Who Will Go When The Lord Comes?
By Ray Brubaker
The CALGARY PRESS reported that the show depicting the
second coming of Christ, complete with worldwide catastrophes,
resulted in hundreds of calls from frightened TV viewers.
The program was portrayed as originating from a New
York television station's newsroom and reported such catastrophes as earthquakes, tidal waves and many other similar
Well, some day the return of our Lord will be a reality. It
would almost be better never to have been born than to miss the
event. Yet, if we understand the Scriptures correctly, there
will be many who looked for our Lord's coming who will miss
the event we call the "rapture."
As Basil Mowell writes: "Some believe that all who profess
to be Christians will be taken. But our Lord's parable of the
wise and foolish virgins who all went out to meet the bridegroom contradicts such an opinion." (PROPHETIC WITNESS)
A booklet entitled, MILLIONS MISSING, relates what many
believe will happen. We're told: "The sudden removal of
millions from the earth will bring about a mysterious world
crisis; confusion, chaos, and panic such as this world has
never known will engulf the whole earth! Scores of driverless
cars will rush pell-mell down the highways piling up in horrible wrecks. Big trucks carrying tens of thousands of gallons
of explosive gasoline and chemicals will wreck and cause fires
and explosions that cannot be described in words. Buses
and trains loaded with passengers will pile up--wrecked. Many
giant airliners will plunge to the ground when the born-again
pilots are removed from the controls! Death, misery, and confusion will be everywhere ! '
Our Lord declared concerning His coming: "The days will
come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son
of man, and ye shall not see it." (Luke 17:22)
Could it be that many who expect to be raptured will miss
it? What saith the Scriptures?
The Apostle Paul speaks of our Lord's return in two
aspects--His appearing and His kingdom. In 2 Tim. 4:1,
we're reminded that when the Lord comes He will "judge the
quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom." That
is, our Lord is seen coming for His own who are ready in an
event we call the "rapture" when He "appears" and quickly
snatches away His own. This is when many expect all manner
of catastrophes to happen as the saints are caught away to be
with the Lord. Then upon this earth comes great tribulation,
the wrath of God upon the sinner, after which our Lord is seen
returning to this earth to establish His kingdom.
All we can say is, don't miss the day when Christ appears!
It will be hell on earth to be left behind to go through that awful
tribulation that is coming.
On television, the story of Charles Manson was
shown, called "Helter Skelter." Many Christians protested the showing of the film because Charles called himself
"Jesus Christ" and led his hippie followers to enact cruel,
bloody murders such as the killing of Hollywood actress, Sharon
Tate, who was pregnant at the time. When asked what the
word "Helter Skelter" meant, Manson related there is coming
a time when the whole world will be at war with unrestrained
violence, bloodshed, and mass killings such as they were doing.
Indeed, the Bible does forecast such a day when the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit will be lifted. If the thought
were to occur in an evil man's mind to kill, he will kill. If
he sees a woman coming down the street and the thought of rape
comes into his mind, he will rape her there on the street.
As Dr. William F. Beirnes points out: "In this dispensation
of the Holy Ghost, the devil is restrained or hindered in fulfilling all of his intentions against the Church and against individuals." However, he notes: "In the Tribulation, after the
rapture of the Bride of Christ, that restraint of the Holy Spirit
is to be lifted, or 'taken away.'"
Can you begin to imagine what it will be like? As Dr. Beirnes
suggests: "Sin, violence, and bloodshed would be so rampant
that it would soon exceed that of the Antediluvian world which
God had to destroy."
And yet, the evidence is, my friends, that many who anticipated the rapture will be left behind to go through this awful
period. That is why it is so very important to wake up to the
realization that possibly instead of "millions missing" when
Jesus comes, there will be "millions left behind" when He
Think with me for a moment how it was when Jesus came the
first time. All of the religious leaders had believed in the
coming of the Messiah but when Jesus came it was altogether
different than what they had planned. They expected our Lord
to come as a king when He came as a lowly babe in a manger.
Although the Bible was filled with prophecies concerning His
coming, they missed the true meaning of these prophecies and
crucified the Christ they were expecting.
So we can't help but wonder if our Lord's second coming
will not be similar to His first coming with many missing the
event. Jesus testified, saying there would be those who desire
to see one of the days of the Son of man, and shall not see it.
Take the parable of the Ten Virgins. All looked for the
coming of the bridegroom but only half were ready when he
Perhaps you wonder what happened to the "foolish virgins."
Did they not miss the marriage?
In a related passage, our Lord warns: "Let your loins be
girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like
unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from
the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open
unto him immediately." (See Luke 12:35-40) Most people
don't know this passage is in the Bible but it indicates the
possibility of some who will miss the wedding who are told to
be ready for our Lord when He returns from the wedding.
Oh, beloved, how important to be living for Christ so that
when He comes, we will be ready!
Our Lord goes on to warn: "And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come,
he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be
broken through. Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of
man cometh at an hour when ye think not." (Luke 12:39-49)
We close nearly every broadcast with this warning: "Be
ye therefore ready." We hope and pray that our audience
will heed this message because we know what the Scripture
says about the "house being broken through" with some who are
ready, and others who will be left behind.
Now, should anyone doubt that a believer would be left behind
with unbelievers, just continue reading in this same chapter
where Jesus speaks of the servant who says in his heart, "My
lord delayeth his coming," and who begins to live carelessly.
What happens to such an one? Listen. We read, "The lord
of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him,
and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder
(cut him off), and will appoint him his portion with the
I realize many will write to say we're teaching a partial
rapture, or that we're preaching works for salvation, when all
we are doing is to present the true picture of what it will be
like when Jesus comes. How sad for vast multitudes who will
be left behind at the rapture to go through the tribulation!
In Rev. 7:9, we read of a "great multitude, which no man
could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and
tongues...clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands."
We readily recognize these people as being believers, for
the "white robes" speak of the righteousness bestowed when
we place faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for our sins.
However, the question is asked: "What are these which
are strayed in white robes? and whence came they?"
The answer is heard, "Sir, thou knowest...These are they
which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their
robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Did you notice, concerning this great multitude which came
out of great tribulation, it is said that they "washed their robes,
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Is it not apparent that at the coming of the Lord their robes
were defiled? And in the midst of persecution, suffering and
martyrdom, they repented of their defilement.
Concerning the church in Sardis, we read of a "few" that
"have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me
in white: for they are worthy." (Rev. 3:4)
What would the Lord say if He were to check our robes?
What if He were to look at our churches? Would He find a
"few" who have not defiled their garments?
As D. M. Panton observes: "These 'few' walking in sanctity,
cannot be the only regenerate souls in Sardis; for the Lord
accepts the whole church as an 'ecclesia.' However, in all of
the Seven Churches of Revelation there are the select 'few'
to be rewarded as 'overcomers'."
As Panton sees it: "The Holy Son of God cannot present unto
Himself a trifling, indifferent, unsanctified body of nominal
church members. His church must be made like unto Himself,
the fairest and noblest expression of redeemed humanity that
only His sufferings and death could ever produce."
Says Panton: "Our Lord's outburst from heaven to catch
His bride away is either a comforting opiate for disobedient
disciples, or else it is one of the most rousing of all truths--
it cannot be both!"
Too long we have assumed that our readiness for rapture
depends solely upon our being saved. But if this were true,
then why all of the admonitions and warnings to believers to be
ready for our Lord's return?
Again, to be left behind when Jesus comes wouldn't necessarily mean that we are lost, but rather that we must go
through the purging fires of the tribulation, from which we would
be expected to come through purified.
Peter speaks of the manifold testings believers were going
through in his day, declaring: "That the trial of your faith,
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though
it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and
glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (I Pet. 1:7)
Even Herman, believed to be an associate of the Apostle
Paul, wrote of the trials of the early church as "a type of the
great tribulation that is coming." He admonished believers,
saying: "If ye then prepare yourselves, and repent with all
your heart, and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to
escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the
rest of your lives serving the Lord blamelessly." (From the
Shepherd of Hermas)
Thus, our Lord has admonished us, saying: "Watch ye
therefore, and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to
escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand
before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36)
Are we watching and praying to escape the coming tribulation? Or, do we take for granted that we shall escape?
Paul relates how our Lord loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the
washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any
such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Is this our state--our position? Are we holy and without
Again, may we be reminded of the necessity of having on
the white robes of Christ's righteousness and of having them
kept clean. Our Lord admonishes, "Behold, I come as a
thief, Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments,
lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." (Rev. 16:15)
Notice, too, that when our Lord appears from Heaven on a
white horse, we read: "And the armies which were in heaven
followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white
How we need to see the importance of having on garments
that are clean and white in order to be ready for our Lord's
Of this we can be certain. If we want to be included in this
entourage of saints to be caught upward when Christ comes,
we can be ready. Concerning the marriage of the Lamb, we
read, "His wife hath made herself ready."
A wedding is about to take place. If you are not aware of
it, or are not preparing for it, the chances are that you are not
ready and will be left behind when Jesus comes.
Concerning the Lamb's wife, we read, "And to her was
granted that she should be strayed in fine linen, clean and
white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
Did you hear it?
Are you looking for Christ's coming? Is our Lord's return
a "blessed hope"? If so, you will want to make preparation to
be ready for this glorious event.
As John declares: "And every man that hath this hope in
him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
How do we purify ourselves? Peter replies: "Seeing ye
have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit."
(I Pet. 1:22)
So, dear one, come to Christ today. Repent of all your sins
to trust the Saviour Who died for your sins. Then pray for the
Holy Spirit's direction daily. Read the Word and fall in love
with Him Who is the Living Word.
Indeed, be ye therefore ready also, for in such an hour as
ye think not, the Son of man cometh."