Friday, January 9, 2009

Would You Intentionally Leave Someone Behind?

Last Sunday, our interim pastor spoke about the 7 things you should know if you're left behind (he was preaching on the rapture). It was intended to get us thinking about not only our own salvation, but the salvation of others. He pointed out there are no more "signs of the times" that are yet to be fulfilled, which means Christ could come back literally at any moment. I was moved to pray even harder for people I know who aren't Christians. I wanted to shout a hearty "Amen!" at times and weep in other parts of his talk. The whole issue of praying for others took on a totally different meaning for me. I thought I was serious about praying for the salvation of some friends and family but apparently, I hadn't been serious enough.

If God could suddenly confront and change the apostle Paul, He can confront and change anybody. Didn't He confront and change us?

We must never get tired of praying for the salvation of others because sometimes God works suddenly and sometimes He works over a period of time. But He does work in response to our prayer and praise. Acts 16:26 tells what happened when Paul & Silas were singing praises to the Lord in jail: "Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened."

As soon as the jailer head the noise and saw what had happened, he attempted to kill himself with his sword because the prisoners had escaped. But Paul called out to him, "Don't harm yourself, we're all still here!" When the jailer brought Paul and Silas out of the prison cell, his first question to them was in verse 30, "Men, what is it necessary for me to do that I may be saved?"

What a big change! The same man who had them beaten, chained and thrown into a dungeon of a prison was now asking them for salvation! Once he became a believer, the jailer took them into his own home, bathed their wounds, and served them food. The Bible said he was so excited he "leaped for joy and exulted with all his family that he believed in God." (verse 34).

God may be moving in a supernatural way for you or for your loved one or in an ordinary way. He may move "suddenly" as He did for the jailer.

If the rapture were to happen today, is there anyone you love whom you believe would be left behind? Do you WANT them to be left behind to deal with what they will be forced to face here on earth? If not, what are you and I going to do about it?


Anonymous said...

Very good post today Barbie, and something all of us as believers need to address, and think about. We need to always be praying for the ones we know, (or think), may not know the Lord. It's hard at times to try to talk to these people because they either say they know the Lord already, or they don't want to hear about it at all. I asked my pastor what to do in those situations and he said for us to never stop ceasing in our praying for those people, and to be a light to them, and to plant seeds in their lives. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. But your post brought it back to my attention that I haven't been praying for those people close to me as much as I should either. Thanks for the gentle urging and reminder.
Have a blessed day!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your columns but I need to know where in the Bible do you find the "rapture?

Barbie Bassett said...

The word "rapture" isn't found in my Biblical translation but the Bible speaks specifically about what we as humans have termed "the rapture". Here are Biblical references:

"...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air..." (1Thes.4:16,17)

"...every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming"... (ICor.15:23)

"...Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye..." (ICor.15:51,52)

In Revelation 3:8&10 God clearly identifies the body that will be Raptured. Speaking to the Church of Philadelphia He says: "...I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name." (Rev.3:8)

"Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth..." (Rev.3:10)

"...because God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ".(IThes.5:9)

Revelation Chapter 4 opens with John saying: "...After these things, I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come Up Here", and I will show you things which must take place after this". (Rev.4:1)

Anonymous said...

This past Sunday our pastor gave a lesson on "Being a Blessing" and it is so true...instead of being ill with "things that happen" in life and snapping at people we should be a blessing....a calm in the storm....send up prayers and extend peace rather than wrath..especially undeserved peace and understanding. Drag that person kicking and screaming rather than to knowingly leave them behind!