by Pete Garcia
If we were to look back over the past 100 years, we could certainly point out some very painful and tragic moments in our nation’s history. Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, Columbine, and Pearl Harbor all certainly had an impact on our national psyche, and we as a nation grieved with those affected. But unless you were directly impacted, you went back to work or school. You moved on because life moved on.
While I can only speak to the global effects of the Rapture in general terms, I intend to put the spotlight solely on the United States and what will be the coming reality for many people. It is for this reason that I believe the Rapture happens prior to the Tribulation. It is for this reason that I believe that it happens in an instant, and that once it happens, life will forever be changed.
I believe that one of the divinely intended consequences of the Rapture will be that, it will not just be a regional or isolated geographic event, but will impact everyone, everywhere…directly and indirectly.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words…For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, 5:3 NKJV)
The Rapture event will break into human history in three specific ways; immediate, unnerving, and creeping. The event itself will not be immediate, in that it will not take days, weeks, and months to happen, but will happen in an instant. It will be unnerving, in much the same way it was unnerving for those travelling with the Pharisee Saul on the road to Damascus, or to Daniel when he was down near the river. The noise and sound of something transpiring will be both known (ie…something just happened) yet, unknown (what just happened). It will be creeping in the sense that the reality of it will set in, and people will know that life will never be the same.
The very first, most immediate effects of the Rapture would most likely be traffic accidents. Some planes may crash, but the primary mode of travel in the United States is by car, and you can bet that in an instant, thousands of cars will crash all at the same time. The very next thing people will start to notice is that their family, friends, and co-workers are nowhere to be found. Between those two events, car crashes and missing person reports, whatever is left of law enforcement will be overwhelmed to the point that the system will crash. There will also be a noticeably marked increase in `target of opportunity’ theft because of unattended shops, cars left open, dropped purses and wallets, houses left open, etc. Most people will be trying to figure out what just happened.
The media will begin to report of widespread disappearances, and the massive traffic problems as vehicles were seemingly left abandoned, even while being driven. At some point within the first day or two, a reporter will ask curiously `could this be the Rapture?’ Once that idea has been given traction, you will then start to see the general breakdown of society as chaos and looting become widespread. Public officials will call for calm as people begin a run on the banks and stores for cash, food and necessities.
Before the end of the first week the President will have to declare that Martial Law is in effect. The Congress and the Courts will be recessed. Having already relocated to a secure site such as Camp David, the Executive branch will attempt to conduct damage control. The states will enact a ban on travel outside the home as cities begin to systematically shutdown. What the US will lack in manpower, they will try and compensate for in advanced intelligence and surveillance technologies.
Cities like Atlanta, New York, Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles will lose whole sections to the criminal elements. The gangs who are prepared now, will take advantage of the chaos and solidify their own territorial holdings. Outside of the larger cities, the biker gangs (motorcycle clubs) will attempt to dominate the open roads and smaller towns. Expect jails, prisons, and federal penitentiaries to be the first targets for these groups as they try to retrieve incarcerated compatriots to boost the numbers of their rank and file.
Average citizens caught up in the mix of the chaos, will flee the cities looking for places of refuge. This is where the “impromptu” resettlement camps will come into play, as authorities will look to secure those people in areas they can control. This is an attempt to separate the populace from the criminal elements. Both military and law enforcement groups, largely borrowing the tactics and techniques acquired in places like Fallujah and Sadr City (Iraq) will begin quarantining vast swaths of areas that they can’t control. Biometrics will be 100% enforced, and those with critical job skills will be identified for later use in their specialties.
By the end of the 7th-8th week, all basic goods such as fuel, food, hygiene, and medical products will have been stripped from stores and hoarded. The US Dollar will no longer be sufficient for payment, as nations around the world abandon the Dollar wholesale, and people will have to resort to either bartering or taking things by force. The Dollar’s collapse will have a destabilizing effect on all nations, but those nations in particular who relied heavily on the US Dollar, will be hit the hardest.
As nations around the world start to get a handle on their own internal crises, expect to see the European Union take the lead in calling for a global summit. Currently, the EU and the US constitute the two largest economies in the world, followed closely by China. They will have to rise because it will default to them. The EU will call for the world to be broken up into regional currencies and political alignments under the United Nations. The UN will have long since abandoned their New York City address, for a more stable and centrally located location. They of course will look to move to an area minimally impacted by the Rapture, which of course would be the Middle East.
Daniel 7 states that this final version of the Roman Empire will dominate the whole world. This requires time. It would mean that the EU gets an advantage on everyone else, in order for them to solidify that kind of control. But in order for the EU to gain the edge on the other regional blocs, they would have to acquire military expertise and technology, which is most likely transferred to the EU through NATO. Similar to the criminal elements inside the US, rogue-regimes will also seek to take advantage of the chaos, especially in light of America’s inability to flex her muscle anywhere else in the world.
The US currently has roughly 315 million citizens right now. Now imagine that 10% of Christian Americans (or 31.5 million people) were to suddenly disappear…
If that many people were no longer participating in activities such as buying or selling, paying bills and being paid, providing various industrial and technical skill sets, etc., how quickly would the American experiment come to a halt? If 31.5 million people were no longer making house payments, or going to work, there aren’t enough taxes that could save our nation from defaulting to our foreign creditors, let alone our own citizens. It wouldn’t just be buying or selling, the Rapture would shutter the entire educational system from daycare to High School, with tens of thousands of teachers left without a job. Furthermore, would the people left-behind feel compelled to keep paying their bills if something like the Rapture happened?
If we were to include teens, children, babies, and mentally disabled…that number of 31.5 million citizens would be significantly higher. The true number for just the United States alone could be around 157 million Americans. But even if only 10% were to go up in the Rapture, the impact would be catastrophic.
At the very least, there will have to be at least six months that transpires between the Rapture (and the collapse of the US), to the rise of a revived Roman Empire through the European Union. This does not take into account, natural or supernatural disasters that could also occur during this time as well, prolonging these groups from getting their act together. These groups would have to have their act together in order to seemingly have some kind of ground to stand on to be in a position to offer any kind of covenant with Israel. It would seem that these events take place in the in-between time of the Rapture and the official start of the tribulation. How long it would take is subject to debate, but 2-3 years seems reasonable.
Psalm 83 Event (weeks to months)-removes immediate threat to Israel
Israel rises to prominence and lives in peace.
Ezekiel 38-39 event (weeks to months)-Israel must feel secure and be prosperous.
Jewish Temple Rebuilt (around a year-if allowed unimpeded)-currently doesn’t have the political will to do this just yet.
The world would need to align into ten regional areas.
One world currency becomes the main currency of the world-at least a year.
One world religion emplaced (at least 2 years)-this seems to be the result of the failed Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 wars, finally taking the steam out of militant Islam. This opens the door for a hybrid “Christian/Islam/Hindu” mix. This will be accompanied by the `lying signs and wonders’.
Many possible scenarios could play out as to how the nations align and how they come under the influence of the Antichrist. Since Satan is in the habit of imitating God, he could bring back another group of ancient people in their own version of a nationalist rebirth, most likely after the wars of Psalm 83 and Ez. 38-39. The two plausible choices are the Kurds, and the Assyrians. Both have managed to maintain their ethnic autonomy and include nations such as: Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan.
If the Antichrist were to control the majority of the world’s oil, he could make `his mark’ the reserve currency, much the same way that OPEC enforces all its transactions to be in US Dollars (petrodollars). This would force everyone to have to use it, since we have yet to find an alternative to fossil fuels.
The truth is, all the things that need to transpire between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation requires more than seven years. If we use Psalm 90:10 as the measuring stick for the length of time before a `generation passes away’, than at the earliest, we arrive at 2018 for the Tribulation to begin. If we use the long end of that scale as the maximum, it would put us at 2028. If the Tribulation is seven years, that would put the start of it at 2021. If you were to add a minimum of three years between the Rapture and the Tribulation for all the events above to transpire, then you’d be at 2018…just five years from now. That’s if we base everything at the latest it could be, but the lull could be longer than three years making the Rapture even sooner.
“The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)