2017-08-17 / Editorial Page

If you try vanishing cream, please leave your clothes on

Words of Encouragement
By ROGER ALFORD columnist

It was during a dinner party when the hosts’ two little children tiptoed into the dining room naked as jay­birds and walked quietly around the table.

The parents were so embarrassed that they pretended nothing was happening and kept the conversa­tion going. The guests cooperated and continued as if nothing strange was going on.

After walking all the way around the room, the children headed back toward their playroom. But before they got out of earshot, one said to the other: “See, I told you it really is vanishing cream.” While there’s no such thing as vanishing cream, the Bible tells us that the day is quickly approaching when vast numbers of people will vanish from this world. That will be when Jesus calls all Christians home to Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13). That will happen just before unspeakable tribulation breaks out here on earth such as has never been seen before (Matthew 24:21).

Jesus provided insights into the rapture while he was on earth. He said laborers will be working side by side when, all of a sudden, one is raptured and the other left behind.

In the same moment, a wife could be raptured and her husband left, or children raptured and their parents left behind.

‘The one shall be taken and the other left’ (Luke 17:34, 35, 36).

The Bible explains that some will have to stay here and suffer through the tribulation period simply be­cause they’ve rejected Jesus.

I remember this very thing weigh­ing on my mind when I was a teen­ager.

I’d be alone in the mountains hunting and the thought would come: ‘What if Jesus appeared now to call Christians home?’ If that happened, I knew I’d be staying behind, and that bothered me to no end.

It was many years later before I placed my trust in Jesus. And one of the first things I noticed was the sense of dread about the rapture had vanished. I no longer had such a worry because I knew I belonged to Jesus.

Perhaps no such worry has ever crossed your mind. But, just in case it has, the Bible contains instruc­tions to deal with it.

‘If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved’ (Romans 10:9).

‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16).

I know that seems so very simply. The truth is, God made the gift of salvation so simple that even a child can understand it. He did that on purpose, so that no one would have to be left behind.

Those children in the opening tale mistakenly believed they had hit the jackpot with a tube of cream that could make them vanish.

No cream will make you vanish. But putting your trust in Jesus will get the job done.

Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.

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