In February, I lost my best friend to cancer. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch and go through. My heart hurt for her family and a part of me felt helpless because I could not change anything that was happening. My kids adored her too. She had two small little girls and playdates were so much fun. This was the first person my kids had ever lost that they were really close too besides their Granny. So, naturally, my three little ones have sure had a lot of questions about death, heaven, and the rapture.
It seems impossible to explain death and afterlife to kids, and honestly, I think it is hard to explain to anyone. Recently the topic of questions at the house has been, “What happens when Jesus comes back for us?” Explaining the rapture (the return of Jesus) to a 5, 8 and 9-year-old seems near impossible! The bible says that no man will know the day nor the hour when Jesus will return. It also says that when He returns that a loud trumpet will sound out to announce His return, and the Christians will join Jesus to go to Heaven. Those who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior will be left on earth and experience the events of the tribulation. The book of Revelations is a hard chapter in the bible to study and understand, and I certainly do not claim to be a bible scholar. Some even believe we are already living in “the last days,” the tribulation. Hollywood has produced many movies of predictions and outcomes of how the “end of the world” will take place. However, no one really knows what exact events will unfold nor when. As Christian parents, we try to teach our kids the best we can and to always put Jesus first, love God, and love others that way they will not worry about the “end of life.” If you are putting God first there really is not much to worry about, but with experiencing the death of a close friend, the kids have had so many questions about what happens after death.
My five-year old son, Remington, has asked several times if we vanish or fly in the air when the trumpet blows and Jesus returns. Bubba, my eight-year-old son, wants to know exactly what type of trumpet sound we will hear. He even asked if I knew if it would have a certain sound or tune. My husband and I spent about ten minutes at bed time the other night trying to explain to the boys the best we could and answer their questions. I tried to quote scriptures from the Bible about how “the dead and Christ shall rise.” However, their little minds seemed to get more confused with the big words. Then, they wanted to know why the dead will rise out of graves if they are already in heaven. As stated before, I’m not a Bible scholar by no means; therefore, we did the best we could that night answering questions to their inquisitive minds about when Jesus returns.
After we said our prayers and gave kisses goodnight, I went to bed really thinking about how I could better explain all their questions to them. It was beginning to stress me out. I did not want to tell them wrong answer nor seem unknowledgeable about the topic either. I searched scriptures until my eyes were so heavy until I fell asleep that night all the while thinking about it and praying.
The next morning, we overslept for school. My husband had left for work, and I woke up to the light shining in the window and hearing a faint trumpet sound. It suddenly got louder and louder. I kept thinking (half asleep) “Ok, Lord. I should be flying or vanishing any time.” But nothing happened …. maybe it wasn’t the rapture?
The sun kept shining, and I kept falling back asleep off and on, but the trumpet kept playing. It wasn’t the tune I expected for Gabriel (the archangel mentioned in the bible) to blow on the trumpet for Jesus’ return but again no one knows the exact tune or time, right? At least, this was the answer I had given Bubba the night before.
Finally, after about five or ten minutes, I’m not sure exactly how much time passed. It seemed like an eternity. I got myself awake. Still hearing the trumpet playing over and over and over. My heart stopped and it dawned on me.
“OH God! I’ve missed the rapture! This is why I’ve not disappeared yet!”
I literally began to pray; however, I knew that would not work but at that moment in time, I had no clue what to do. I guess I thought I might get granted a late entry to the pearly gates if I began to pray? I’m not sure. I just know I was in panic mode. The trumpet was blowing, and I was left behind. My heart was so broken.
Finally, completely confused, I sat up and looked to my left and looked for Bubba to see if he was in the toddler bed since he usually wakes up in the middle of the night and wonders in our bedroom. However,
the bed was empty.
My heart stopped again! I knew he was still a kid, and according to the Bible (and the “Left Behind” movies and books), Bubba would vanish with the rapture because he was a kid and not at an age of accountability. That’s when I slowly, half asleep and half scared, looked to my right to see if Remington was still sleeping in our bed. There he lay, still sleeping sweetly. Then, I heard one more trumpet call and none of us disappeared. I was so confused and half asleep. I know Remington can be a little ornery sometimes, but surely the Lord would let Him on into Heaven!
I got up and began to walk down the hallway and the trumpet got louder and louder. My heart began to beat faster and faster! My palms began to sweat, and I did not start flying up in the air. I finally made it to the living room, and there laying on our piano laid Bubba’s phone.
The little stinker had set an alarm on his phone with the sound of a trumpet! You have no idea the relief I felt knowing I did not miss the rapture! You have no idea how much prayer I had that day to make sure I do not ever miss the real one! Needless to say, I made Bubba change his alarm tone on his phone!
None of us really know the exact time or day when Jesus will return. Honestly, some of us may die by natural death, accidents, or disease before He ever returns. You may have even read the story above thinking the entire time, “What is the rapture?” The rapture is the second returning of Jesus. When Jesus returns, He and the Christians that are still here on earth living will return to Heaven. Those who chose to not be saved will be left here on earth and experience the tribulation. This is hard for our minds to comprehend. Sometimes, it may even sound like a plot for a movie or a sci-fi story. However, there are some things that God has left a mystery to us, but according to the Bible, these events of the rapture will one day take place. We can either be ready at all times or not. The choice is honestly up to us. I encourage you to study and find the answers that explain “the end” to you. Below, I have listed just a few of the many scriptures that the Bible explains about these events. So, will you fly, vanish, or remain?