We were gathered around the table today, enjoying our after church lunch, when one of the children brought up the subject of the rapture. I am always amazed at how different topics come up at the most unexpected times, followed by questions and a wonderful time of discussing things we have learned and have yet to learn from the Bible. It always encourages me to know the children are really listening to the sermons and little seeds are getting planted inside their hearts. I forget who brought it up and just why, but we all began talking about the exciting day in the unknown future of when our Lord will return in the clouds to take His children back home with Him. I remember as a child how this idea frightened me and I recall a few moments of pure panic when the house was completely silent at night and I would lay in bed listening for someone to snore or make some noise so I would know they were still there and had not left me behind. One time my mother hid inside a closet, thinking it would be fun to play hide-n-seek with me, but the fear that rose up inside me made me holler out, "Where are you?!" I was so sure the rapture had come and I had been left all alone.
There are all kinds of books and ideas out there regarding children and the rapture. The famous Left Behind series indicates that all infants and children up to the age of 10 go whether the family is saved or not. It is a wonderful thought to think God would rescue all the children, but looking back to the stories in the Bible, He did not always separate the children. He did not rescue the babies that were thrown into the Nile River during Israel's enslavement in Egypt, nor did He stop the slaying of the babies in Bethlehem after Jesus was born. As much as I would like to think the little ones of the world would be saved, I do not believe it to be so. Then, again, I always believed that the children of the families who were saved would be sanctified through the parents and if they were under the age of accountablility (whatever that age is) they would go up during the rapture too. But after talking about it today with the family, I feel like I was slammed in the head with a two by four, and I cannot get this sobering thought out of my head. It all comes down to this: a person cannot depend on another person to get into heaven, no matter what age he or she is. Everyone is born a sinner and needs to come to their own conclusions that they need a Savior in their life. Nobody can hang onto the bootstraps of another and go up that way. So, my question today is will our little ones, who have not asked for forgiveness for their sins in repentance and accepted the Lord into their heart, remain behind when their saved parents go in the rapture? Will they be left alone down here, to be taken in by complete strangers who do not believe in God to be raised in an Antichrist home and get the mark? Like I said, this thought hit me extremely hard today and I have not been able to shake a feeling of dread. As much as I want the Lord to return and take me away from this place, I do not want Him to return until all my children have understood their sin nature and prayed to get saved. This puts a whole new light on praying for my children. A more sobering, very heart-rending desire to ask the Lord to watch over my children and to ask Him to keep His hand on their lives no matter what comes their way. As the verse listed above says, we need to make sure we are doing all we can to teach them of Him and His love throughout every waking hour. If the hour was close back in Jesus' day, then how much closer is it to us now?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if there are any Scriptures regarding children and this matter, I would love to read them. As for me, the entire conversation hit home and the truth is, we need to pray for our children no matter what. Pray, people, pray for your children that the evil one does not snatch them away.