I rarely watch TV anymore. Nearly everything that’s on it is trash. It has truly become the American “idol.” The shows offered on television nowadays are either useless, brain numbingly vapid dreck, or else moral garbage and mind filth. So, outside of an occasional history documentary or an occasional old classic “whodunit,” TV has become unendurable to me. I do however, occasionally peruse YouTube. It too is another absolute black hole of intellect-sucking waste interspersed with a (very) few hidden jewels of truth here and there. But for the time being at least, YouTube still offers a wider selection of somewhat interesting and worthwhile content.
One of the things I stumbled upon recently while flipping through YouTube was a channel (I have since found out that there are many of these) whose entire purpose is to examine and document abandoned houses, buildings, hospitals, schools, motels – you name it. In fact, there is apparently an entire global fellowship of people who do this. They call themselves “urban explorers.” (Who knew?) Apparently an interest in exploring abandoned sites exists in almost every country on earth except for places like the Middle East or North Korea (for obvious reasons). I surely never knew such an interest in urban decay existed or was such a huge “thing.”
Anyway, I got hooked on watching some of the abandoned homes that a few of these YouTube urban explorers were investigating. As I watched, I became fascinated on three levels. The more I watched, the more I began to get a glimpse of what it might be like on earth just after the Church is taken Home in that “twinkling of an eye” we call the rapture, an event for which we who are believers are longing to occur. It’s these three observations I came to that I wanted to share.
I realize that I’m a bit different than most in the things that catch my interest. I fully admit that my take on things can be a bit, well, odd at times. I learned a long time ago that the majority of people don’t always take an interest in the things that catch my eye or interest, but if you are not averse to a little “mental meandering,” come along with me for a few minutes. I promise that I have a point to make that might make some sense out of all this stream of consciousness wandering.
So, those of you who are willing, hang with me for a bit and let’s take a look at what things might be like in the very early days just after the Remnant Church will have been removed “in a moment in the twinkling of an eye.”
As I was watching one particular YouTube episode, I was following an urban explorer as he was filming several abandoned homes. I watched fascinated as he documented these abandoned places. Some of the homes were absolute dumps, but a few, more than I would have ever imagined, were nothing short of actual mansions.
As I said, three things in particular struck me about each one of these places.
1) The nature or value of the contents in the abandoned homes the former occupants had accumulated – things they had obviously, at one time, thought of as important or, things that had at one time been important to them.
2) The sheer amount of stuff left that the former owners must have thought was important, but had obviously been left behind by them when they abandoned their homes for whatever reason.
3) The sad and inescapable reality that all their “stuff” including their homes themselves, was now up for grabs or for plunder by anyone.
Everything the former owners or occupants had previously accumulated – their once valued “stuff” had been left behind in varying degrees of decay and dissolution – everything.
These observations struck me anew every time I watched one of these sad, pitiful episodes showcasing the detritus and wanton wreckage of human lives. These videos brought home to me in a visceral way the truth of scripture that says that outside of the Lord, “all is vanity.” That for all of us who are by our very nature, born guilty sinners – for all who “neglect so great a salvation” while trying to hold onto the things of this world, that everything temporal will eventually wither and decay like grass in winter or like once living flesh decays once the breath of life has departed.
Not recognizing, acknowledging, or understanding this truth is to be willfully blind, arrogantly foolish, truly deceived, and ultimately, eternally damned.
The first thing that struck me when watching a few of these episodes was the worth or value of the things the former tenants of these houses thought were of value. I watched videos of houses that had obviously belonged to people who had once owned very little of actual value while other stuff had been left behind in places that were obviously at one time true mansions full of once expensive and costly things. And do you know what struck me? Whether it was cheap, dollar store toys, and low end plastic furniture, or whether the dwellings were mansions containing thousands upon thousands of dollars’ worth of antiques, grand pianos (yes! Someone actually left behind a concert sized grand piano!), fine linens and such, all of the now abandoned stuff left in these places was now utterly worthless. Every bit of It had been left behind by the former owners to rot and decay after they left their former premises. For whatever reason, they had abandoned it all.
Whatever the reason these peoples’ possessions were left behind – it was all worthless to them after they left, and is now equally as worthless to those who found it later: damaged, mold covered, vandalized, decaying, and falling apart.
Some people had just mysteriously abandoned everything for reasons known only to them, but a great many former owners had died, apparently having no living relatives to deal with the homes, or none who cared enough to at least remove the abandoned possessions. Regardless of why the former dwellers left, all of the stuff they left was now utterly useless to them and worthless to others who left it to rot once each person who died left his or her home for the final time.
Secondly, it occurred to me that for those who had died, whether rich or poor, at some point in time, barring some unforeseen accident, some if not most of them, had to have realized that all of the once important “things” they had amassed throughout their lives had in the end, added up to nothing of any lasting value. No matter whether their former possessions were cheap plastic or expensive marble, none were of everlasting value, and none of it could travel with them beyond the grave. I wondered at what point when those who lay dying or approaching death, realized that their antique chairs, or crystal chandeliers, or grand pianos, or closets full of expensive clothes were not going to follow them into eternity? How many of those people, I wondered, ever stopped to give a moment’s thought to where their Immortal souls would go once they drew their final breath? How many of them were ready to die? That question still haunts me.
Looking at those places made my heart ache and sent a chill down my spine knowing that in all likelihood, many of them went into eternity lost without salvation.
It was a sobering realization to know that I was perhaps looking at both the best and the worst this world had to offer these people, to realize that now each one of those who died is in eternity – in Heaven with the Lord if they were saved believers, or in an eternal, everlasting Hell if they drew their final breath lost and unbelieving in the only One who could and would have saved them had they only believed and called upon His name.
Lastly, the thing that haunted me watching these videos was that these homes, whether humble or grand, were now on an even par with each other. Both the wretched hovel and the once grand mansion both held the same level of worth now – none. Both were abandoned, wrecked, vandalized, and rotting. Each and every abode with all the left behind detritus of the ones who once lived there was rotting and falling into the decay. It was a sobering reminder of what the Bible says about the penalty of sin that man’s rebellion brought into the world, the “wages” of sin that brought death and decay to everything. All of these places lay rotting beyond repair. All of them had been left open to the fury of the elements, to the destruction of insects and vermin, and to the wanton devastation wrought by vandals who only seem to derive pleasure from creating yet more destruction. It was an incredibly sad, sobering, and completely chilling realization.
Yet at the same time, I felt the Lord impress upon me a reminder that one day very soon, my own home will be left just like this. At some future yet imminently close time, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” those of us who belong to the Church, the Lord Jesus our “Bridegroom” of whom we are the “bride,” will call for us in the air. When He does, we will leave our earthly homes if we are still alive. At that moment our living mortal bodies will be changed from corruptible to incorruptible – from mortal to Immortal in an instant of time too quick to be quantified. At that blessed instant, our own homes and all we have accumulated and held dear will be left behind perhaps for some new post-rapture urban explorer to find and ruminate upon what has happened to us – to us!
I know that many of us have already prepared “left behind” letters. Many believers from around the world have prepared boxes or bags filled with teaching materials, Bibles, and left letters with detailed explanations regarding what has happened, detailing also events that will soon come to pass during earth’s final seven years. My family and I have had our “left behind letter written, typed, printed, and taped to the side of our refrigerator since 2010. Others have stockpiled food, clothing, and other materials for this very situation. To me, this is a wise precaution and a good thing. We have no idea how long after we are taken that the left behind ones will have the freedom to move about unhindered. We have no way of knowing how long their ability to search and reconnoiter our empty homes will last, nor can we know who or how many God will lead to our abandoned homes to find those Bibles, books, scriptural teachings, and via our “letters to the left behind,” learn a truthful, factual, Biblical explanation of what has occurred – a meaning and answer to the great vanishing.
As I said, these YouTube videos struck a chord deep within my spirit. Not only did they remind me of the folly of what we think is important, but of the transient nature of all temporal things to which we so foolishly cling, often ignoring the most significant and eternal question of “What will you do with Jesus?” But most importantly, the inescapable fact that we will soon be leaving all this behind to be with our Father in His House among the mansions He has prepared for us, or that even after we are gone from this world, our own abandoned homes can house a treasure trove of truth in our left behind items: Bibles, teaching notes, books, and especially letters to those future left behind urban explorers whomever they may be.
Do I care that one day someone will be exploring my own home? Well, only in the sense that I hope my house is relatively neat when the rapture happens (a notion every woman understands), but do I care? No. I do not. I am more than ready to leave this decaying sewer of a world. I am anxious to go home to a place I’ve never been before. I am anxiously excited to be in the presence of the One who died and rose again – God the Son who wrapped Himself in human flesh to become the one and only God/Man who bore my sins upon Himself so that I (and all who are willing to believe in Him alone for salvation) might be offered grace, mercy, and the full pardon of our sins: past, present, and future – eternally sealed and eternally secured in Him so that we who bieve might be eternally redeemed.
Knowing that God has laid upon the hearts of many all across this world to have made the same such preparations for the left behind ones, I am excited and ready to go whenever and however the Lord calls for me – whether through death, or (hopefully) via the rapture. Either way, I’m ready to go! My most earnest prayer is that multitudes will come to salvation after we are gone. I pray that our preparations will be used by the Lord to spread the gospel far and wide to all who will be left behind, those yet future urban explorers who may come to our (then) abandoned homes looking for treasure or adventure, but find instead in the preparations we have already made and left for them, eternal salvation.