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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. David Jeremiah » David Jeremiah - The Great Disappearance Interview

David Jeremiah - The Great Disappearance Interview

David Jeremiah - The Great Disappearance Interview
David Jeremiah - The Great Disappearance Interview
TOPICS: The Great Disappearance, Rapture

Sheila Walsh: Welcome. So lovely to see you all. So let me ask you a question. Does the state of the world ever make you anxious, even fearful? The current political turmoil, economic uncertainty, and increasingly impassible ideological divides that seem to point to the end of everything that we know? And that can be discouraging, but what if I told you that it's also incredibly exciting, because it means that we are closer than ever to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ? Well, in just a moment we'll talk with Dr. David Jeremiah who will explain to us that if we pay attention we can see the prophetic thread of Scripture being acted out in real time as we move even closer to the next event on God's prophetic calendar, which is the rapture. In Dr. Jeremiah's new teaching series he calls this prophetic event the great disappearance, and in this study he answers questions about the rapture with solid always-biblical truth. We may not know the exact day of the rapture, but we know it will happen, and Dr. Jeremiah wants to make sure that we're all rapture ready for that day. So with that in mind, please welcome pastor, author, teacher, and my very dear friend, Dr. David Jeremiah. Well, it's just lovely to be back in New York. This is one of your favorite places.

Dr. David Jeremiah: Yeah, and I wasn't sure what to think when I was coming back here, but, you know, I don't know if I'm right. It feels like New York is back. It really feels like that. Maybe not all the way, but sure a long way more than I thought it would be.

Sheila Walsh: I have to tell you, and I'm excited for you to know, this is one of the most exciting things I've ever read that you have written. I've read everything you've written. This made me so full of hope and joy. You call this motivational prophecy. What does that mean?

Dr. David Jeremiah: I did that on purpose, Sheila, because so many people that I know say that prophecy doesn't have a practical application to it, and when they say that, and hopefully you're not one of those who says it, but if you are, stop saying it, because you're giving away your biblical ignorance. It's not true. The Bible is filled with prophecy, and almost every prophetic context has within it marching orders, things we're supposed to do. For instance, one of the most famous passages is in John 14, where Jesus is trying to encourage his disciples, and he said, "In my Father's house are many mansions". You know that story? But did you ever think about what he said first? "Let not your heart be troubled". In other words, if you know what God's up to, you don't have to be upset waiting up at night worrying about what's going to happen tomorrow. God's got this. He's got this thing in control.

Sheila Walsh: Amen. I can imagine many of us thinking, well, we're so grateful that you study it and that you learn and we learn from you, but why is it important that we all study prophecy?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, for one thing, it's 28% of the Bible. So if you say, "I'm never going to read prophecy," you just cut out a fourth of the Bible. That's not a good thing to do. Secondly... for instance, take the Book of Revelation. It's the only book in the Bible that has two promised blessings. If you read that book the Bible says you'll be blessed, and I promise you you will be. There's a promise at the beginning and a promise at the end that says if you read this book you will be blessed. How many of you here like to be blessed, you know? So you should read prophecy for the blessing of it. And then there's a kind of confidence that you get when you... you know, we know some things people in the world don't know. They're all wringing their hands about what's going to happen. We know what's going to happen. The more we know, the more confident we become and the more incredibly urgent we become to share with others the truth of the coming of Christ.

Sheila Walsh: You call it the great disappearance, but for people who perhaps are not as familiar, what is the rapture? How do you define that?

Dr. David Jeremiah: The rapture is a time in the future when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return not to the earth but to the heavens to receive to himself every single person who has put their trust in him for eternal life. And before he receives the ones who are on earth, all of those who have died in Christ who are Christians, they're going to be resurrected, and the Bible says we're going to meet the Lord in the air. Bodies will be reunited with spirits and souls, Christians who are dead will be reunited with Christians who are alive, and then finally all of us will be reunited with the Lord Jesus Christ, the great reunion. Right.

Sheila Walsh: What will the moments of the great disappearance... what will it be like?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, you know, it's hard to imagine the chaos that will be on earth. Just stop and think about all the people that you know who are Christians. And you know, I think there's been some really good studies about this. A lot of Christians are in places of great responsibility. Christians end up being good leaders. They're responsible, most of them, and they do a good job, so they gravitate toward the top. Just stop and think about all of a sudden all of those people not being here any longer. Chaos will develop. And I have a section in that book. a whole chapter called "Chaos on Planet Earth," and it tells some stories about what things will be like. One of my visuals that I'll never forget is the picture of a guy pushing his little girl on a swing, and he pushes the swing out and she's on the swing and the swing comes back and she's not there, 'cause she's gone to heaven. This is not just some kind of fictional story, this is the truth. This is going to happen.

Sheila Walsh: Why will God rapture the church? What is the point of taking the church out of the earth?

Dr. David Jeremiah: I think there are a couple of things about that, Sheila, that are important. One that may not be as obvious. First of all, it's the catalyst that kicks off the prophetic calendar. You know, the rapture is the beginning of the tribulation, Armageddon, all of those things that happen in the future. But secondly, the rapture is the opportunity for God to bring home to himself those who belong to him before all the tribulation takes place on earth. The Bible says we're not appointed to wrath, we're appointed to the day of Christ, and that's a big part of this book, helping people understand that we're not going to go through the tribulation.

Sheila Walsh: The term the rapture, does that ever actually appear in Scripture?

Dr. David Jeremiah: No. The actual term itself doesn't, but it means caught up, and that phrase is in the Scripture. Caught up is often there. In all of the other raptures beside the rapture of Christ, that term is caught up. When Jesus went back to heaven after his time on this earth, he was caught up to heaven. So rapture means to be caught up, to be caught up to heaven.

Sheila Walsh: A lot of believers kind of bundle everything together, the rapture, the second coming, the Lord's appearance. How are those different events?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, here's the way this works. The next thing on the calendar is the rapture of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that's an imminent event, which means nothing has to happen before that occurs. It can occur tomorrow, but nothing has to happen. It could come... Wouldn't it be cool to go to heaven from this beautiful place right here.

Sheila Walsh: While we're doing this.

Dr. David Jeremiah: Right. So the rapture happens, and immediately after the rapture... what happens in the rapture? All the Christians go to heaven. Where does the Holy Spirit live? In the hearts of Christians. So what happens to this earth? The Holy Spirit disappears. Do you know what his name is? He's the restrainer. Can you imagine this earth with no restraint? And the tribulation will happen. And we'll talk about that, but it's the darkest time the world has ever dreamed of, 7 years of tribulation. At the end of the tribulation, the Lord Jesus Christ is returning not for his saints but with his saints. We'll be with him. We'll have been in heaven with him for 7 years. The Bible says he comes back with his saints. The saints and the angels, we're going to be in the great army that returns to the Armageddon, and we don't have to do anything, 'cause the Bible says all Jesus is going to do is poof! And it's over. He's going to destroy them with a breath of his mouth. And we're all dressed in white. You don't go to war in white. We're just audience for Jesus in the return.

Sheila Walsh: What will our world look like when everyone who believes in Jesus, everyone who trusts the Lord is gone? And what about those who've heard all but just never bothered making a commitment?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, I'll tell you something, Sheila. This is a hard thing for me to say. The world's looking more and more like that every day. When you take morality out of the world totally and you put the Antichrist in charge and he's Satan's minion, all you're going to have is evil on steroids, and it will be awful. People say, "Well, if you're in the tribulation, you can't be saved," but that's not true. God is going to do something in the tribulation. This is hard to believe. It's going to have, the greatest revival that's ever taken place on the earth is going to happen in tribulation. Let me tell you what's going to happen. I'll just do this real quick, okay?

Sheila Walsh: Please, no, take your time.

Dr. David Jeremiah: First of all, he's going to seal 144,000 Jewish evangelists. Now, I don't know what you think about the zeal of Jewish people, but 144,000 of them turned loose on the world with the gospel, that's going to make a difference. Listen, he turned the world upside down with 12 disciples. Twelve times twelve thousand is a hundred and forty... It's 12 times, you got it, all these Jewish evangelists. And then Moses and Elijah are going to return as the two witnesses, and all kinds of miraculous things will happen. The two witnesses are going to be killed. They're going to be resurrected. They're going to be raptured, and many will come to Christ. Third, there's an angel from heaven who is dispatched to the world with the gospel. He's the gospel angel, and he goes all over... can you imagine the freedom of an angel preaching the gospel all over the world? And then... I have a friend who's in heaven now. His name was Henry Morris. He wrote a book on Revelation. He said, "Don't forget, my books are going to be in the tribulation". And my writings and my recordings and our television program and... you know what? I think people will watch those things with a little more interest during that time than they may right now.

Sheila Walsh: How do we balance longing for that day with the call we have to live for Christ today?

Dr. David Jeremiah: You know, that was Paul's issue, wasn't it? He said he wanted to be with the Lord, and he wanted to be with them, and we all face that. I think, you know, for me, I'm looking forward to going to heaven, but in the meantime I'm looking forward to living my life. I just, I love this story about a little boy who was in a class one day, and the teacher said, "How many of you want to go to heaven"? And everybody in the class raised their hand but this little boy. And the teacher walked back and she said, "Johnny, don't you want to go to heaven when you die"? He said, "Oh, yes ma'am, when I die, but I thought you were getting up a load for tonight". You know, that's how I feel. You know, I want to go to heaven when the right time comes, but you know what? You can be so heavenly-minded you're no earthly good. My goal is to go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can. That's what I want to do.

Sheila Walsh: Stay tuned. We'll be right back to continue discussing "The Great Disappearance" with Dr. David Jeremiah.

Sheila Walsh: Welcome back. I'm Sheila Walsh. I'm here with Dr. David Jeremiah discussing "The Great Disappearance". A lot of people wonder, what about... you mentioned this earlier. What about little ones? What about children who are not at the age of being able to understand?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, you know, that's a really interesting question, too, because while the Bible doesn't deal with that issue in regard to the rapture, it does deal with that issue in regard to death, what happens to a little one who dies before they can understand the gospel? The Bible teaches that they go to heaven. And there are a number of reasons for that in lines of proof, which I've outlined in this book. The Bible says, "Jesus said, 'Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forgive them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'" Isn't that interesting? Remember when the children tried to get to Jesus, and the disciples said, "Nah, you can't bother Jesus". He said, "No, no. You let those children come". He loved children. He had a special place in his heart for children. It's absolutely impossible that a God who is a God of fairness and justice would punish little ones for something they could not even possibly understand. I believe that there's a period of time when a child does not know the gospel, but then as they get older and they present the gospel and they come to what the Bible talks about as the age of accountability, then they become responsible. But until they're responsible, they are not held accountable for their sin. They go to heaven. And the greatest illustration of that is the story of David. One of my great friends helped me understand this one day. Remember when David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed, and then in their adultery Bathsheba had conceived, and she was going to have a child. David was told by Nathan that that child was not going to live and that that child would die, and the Bible says that David mourned and he grieved and he wouldn't eat and he was in sackcloth and ashes, laid on the floor and cried out to God about this child, and then the child died. And the Bible said David got up and got dressed and put on ointment and went to his house and went back to normal, and his servants didn't understand it, and they said, "David, what is this about? I mean, while the child was living you mourned, and when the child died you got up and went back to living a normal life". And David said, "The child has died. I cannot bring him back to me, but I shall go to him". What David said is, "I'm going to go and be with my child".

Sheila Walsh: What will our bodies look like? Like will we all recognize you?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Yeah. You know, that's an interesting thing, that when we are resurrected if, let's suppose that the Lord doesn't come back for a while and we're in our graves. The Bible says we'll be resurrected and then we're going to be made like unto the Lord Jesus. We're going to have a resurrection body like Jesus's body. The Bible says we shall see him, and we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. What does that mean? You're going to have the same body, but your body is going to take on the characteristics of the body that Jesus had when he came out of the grave. Let's stop and think about what was that like. Could he eat? Yes, he did. And that'll be great news for some of you. If you can't eat, you don't want to go to heaven. I understand that. Right. But here's the thing. He could eat, but he didn't have to eat. He didn't eat because he had to, he ate because it was pleasurable. Number two, he was able to move from one place to another without accessing the ways we travel. Remember one day he stood in the midst of his disciples in a room where the door was closed. So apparently we're going to have the ability to move about in a different kind of way than we ever have, but we're going to be in our same bodies renewed. And the Bible teaches that we will know each other, and we will know even as we are known. When Jesus came back from the resurrection in his body, everybody knew he was the same Jesus who had been crucified and was placed in the grave. On the Mount of Transfiguration, everybody knew who they were. It's impossible to believe that our memories will be worse in heaven than they are now, you know. So when we get to heaven, we will know each other, and it will be wonderful because we will know each other that we've heard about. We'll know people that we've heard about, people who lived in a different generation. And you say, "Well, how are we ever going to get around to them"? Folks, this is for eternity. You're going to have time. You're going to have...

Sheila Walsh: That's... you talk about the great disappearance, but you also call it the great reunion. What is that?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, I kind of alluded to that a minute ago, that there's a threefold reunion when the rapture happens. First of all, the reunion of souls and bodies. If you're a Christian and you die, your body goes in the grave, and your soul and spirit goes to be with the Lord, but in the resurrection your body and your soul and spirit will be reunited, and you will be alive in your resurrected body. That's the first reunion. Secondly, there will be people who are alive on the earth and people who are in the grave. My parents, for instance, James and Ruby Jeremiah are in a grave in Cedarville, Ohio, but in the rapture I'm going to be reunited with them. They will be resurrected. If I'm still here I'll be here, and the Bible says they'll be caught up, and I'll be caught up together, and I will see my mom and dad. And then the Bible says all of us in that group will meet the Lord and will be reunited with him, and together we shall see the Lord and we shall be with him forever, amen?

Sheila Walsh: Wow. So you teach that after the rapture comes the tribulation. Can you put into words... I mean, you've done a little of this, but what will the tribulation be like?

Dr. David Jeremiah: You know, the tribulation will be the most awful time. If you read the stories about the rule of the Antichrist, you have to take his mark or you can't eat, you can't buy. Many, many people during the tribulation will starve to death because they won't be able to get food. If you don't have the mark of the beast, you will go to the grocery store and fill up your basket. When you get to checkout, they won't let you pay, and they won't let you take your groceries. You will not be able to eat. You won't be able to buy. You won't be able to transact business. And hundreds of thousands of Christians who won't take the mark will die from starvation. Many of them will be martyred by the cruelty of the beast. It will be an awful time. Nobody wants to be in the tribulation, I promise you.

Sheila Walsh: Many generations, in fact even the disciples, believed that perhaps the rapture would occur while they were still alive. Why has Christ tarried so long?

Dr. David Jeremiah: First thing you need to know about that question is God doesn't live on your time schedule. In fact, God doesn't live on time at all. Time is a creation of God. God is eternal. Did you know he lives in the eternal present? There is no past, present, and future with God. It's all present. Everything in God's life is eternal, and it's not impacted by time, but in order for us to understand it he said this. Just remember 1,000 days with the Lord is as 1 day and 1 day is 1,000 years. So people say why has he been gone so long, just tell them he's only been gone two days. Number two, I think that we misunderstand. The Bible says God is not willing that any should perish, and he delays his coming so that more and more of his children can come to be with him, so more and more people can be saved. He may be waiting for one of you who's here today. He may have delayed his coming. And I thought about this when I was writing this book. If Jesus had come 100 years ago, I would never have met Donna, I would never have had my family, I would never have been able to see God work in my life, I would never have written a book. God allowed me to live my life, and he's allowed you to live your life. And so we long for him to come. God is not obligated to come when we think he should, and he doesn't use time the way we do. He doesn't use time at all, and he's waiting until the last person comes to Christ, and then he will come.

Sheila Walsh: In all your years of studying prophecy and studying the Word of God, when you were doing this new series "The Great Disappearing," was there anything that was surprising to you? Did you learn anything that you hadn't understood before?

Dr. David Jeremiah: I think what's happened to me during this study is my conviction about what's going to happen in the future has been so strengthened I know exactly now. For instance, let me just take you through this little scenario. One of the big arguments that people have about the prophecies of the Bible and the rapture is many people teach that the church is going to go through the tribulation and then go to heaven. Now, the Bible says we're looking for that blessed hope. How many of you know the tribulation is not the blessed hope? Some of you don't want that. But here's what I learned. The Bible teaches the doctrine of eminency, which means Jesus could come back at any time, that nothing has to happen before he comes back. It doesn't mean he's going to come back immediately, it just means that nothing has to happen before he comes back. Well, if that's true, then the tribulation couldn't be in between now and then. In other words, if Jesus can come back at any time, you can't say, well, Jesus can come back in any time, but before he does you gotta go through the tribulation. No, you don't. He can come back at any time, because the tribulation is not about Christians. Listen to me. The tribulation is about the wrath of God against disobedience and rebellion, and the Bible says therefore if you're in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation. We have not been appointed to wrath, but we've been appointed to Jesus Christ. We will suffer and we will be persecuted in this world. How many of you know that's true? Some of you are going through it right now. The Bible doesn't say we won't suffer, but the Bible never says that Christians will go through wrath. When you become a Christian, all of God's wrath was taken out at the cross. And if you have to go through the tribulation to experience the wrath of God, that says that what he did on the cross was insufficient. I know better than that, and so do you. And there's not a word in the Bible for the purpose of the tribulation for any Christian. There isn't any purpose for it. Our sins have been forgiven. Jesus took our tribulation, and we're on our way to heaven.

Sheila Walsh: Reading through this series I was impacted by the way the gospel is in almost every single section or chapter. How should our understanding of the rapture impact how we interact with co-workers or family members?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Sheila, one of the things that's been interesting for me is I've preached on the rapture, I've preached on these doctrines of the future, and we have never had a Sunday service where somebody didn't get saved, and sometimes many people have gotten saved. If you really understand the doctrine of the rapture and you teach it with meaning and you don't play around and do silly stuff that discounts its meaning... there's something going on in our world today, we all know this, that's unique. It's never gone on before. Israel's back in her homeland, and a lot of things are starting to happen. And so when people understand that and when they really grip their hearts with the rapture, there's a new motivation for them to become Christians.

Sheila Walsh: Yeah. On behalf of everyone, really, we just want to say thank you to you for the way you have devoted your life to digging deep into the Word of God. Could you help me thank Dr. Jeremiah?
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