society will embark on a campaign of civil terror few alive today have seen. It will come down to survival of the strongest and smartest. And with socialistic programs in place that disarm the populace it will be like shooting fish in a barrel for the criminal element.
It could be that burglary will become less common because criminals will not even try to avoid personal contact with their victims with the net result being an increase in armed robbery and aggravated battery. Murder will probably be committed with an air of casualness (as is often the case presently), and sexual assault could be on the scale of that which happened in chaotic eastern Germany as the Red Army swept through in the spring of 1945.
And, we must not forget what will happen to the Jews. The Holocaust will be just a little second-string warm-up compared to the post-rapture situation. The anti-Christ will hate Jews with a seething passion that would be the envy of Hitler and Ahmadinejad. Anti-Semitism will eventually become public policy, and people will jump on the band-wagon with vim and vigor. Why? Because all anti-Semitism is satanic in nature. Second, it will be to everyone’s economic, social and professional advantage to cooperate with the a/c in his program of genocide. Third, the a/c will use the same tactic Hitler used in 1933 — point the finger of blame at the Jews for everybody’s pain and suffering. Everybody, except those sheep nations of Matthew 25, will be quite pleased to involve themselves in the new world fuhrer’s brilliant plan to finally rid the planet of the real reason for the world’s problems. “If we could just get rid of all Jews”, they will think, “then everything will be ok.”
In Nazi Europe synagogues were burned, and at times scores of Jews were herded into the buildings to be burned alive as the flaming structures fell upon them. Multitudes were shot while standing at the edge of open pits so their bodies would fall into the hole — that way there was no valuable time wasted dragging corpses, you see.
Diseases will take their toll. Today a simple infection can be simply treated by a simple anti-biotic with little time lost and no real inconvenience. However, when the drug is not available due to disasters like earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, tornadoes, civil chaos, etc., then those simple infections can result in death. That which is today very simple will then become both complex and deadly.
And one other thing about the post-rapture earth — consider the mark of the beast. This mark must be taken by everyone in order to buy or sell. When people take his mark they automatically sign their own admission papers to a burning hell for eternity (Revelation 14:9-11). And they will do so with full knowledge of what they are doing, for the gospel will be declared to the post-rapture earth by the two witnesses, the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and an angelic herald. Put simply, what this means is people who need to buy anything for health and survival — anything at all!!! — must have the mark. How many will be willing to allow themselves or their loved ones to die for lack of food, medicine, etc., in order to not take the mark? What about a parent with a dying child that is born in that time? Further, the head of the apostate church will force everyone to take the mark or have their heads cut off, like it or not (Revelation 13:16).
We must understand something very clearly: the post-rapture earth will not be different simply because Christians will be gone. It will be more than just a missing-persons kind of thing. People will suffer in unspeakable ways and will die horrible deaths from natural disasters, disease, war, starvation, aggressive animals and crime. While in college years ago a friend told me he wanted to stay behind at the rapture in order to preserve law and order “down here”. I could not decide which word best described him, ignorant or foolish — or both.
Let there be no misunderstanding. The church has always experienced tribulation, and will continue to do so until Jesus returns for her. However, she will not be given over to the situation above. Maranatha, come, Lord Jesus!