Where Are They?
By Faisal Fransu
It was a fine morning in early winter when our narrative begins. Buses full of students were arriving at 'Union' high school in Hamilton, Ontario. They were coming to start another day of school.
A grade twelve, visually impaired student named Jeremiah was on one of these buses. When his bus had stopped at its proper place, Jeremiah picked up his backpack, put it on his shoulders and got off the bus to get into the building.
Even though Jeremiah could not see where he was going, yet he knew where to go, because he had been taught by his teacher to go around the school all by himself. People marvelled whenever they would see him walking around the school all by himself.
Going up to his locker, he opened it, hanged his coat in it and he picked up his binders; one for Religion and the other one for English; and went downstairs.
Because the door of his classroom was not opened yet, Jeremiah went and stood at it. As people were passing by, they were greeting him, because Jeremiah was a well known student at Union high school. He would sometimes do the morning prayers. People knew that he took his faith very seriously.
Jeremiah loved to preach the gospel to his friends. However, they stubbornly refused to listen to him, saying that they were happy with their own religions.
As Jeremiah stood waiting for the teacher to come and open the door for him, a friend of his came to him and they chatted happily. The name of this friend was Maria. She was in grade ten, while Jeremiah was in grade twelve.
"You look so happy today," she told him. "So what's going on?"
"Well I heard a beautiful sermon before I came to school this morning," explained Jeremiah.
"And what was the sermon about?" asked Maria interestedly.
"It was about what we Evangelicals call the 'Rapture,'" said the young man.
"And what is the Rapture?" the girl asked curiously.
So Jeremiah explained, "Well the Bible teaches that there will be seven years of tribulation. God will be pouring out his wrath against the whole world, because the people have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. But before the judgement begins, Jesus will take all of those who have opened their hearts to him to Heaven. This will happen in a twinkling of an eye. This is what we call the 'Rapture.' No one knows when this will happen, except God. But we do know that it's very near."
"Hmmm…" commented Maria. "That sounds very interesting. Well I'll be back in a second to hear more about it. Stay where you are."
But when she had returned to where Jeremiah had stood, he was no longer there.
"I guess somebody has called him," thought Maria. So she forgot about him and went to her class.
When the morning announcements were over, Mrs. Smith, Jeremiah's religion teacher, began looking at the attendance to see who was present and who was not. When she had called Jeremiah's name, no one answered. So she looked for him in the classroom, but he wasn't there.
"Has anybody seen Jeremiah today?" Mrs. Smith asked the students. "He's never absent."
Several students replied that they had seen him standing at the door of the classroom just before the announcements.
Well Mrs. Smith had no choice but to mark him absent. He had never missed class before.
Then she called the attendance office and said, "Jeremiah Benjamin is not in the class. My students told me that he was here before the announcements."
So a search for Jeremiah was made, but he couldn't be found anywhere. They wondered where he was. Some thought that he had probably gone out of the school. But that was impossible, since he could not leave the building on his own.
The whole school was worried for Jeremiah, because he was loved by everyone. However, the classes went on as usual.
Then, to everyone's horror, some teachers received calls that their babies were missing. Certain students received the same messages about their baby siblings. This news threw the whole school in a panic.
Another tragedy that took place that day was that all of the mentally disabled students were also missing. These students were present at the school before the morning announcements. But after that, they were not in the school any more. No one knew how they had disappeared.
The school called Jeremiah's parents to notify them of their son's disappearance. However, no one answered the phone.
Then, Mr. Gary, the principal at Union high school, appeared on the school's television and said, "Ladies and gentleman, what happened at our school today also happened throughout the world. I just finished reading the news. Millions of people throughout the world have mysteriously disappeared. No one has been able to give an answer to these phenomena. Therefore, I do not think that we should continue the school day. Your buses will be here in five minutes to take you home. I encourage you to keep an eye on the news."
Later that day, it was discovered that Mr. Simon, one of Jeremiah's educational assistants, was also missing. Mr. Simon had opened his heart to the Lord because of Jeremiah's preaching. He was actually the only convert by Jeremiah.
People throughout the world were in a great distress because they had lost their loved ones. No scientist had been able to explain how these millions of people had disappeared.
But perhaps Maria, the girl who had spoken to Jeremiah on the morning of his disappearance, might have an answer.
As she was nearing her street that day, she heard strange sounds, and there was the worst smell that she had ever smelled. Birds were fighting with one another in the sky. There were people running like wild dogs on the streets. They did not know what they were doing. In fact, some of them were running to cars so they would get hit by them. So the neighbourhood was gone mad.
When Maria opened the door of her house, the same sounds and smell greeted her. Her house was full of devilish sounds and awful smell.
This filled Maria with horror. However, she was determined to discover this mystery. So she began searching her house for a clue of the sounds.
Without warning, her beloved kitten came and attacked her. Suddenly, Maria realized that the sounds and the terrible smell were coming from the little cat! However, the sounds did not belong to any kind of animal. They were very strange and mysterious.
It seemed that the kitten was a little stronger than Maria. This little cat belonged to Maria. In this battle, however, friendship was forgotten by both of them.
Maria became so angry that she took a knife and…
Suddenly, the terrible sounds and smell were gone! But the little kitten was also gone.
Maria began to cry for murdering her beloved kitten. But killing the kitten gave her an idea of why the neighbourhood had gone mad. She discovered that her kitten and many of the residents of her area were possessed by some kind of evil spirits. Even the disappearance of millions of people was also connected to these happenings.
Then the little girl decided to call her parents to see where they were. Her mother picked up the cell phone and said, "O my daughter! Your sister has disappeared!"
It is impossible to describe how Maria felt at that moment. She was struck with an indescribable horror. Her baby sister was among those who had mysteriously disappeared.
"Where are you?" Maria asked when she had recovered from her shock.
"At your aunt's house," replied her mother mournfully.
So Maria made up her mind to go there. She was greeted by her Aunt Margret, who hugged her and said, "Your sister and my daughter are gone!"
So they both sobbed as if their hearts would break. It was a painful day for both Maria's parents and her aunt.
"How did they disappear?" Maria asked her mother, referring to the two babies that were gone.
"I don't know," replied her mother, wiping a tear from her eye. "I came with your father to see your aunt after you had gone to school. Then our babies started playing together as usual. Of course, they were making a lot of noise. But the noise stopped in the twinkling of an eye. So I looked at the floor to see what was the matter, and…" She began to sob again.
"And what?" asked Maria, turning to look at her father.
"And they had disappeared," he sighed.
Finally, Maria and her family decided to go back to their house. Now because Aunt Margret was a widow, she was invited to go with them.
When they were at home, Maria opened up her computer to see if there were more news about the strange phenomena. There was nothing new, except that the politicians in many countries had promised to help those who had lost their loved ones.
It was also reported that people throughout the world were gone mad. There were many accidents. The world was in a great distress.
Then Maria and her family decided to go outside to see what was happening. To their astonishment, people were acting like wild dogs.
A friend of Maria came to her and said, "Who are you?"
"Don't you know who I am?" Maria asked angrily.
"Do you expect me to know everybody?" laughed the other girl. Her laughter was not normal.
So Maria realized that her friend was also possessed by an evil spirit.
"Do you love Lord Lucifer?" the other girl asked Maria.
Without answering her question, Maria and her family went back into their house. They were terrified with what they were seeing. Could the people be possessed by demons?
Maria suddenly came across a book on her computer called "The End Times." It was written by her friend Jeremiah, who had disappeared with the other people. He had sent it to her a long time ago, but she had never read it. But now, when she saw it, she thought that it might give her an answer to this mystery.
The book was divided into many sections. The first couple of sections were not very interesting to Maria. But then she came to a chapter entitled "The Rapture." As she read, she came across a passage that stated, "In the Rapture, three kinds of people will be taken to Heaven in the twinkling of an eye: believers, babies and mentally disabled people."
"I've found the answer!" shouted Maria.
"Where?" asked her father.
Then she read from the book in a clear voice, "God has waited over two thousand years for the world to repent and return to him, but the people have stubbornly refused to listen. So there will come a time when God will start pouring his judgement and wrath against the whole world for their unbelief. But before the judgement begins, however, God will remove certain people from the world in an event called 'the Rapture.'" Then she read the previous quote that we copied earlier.
"Well this book describes exactly what's happening today!" declared Maria's father.
"O there's more," continued the girl. Then she read, "After the Rapture, Satan will be very angry because he had lost millions of people from under his control. So he will show his anger by sending his demons to live in human beings."
"That's exactly what we're seeing today, isn't it?" asked her mother. "Don't you see how strange the people are acting?"
"But wait a minute," said Aunt Margret. "If Jesus came to take Christians to Heaven, then why didn't he take us as well? Why did he take only our babies?"
"Great question," said Maria's mother.
So Maria explained, "This book says that only true Christians will be raptured. I remember that Jeremiah used to tell me that true Christians are those who have opened their hearts to the Lord Jesus. True Christians are those who live according to the Bible alone."
"So all that good work we did was for nothing?" replied her father indignantly.
Maria told him, "The Bible says in Ephesians chapter two, verses eight and nine, 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast.' And in Romans chapter ten, verses nine and ten, we read, 'That if thou
shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in
thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with
the mouth confession is made unto salvation.'"
"But why is God so angry with the world?" asked Maria's mother.
Then Maria read Proverbs 1:24-32: "24 Because your ears were shut to my voice; no one gave attention to my out-stretched hand;
25 You were not controlled by my guiding, and would have nothing to do with my sharp words:
26 So in the day of your trouble I will be laughing; I will make sport of your fear;
27 When your fear comes on you like a storm, and your trouble like a rushing wind; when pain and sorrow come on you.
28 Then I will give no answer to their cries; searching for me early, they will not see me:
29 For they were haters of knowledge, and did not give their hearts to the fear of the Lord:
30 They had no desire for my teaching, and my words of protest were as nothing to them.
31 So the fruit of their way will be their food, and with the designs of their hearts they will be made full.
32 For the turning back of the simple from teaching will be the cause of their death, and the peace of the foolish will be their destruction.
33 But whoever gives ear to me will take his rest safely, living in peace without fear of evil."
These words caused them all to weep. They finally realized that they were sinners and needed God's forgiveness.
"Is there any hope for those who are left behind?" Maria's mother asked, as they were still weeping.
So the girl searched in her book until she came to a passage that read, "There is hope for those who will be left behind. If they repent and come to the Lord Jesus, they will be saved from hell, but they will have to endure God's wrath, because they did not repent before the Rapture. These people will even be persecuted harshly for their faith in the Lord. In fact, they will even be killed for their faith."
"So I guess we'll have to see God's wrath that will come upon the whole world," sighed her mother.
"At least we can be saved from hell," added Aunt Margret.
So then, they all wept bitterly and gave their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, they were instantly forgiven of all their sins, for the Lord Jesus said in John 6:37, "He who comes to me I will in no way throw out."
"So I guess we're the only ones who know about the mysterious disappearances," stated Maria's mother.
"Shouldn't we start telling people about it?" asked Maria's father.
"Everybody would think we're crazy," laughed Aunt Margret.
"But I don't care what people say about us," said Maria. "I will be just like Jeremiah. He wasn't afraid to tell the truth."
So Maria created a facebook page to be used for preaching. She began to declare the truth boldly. Many people came to the Lord through her ministry.
The characters in this story are all my invention. The Rapture, however, is a literal event that will take place in the future. In fact, it could happen at any moment. We are very near to this great event. All true believers will be taken to Heaven. Babies and mentally disabled people will also be taken. Then God will start his judgement against this sinful world. Do you want to be caught in the Rapture or to stay to taste God's wrath? If you want to be saved from the judgement, you must open your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep [die,] but we
will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed." [1 Corinthians 15:51-52]
"For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive,
who are left to the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede
those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with God's trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together
with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever." [1 Thess. 4:15-17]