Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Crystal’s Questions....3, 4 & 5

Hi. Welcome back. In case you haven’t seen this yet, a 12 year old girl named Crystal in our church’s Alpha Sprouts program wrote out 19 questions that have her somewhat concerned. She’s rather excited that Alpha Dude would take the time to answer them (or at least try).
Some of Crystal’s questions are closely related, so when I can, I’ve combined them to try to give Crystal the clearest answers and explanations as possible.
We’ve already looked at the first two, so let’s move on to the next few questions.

More of Crystal’s Questions (there are 19 in all, so far)….
3. How much longer until the rapture?
4. How do we know for a fact that there will be a rapture?
5. Why do non-believers have to stay living while believers die at the rapture?

How much longer until the rapture? I believe that there is a real good chance that our generation will be around to see it. Of course, every generation since Christ’s ascension into Heaven has felt that way. Maybe we are all just hoping it will happen real soon. I have personally had days where I’ve looked upwards and said,
“Okay Lord, you can come right now and it won’t bother me one bit!”

But God’s timing is perfect and He knows better than me when is the right time for everything.
The Bible is quite clear on the fact that our Heavenly Father is the only one who knows exactly when the rapture will occur, and He’s not telling.
A lot of people think God is rather mysterious and keeps a lot of secrets, but actually, He has given away the ending of our life story by giving us the book of Revelation. In that, He tells us what the end times will be like. The only things that He does not tell us is who the Anti-Christ will be, and when those times will occur.
The Bible tells us that the Lord will come “like a thief in the night”, so it will happen quickly.
Followers of Jesus will hear the sound of Gabriel’s trumpet and then, in the blink of an eye, be gone.
Can you imagine, blinking your eyes, just like always, and then standing face to face with Jesus? I think that’s pretty cool. Or sleeping in your bed and waking up in Heaven? Awesome. I wonder if I’ll need to start sleeping with my toothbrush? Or if I’ll even need it in Heaven? I don’t know God said He’ll take care of everything so I guess I don’t need to worry about those kinds of things.

How do we know for a fact that there will be a rapture? Well, quite simply, because the Bible says so, and the Bible is God’s Word. So, basically, there will indeed be a rapture because God said so.
There was a saying as I was growing up that said, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it”.
But you know something? It doesn’t matter if you or I believe it or not. God said it, that settles it. Period.

So Crystal, there will be a rapture because God made us a promise, and God always keeps His promises to us.

Why do non-believers have to stay living while believers die at the rapture? I love this question. Mostly because it shows a lot of thought and true concern for the pursuit of God’s truth. Crystal, when the rapture comes, non-believers will be left behind for a period of seven years until the second coming of Christ. During that time, they will have one last chance to accept Jesus as God’s Son and to invite Him to live in their hearts and be their Lord and Savior, just as you have. But it will also come with a price. Those people will endure the Tribulation and may experience the wrath of Almighty God. During that time, the Anti-Christ will make himself known and try to force people to take his mark, the mark of the beast as the book of Revelation calls it. Once a person takes that mark, that’s it. No Heaven for them.

But don’t worry, believers will not die at the rapture. In fact, they will become more alive than ever in the presence of Jesus and all the Heavenly hosts (angels). We will be with God in Heaven forever.

There was an old Baptist song I heard when I was a kid. It went something like this:
“If I know Jesus, I’ll live forever.
If I know Jesus, I’ll never die……”

But you know what? It doesn’t matter if you know Jesus or not.
You are never going to die. You see, human beings are immortal.
According to what the Bible tells us, you will either spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord, or you will spend eternity in Hell (in pain and suffering).
So the reality is this: You are going to live forever. You will experience eternity.

The question people really need to ask is this:
“Where do I want to spend my eternity?”

I know my answer.

Do you?

Note: The Spring Alpha Course is almost over. I saw Crystal at Alpha Sprouts on Monday night and thanked her again for her questions. Then I asked her about her first few questions and what she thought now, having been in the Alpha Sprouts.

“So Crystal, what do YOU think? Does God exist?”
“Oh my goodness, yes. Yes He does!”
“How do you know?”
“Oh, there are so, so many reasons. I just know.”

Ya just gotta love that kid.


Crystal’s next question:
6. How will we get to Heaven if we believe?

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)


Melissa said...

Well...I'm often ready for the rapture too...but I think I'd like to wait for this baby to be born now that I'm hitting the third trimester. I can't imagine being pregnant for eternity! Just kidding...Just kidding.

On a more serious note, I think it is awesome that you have been able to minister to this young lady. I remember having some pretty deep questions of my own about God at that age and spent a year or two tormented by the thought that I was heading for hell because I just didn't understand how His salvation worked. God is good and revealed His grace and mercy to me eventually, but it would have been awesome to have Alpha Dude around to answer my questions!

Dr.John said...

I'm glad that Crystal believes. Faith is important at any age.

EE said...

So impressed that you are able to answer Crystal's questions in such a clear manner that's totally not at all scary...
I think you should consider turning Crystal's questions into a book!