In 1967 I was part of a group of college students who heard a man by the name of Hal Lindsey speak. He is the author of a book called, “The Late Great Planet Earth.” Being a part of the younger generation you probably have not heard of it. It tells about things that would happen in the future according to prophecies given in the Bible. This speaker said something that shocked me to the core. He said, “I believe you are the generation that will not experience physical death!” He was making reference to something that the Bible talks about in First Thessalonians 4:15-17 where it says that people who are alive on earth at the time of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will be “caught up together…in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” This is commonly called the rapture. Again, as I stated in the previous article, remember the “Left Behind” book series and the movie? Many believe that this will happen before the Tribulation to spare Christians from the judgment of God, because the Tribulation is going to be directed at non-Christians.
Why did the speaker say that the generation of which I am a part may not experience physical death? I mean, that was a very bold statement to make. In Matthew 24:34, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. Since Jesus was and is the only perfect being to walk upon the earth he cannot lie or make up some phony-baloney story. This is what he said. “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” What things? They are what is listed in all of the preceding verses of this chapter. I can tell you that much of what is listed has taken place in my time on earth. If you part of the younger generation of those in their teens and twenties, you have absolutely no idea how much things have changed from how they were when I was your age, and not for the better of humanity. I will give you one example from verse 12. It says that “lawlessness will increase.” When you take into account all of the mass killings, destructive rioting, beheadings, total disregard for law enforcement, and even government leaders who defy the constitutions of their own countries, I think we have more lawlessness in our world today then ever before. This, and numerous other conditions, are all leading up to the Tribulation Period.
So, is there anything a person can do to escape, or to endure, what is about to come upon the earth? Yes, there is! One must put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only hope and salvation. You see, human nature as a whole has rejected God. That is why the world conditions have become the way they are. Mankind is not capable of reversing the world conditions or sparing itself from the judgment of God. Human nature is in dire need of a character transformation. This can only happen from inside a person’s heart. This is made possible by receiving the grace that God has to offer through Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and mine, and rose from the dead. You must confess that you are a sinner who has wanted nothing to do with God. Then invite Jesus Christ to become your personal and only Lord and Savior. When a person does this, he or she then has the Holy Spirit of God residing within their heart. There is nothing you can do to earn salvation or merit entrance into heaven apart from calling upon the grace of God. You are what the Bible calls being “saved by grace through faith.”
When the speaker was talking about being the generation that will not experience physical death, it comes with the conditions I have mentioned in the above paragraph. He takes the position, along with many other Christians, that the rapture is the way God has provided to escape the Tribulation Period for those who have put their trust in God’s grace.
The time is here. The Tribulation Period is fast approaching. I have seen all the things leading up to it in my generation. I firmly believe that, unless my life is cut short by some illness or tragic accident, that I will not experience physical death! I will go from Planet Earth and be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. You can too!