THOSE LEFT BEHIND
What happens to those left behind when Jesus
comes to take God's true children home? This is the question
attempted to be answered by the book, Left Behind and the
seven sequels to it. I will attempt to do the same, not as
thoroughly, but hopefully more briefly than eight volumes.
Following is the clearest statement in the Bible
on what will happen when Jesus comes to take Christians out of this
"But i do not want you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning those who have fallen asleep, (believer's bodies who "sleep" in physical
death), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
(unbelievers). For if we believe that Jesus died and rose
again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep
[physically died] in Jesus. For this we say to you by the
word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming
of the Lord, will by no means precede those who are asleep. 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 always be with the Lord."
What Happens At The Coming of Jesus for
Jesus will come to take believers to heaven.
nearly 2000 years Jesus has primarily been seated at the right hand
of God as Great High Priest (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14). The sacrifice He
offered was Himself on the cross of Calvary. The worst of sinners
have claimed that sacrifice by faith and have come to God through
Jesus Christ. They have been lovingly accepted. Believers have come
to God through Christ with their burdens, problems and needs and
have received the help they need. Yet, the day is coming when Jesus
will rise from the right hand of His Father's throne. He will call
together the spirits of all believers gone to Heaven and lead them
faster than the speed of light across the vast universe.
As Jesus and His returning saints reach a point
somewhere above the earth He will shout out a command. I think I
know what that command is. I believe John told us in Revelation 4:1,
"Come up here…!" The Archangel (probably Michael, from Jude
9) joins in with a loud voice and the trumpet of God sounds in a way
that no human ear has ever heard.
The dead bodies of believers are raised back to
life. From the lands and the seas of planet earth, the
"dead in Christ" rise from their resting places in a glorified
condition. They are caught up into the presence of the Lord and
rejoined with their spirit.
Living believers will be caught up without dying.
In the brief time-span of "the twinkling of an
eye" (1st Corinthians 15:52) living believers on earth
will be changed from perishable to imperishable and from mortal to
immortal. They too will be caught up to join the throng of believers
who have been resurrected from the dead. From that point they will
always be with the Lord.
What Happens To Those Who Are Left Behind?
On Some things we must speculate.
Hundreds of millions of believers will have
vanished from the earth. The impact on those left behind challenges
our imagination. Some will vanish before the eyes of unbelievers in
the course of daily activities.
In their homes they will be eating meals;
preparing to leave for work or shopping; doing chores or relaxing
with family. In a flash of time the true believers in every family
will suddenly disappear, most likely leaving their clothes crumpled
on the floor or in their chair. In those areas of the earth where it
is night, believers will be caught up from their beds. Family
members left behind will wake to find them gone. As we imagine
ourselves "in their shoes" we realize how startled, upset, and
confused they will feel. As they begin to grasp the fact that their
loved ones are gone forever, we sense their pain and anguish will
Others will be involved in travel by auto, bus,
truck, grain, or airplane. How shocking their disappearance will be
to those who are traveling with them…especially if they were the
driver of the vehicle. There will surely be massive pileups on the
highways, crashes of trains and airplanes.
In the business world executives will vanish from
board meetings; sales staff will suddenly be missing, telephone
conversations will cease and confusion will reign.
Government officials will be harassed by citizens
wanting an answer. Emergency meetings at all levels will be called.
Perhaps some will have knowledge of the Bible teaching on the
subject, and it is interesting to speculate what answers they will
The media will be in a frenzy, hard pressed to
decide which of the thousands of astonishing events to report. For a
period of time there will be mass confusion and upheaval, with the
possibility of even martial law.
Some things are revealed clearly in scripture.
To give a detailed account would require many
books. We must, therefore, limit ourselves to the broad sweep.
- Moral restraint will be virtually removed. Moral restraint
comes from the laws and mores (social acceptance) of man practiced
by self discipline. Unknown by many is the restraint by God
through the lives of believers. They body of each believer has
provided the temple for God's Holy Spirit throughout the church
age. When believers are taken from the earth we read that "the
mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now
restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way." Those
left behind will find themselves living in a society characterized
by a spirit of lawlessness.
- The rise of a world political leader and a world religious
leader empowered by Satan. The Old Testament book of Daniel tells
us in chapter 11:16 that "this leader will do as he pleases."
In the book of Revelation 13:2b, John tells us "the dragon
(Satan) gave him his power and his throne and great
authority." The religious leader will be empowered to perform
sensational miracles through the power of Satan. He will lead the
world to worship the political leader and Satan. (Revelation
- Population control by a world economic system. All mankind
will be required to receive a mark in their forehead or right hand
in order to buy or sell. (Revelation 13:16-18). This will be the
final form of a cash-less society. The world is already
well on its way with credit cards, debit cards, electronic
transfers, etc. This "mark" must also require total allegiance to
the political leader and to Satan who empowers him. One of the
messages from an angel is "If anyone worships the beast
(political leader) and his image, and receives his mark on his
forehead or upon his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the
wrath of God." (Revelation 14:9, 10a).
- A false peace. Like the calm before many storms, the rising
political leader will compassionately persuade nations that in
order to have world peace there must be world government. Many
world leaders are already zealously committed to this concept. It
would be wise to inquire of leaders what they envision when they
speak of this world as a "global village" and "the new world
order". The flash point for potential world war for more than
fifty years now has been the city of Jerusalem, which lies at the
core of the Arab/Israeli conflict. Although there have been great
efforts to secure peace, none have succeeded. The rising world
political leader will succeed with a peace covenant of seven years
duration. (Daniel 9:26, 27). This will provide him with great
credibility to bring peace to the rest of the nations.
- Increasing use of warfare to force reluctant nations to submit
to world government control. John pictures the rising world leader
as appearing at first as riding on a white horse with a bow (but
no arrows). Shortly afterward, he is pictured as riding a red
horse, and "it was granted to him to take peace from the earth,
and that men should slay one another; and a great sword was given
to him." (Revelation 6:2-4). John goes on to point out that in
the wake of massive warfare there will follow famine, airborne
diseases, and a great increase of flesh eating animals.
- Catastrophic upheaval in natural creation. John describes the
beginning of this upheaval thusly: "…and there was a great
earthquake; and the sun became black…and the whole moon became
like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth…and the sky
was split apart…and every mountain and island were moved out of
their places." (Revelation 6:12-14) From that point everything
gets worse. Why? "for the great day of their (God, and His
Christ) wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"
What Should Unbelievers Do ?
It means they will be left behind.
Unbelievers can reject the revelation God has
given, as many have. They do so at their peril. Paul revealed that
the coming world political leader will come "with all
unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the
love of the truth that they might be saved. 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."
2nd Thessalonians 2:10-12.
RECEIVE CHRIST AS SAVIOR NOW From the bottom of my heart I encourage every
person who has not yet received Christ as your Savior to do so. You
can receive Him by sincerely calling out to Him "Dear Lord Jesus,
I admit I am a sinner and I need to be saved. I believe you died for
my sin on the cross and rose again. I ask you to forgive my sins and
come to live in my heart and make me a child of God. I believe You
to do it right now."
What Should Believers Do
If we truly believe that
those left behind at the coming of Jesus, will suffer eternal
damnation, then we need to consider:
We should be much more serious about being an
Paul indicated that true believers "are
ambassadors for Christ…" 2nd Corinthians 5:20. That
means we are the personal representatives of Christ at the highest
level. We provide the only glimpse of Christ that many people will
ever see. We ought to be asking God daily to help us be the best
representatives we can.
We ought to be learning more about our God and
We have the word of God and the insight of those who have
walked further down the Christian journey than we have.
learning how to be more effective
in moving the hands of God in our prayers.
Isaiah 45:11 tells us God
waits for our commands.
We ought to write our personal book "How To
Win Friends and Influence People…For Christ".
We need to be
building friendship bridges to the unsaved and introduce them to the
One Who wants to be their Savior as well as ours.
In short, we need to remember that in Matthew
5:14, Jesus said we are the light of the world. Let's turn up the
amperage and the watts in lighting our world for Christ.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.