This week our Nation reflects on one of the most horrific events in American history. On September 11, 2001, Americans were victimized by a heinous act of terrorism. Images of this violent act of hatred will be forever embedded in the minds of Americans for generations to come. The images should remind us of the evil that is in the world, and cause us to humble ourselves and pray for God’s protection. As I watched the countless news reports of the collapsing Towers in New York and the attack on the Pentagon in Washington, my heart was grieved over the sorrow in the faces of so many people. The loss of life, the lack of security, the trepidation of the unexpected had most Americans glued to news reports. In the aftermath of the attack, there was a great surge of spirituality as people gathered in great numbers in places of worship to pray. Also, courageous volunteers started to rebuild and restore as a strong fresh wind blew in the sails of American patriotism. However, I will never forget the fear in the news reporter’s voice as he was watching the World Trade Center stand for the last time. With his camera fixed on the building, he began to shout, “Oh my God! They’re gone; the buildings are gone!” as they crumbled to the ground. A sea of emotions swept across the reporter and the nation because the buildings were gone.
The Bible compares believers in Christ to a building—one that is being built for the glory of God (cf. Ephesians 2:21; 4:7-16). One day this building (redeemed believers) will also be gone, not due to an attack, but an announcement. This announcement is what Theologians call the Rapture. The Bible declares in I Thessalonians 4:16 –17:
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: 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: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The panic, fear, and wonder of today’s events is just a small shadow of what is yet to come in relation to God’s prophetic timetable. The towers of truth will one day be gone. The pulpits of America will be void of Spirit-filled men of God. The choirs that once sung Amazing Grace will be silenced by a call from God to “come up hither” (cf. Revelation 4:1). Just as the reporter shouted “Oh my God! They’re gone…” Non-believers will one day wonder why their Christian friends and family are missing. The rapture will take place and non-believers will be left behind. Today if you are not ready to meet the Lord, ask Him to come into your heart right now and save you. Ask Him to take away your sin and receive today by faith the gift of eternal life. You can be another addition to the building of God. Moreover, one day while the world runs in panic you will be at peace in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ forever.
Missional Until He Comes,
Dr. David L. Sampson