This brief introduction about the delicate balance between belief and unbelief serves as a tie-in to one of the key issues in our understanding of biblical last-days prophecies, which is the timing of the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51-53).
Identifying the real underlying cause behind a pretribulation rapture after it occurred, would be one of the easiest and most clear-cut pieces of investigative journalism ever.
It would not take long for investigators and journalists to discover that those people missing through the rapture involving hundreds of millions around the world, were all practicing Christians.
Investigators would quickly put two-and-two together regarding what these missing people all had in common, and thus eliminate any competing bizarre and speculative explanations, concluding instead that this event must have been the heretofore popularized biblical rapture.
God does not make mistakes. He is not inaccurate.
Every person raptured will be a Spirit-born Christian, without exception.
This will be the largest, homogenous group of people to ever participate in any single event of history.
If every person amongst hundreds of millions of people disappearing in the twinkling of an eye around the world, were all exclusively Christians, everyone on the planet would quickly know this.
If within a moment of time there were absolutely zero believing Christians to be found anywhere on the entire planet, this would become immediately apparent in many parts of the world.
It would be common knowledge within days, possibly hours, and in some locations even minutes, that this event was the New Testament rapture and nothing else.
No amount of secular media spin, no matter how liberal the initial bias, would be able to explain away or refute the common knowledge among the populace that those family members and friends they lost in the great disappearance were all uniformly and exclusively practicing Christians.
If three, four, or five hundred million Christians were instantly raptured from the earth, it would be extremely difficult to spin this event as anything other than the biblical rapture. What other possible explanation would come close on the plausibility or believability meter?
It is the universal nature of the people missing that is controlling.
UFO abduction would not make sense. Why would unidentified flying objects abduct hundreds of millions of Christians, as opposed to the God of the Bible abducting Christians in a rapture event?
It would make no difference if journalists began their investigation from a completely secular, non-biblical perspective.
The initial focus of the investigations would be about the people missing, not about Bible prophecy. The investigations would all lead to the same consistent conclusion. Any subsequent questions regarding the meaning of Bible prophecy relating to the disappearances would only become a secondary factor after it was clearly established that the people missing were all Christians.
People around the world would quickly know this was the rapture, as an indisputable conclusion of fact, because they would have personally known the people who disappeared.
A pretribulation rapture by definition also occurs pre-Antichrist, so there cannot be a concerted worldwide governmental organization in place to spin the rapture into something other than the rapture. This attempted false spinning of the narrative away from being the rapture cannot be the deception referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
On a full transatlantic 747 airliner crossing, moments after a hundred passengers had vanished off the plane instantly, a shocked man in row 25, standing-up and looking around the lighted cabin interior at the remaining passengers, would remark out loud to himself more than to anyone in particular, that his missing wife was a Christian and that this was the biblical rapture.
This left-behind husband would know without a doubt the reason why his Christian wife had suddenly disappeared.
A woman in row 28, also standing-up to visually search amongst the nearby passengers, would overhear this comment, and confirm with resigned sadness that her missing husband was also a Christian, and that this was the rapture her husband had told her about while reading the Left Behind books a few years ago.
A young couple in the middle seats between rows 25 and 28, overhearing this exchange, would frantically say that their small children were also missing.
Within ten to fifteen minutes everyone on this jetliner, because of the confined space, would have heard and processed the idea that Christians and small children had all disappeared in the biblical rapture.
Similarly, because of the large proportional number of hundreds of millions of Christians that would be raptured pretribulation, within the confined and finite space of our planet, the initial speculation that the cause of this vanishing was the biblical rapture would be instantly set-in-motion as a natural result of the close personal relationships between the people raptured and the very people left behind.
Again, the uniformly Christian composition of the people taken would preclude any bizarre, paranormal explanations.
This is one reasonable and straightforward construction of people’s reactions that would shortly follow the rapture during a mid-flight 747 jetliner crossing over the Atlantic Ocean.
This same scenario would repeat itself quickly across the globe as people compared notes and realized who had disappeared. The idea of the rapture as the plausible explanation for the disappearances would become concrete fact worldwide, hours or days before any alternately fantastic explanation could be fabricated by anyone.
With this many people left behind and personally affected, the world would not be looking to a detached, impersonal, and spiritually ill-equipped secular media to provide a believably authoritative explanation for the clearly supernatural disappearances.
They would already know the cause behind the disappearances, based upon their personal relationships with the Christians who had been instantly raptured.
If a pure, easily identifiable, homogenous group of 500 million Spirit-born Christians all disappeared in the twinkling of an eye, it would make no difference in this explanatory interpretation if an equally large-sized group of unsaved nominal churchgoers were unexplainably left behind.
The question would not degenerate into whether only “good” Christians were taken and mediocre or less dedicated “Christians” were left behind.
The clarity of the identification and nature of the large mass of those people taken in the disappearance would not be clouded or diluted in any way by the nature of those nominal churchgoers left behind.
Their condition would be a separate and unrelated issue way down the list of immediate considerations.
In today’s pretribulation rapture discussion, we are missing the obvious.
Any numerical quantity of people noticeably disappearing with or without their clothes in a worldwide manner, above the unrealistically understated number of 1,000 or 10,000 or 100,000, for example, would garner immediate attention and be attributed by the general populace as a divine act of God, with no other plausible causation.
No imaginable space-alien invasion or natural force could discriminately take 100% intact, whole people totally into thin air, vanishing completely.
Few people would think this surgically accurate and precise removal of whole people without leaving behind body parts or any other visible trace, could possibly be anything other than some inexplicably divine act of God.
Couple this with the singular nature of those taken with the number of this group to be in the hundreds of millions, and the only plausible explanation of this totally implausible event would be the rapture and nothing else.
This does not mean that the world would believe the rapture explanation as incontrovertible proof, to motivate them to surrender and yield their lives in faith to Jesus Christ.
It simply means that everyone would have heard this rapture explanation as the leading, most plausibly acceptable explanation for the disappearance of hundreds of millions of Christians.
Left-behind people after a pretribulation rapture are by definition skeptics and unbelievers. Just because they hear and process the information that the rapture is the cause of the disappearances, does not mean necessarily that many of them would reconsider and embrace change in their lives on account of this information.
What makes this a critical issue in our centuries-long, ongoing recovery of truth regarding biblical end-times prophecies, is that God the Father did not previously choose to have the resurrected Jesus walk through the main streets of Jerusalem in route to entering into the temple.
God did not choose a wide-scale public demonstration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, as the means to generate commendable, virtuous, and salvation quality faith. The contemporary skeptics observing a resurrected Jesus walking into the first-century temple in Jerusalem, would indeed acknowledge the supernatural nature of this occurrence.
But this would probably not generate repentance and separation from self-sovereignty leading to salvation faith for them, any more than seeing Jesus miraculously cleanse lepers, restore sight to the blind, or raise Lazarus from the dead did during the time leading up to the cross and the resurrection.
The all-important point here is that God Himself did not choose to upset the delicate balance for belief and unbelief, although He easily could have done so at this most opportune time by introducing the element of incontrovertible proof into the equation of His new covenant outreach of love to mankind in the first-century.
Romans 10:17 sums this up beautifully and simply: “So, then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”