Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Salvation After The Rapture

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

There is no doubt that there will be a great harvest of souls after the Rapture (Rev. 7:9-14). Some will be convicted by the Rapture itself. Others will be converted by the preaching of either the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem (Rev. 11) or the 144,000 Jewish disciples who will proclaim the Gospel (Rev. 7). Some will repent in response to the judgments of God (Isa. 26:9). Others will respond to an angel of God who will preach the "eternal gospel" to all the world at the end of the Tribulation, right before the final pouring out of God's wrath (Rev. 14:6).

The controversial issue is whether or not those who have heard the Gospel before the Rapture and have rejected it will be allowed to respond and be saved after the Rapture. Some take the position that such people will be able to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior after the Rapture. I hope they are right about this. But, not all prophecy teachers would agree. The reason for the controversy is a passage in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 which seems to indicate that such people will continue to reject the Gospel after the Rapture. Here's the passage. Read it for yourself and draw your own conclusion:

"And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness."

This passage seems to teach that people who have rejected the truth before the Rapture will continue to do so. Because of this passage, I cannot say with absolute confidence that those who have rejected the Gospel before the Rapture will have the possibility of accepting it afterwards. I hope they are right, but I would not want to give such people any false hope.

29 comments:

Junbuggg said...

Dr. Reagan,
What are your thoughts about people who have never heard the name of Jesus......such as natives throughout history, in remote villages? The reason for my inquiry is because of the belief that is out there about people getting a "second chance" after death.....to accept or deny.

Billy said...

Dr. Reagan said "I hope they are right, but I would not want to give such people any false hope."

That is the key. It's important to not let our desire that everyone be saved cloud our understandings of gospel truths.

God doesn't want anyone to be unsaved either and in His pefect justice He tells it like it is. We have to do the same.

In another post on this same subject I speculated that people could be saved after the Rapture (perhaps that was based my desire, not my understanding of the truth). After re-re-reading the Bible verse posted in this article with an unemotional search for the truth I have to say to me it's states you don't get a second chance.

Anonymous said...

I think this dicussion prompt certainly lends weight to the importance of the Great Commission.

How many Christians enter Church empty-handed? How many Christians face death empty-handed?

I wouldn't be surprised if the distribution matches the distribution of those who contribute to the church: a handful give everything they have, some give a tenth, while a greater majority give nothing.

I really hope I'm wrong about that guess.

Nathan Jones said...

Junbuggg, I don’t think there is an answer that totally satisfies anyone. In the end we have to take it as God told Job – "just trust Me."

Since "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:23) and all of mankind is without excuse "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20), and Jesus is the only way to salvation "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6) – then only the acceptance of Jesus as Savior will forgive all "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:36)

Since God is a God of justice, all who rebel get what they desire – eternal separation from God in the punishment originally made for the demons, which is the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10-15). But, God is also a God of love. If someone truly was seeking God, He would have found a way for them to hear the Gospel. "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matt. 7:8).

hartdawg said...

junnbuggg-just cuz people havent been there dont mean jesus hasnt. look at the king who had a dream in the old testement after abraham pimped out his wife to him. there are several stories of missionaries going to remote villages and hearing stories of visions and dreams and coming to salvation. look at corneleus in the book of acts. furthermore romans ch 1-2 state God revealing himself thru nature and consciencs. if someone responds to the light give God WILL make a way

hartdawg said...

If you read my comments from a few days ago (monday, @12:36 "scripture slueth) the ones paul is referring to are those who continually reject christ and have recieved the mark of the beast. i dont think its fair for someone born 50yrs ago who continued to reject christ for say 30yrs to be allowed to be saved and for someone who just happens to be born say 15-20yrs before thr rapture to hear and understand it say 3 times and not be allowed to be saved. paul is talking about a group of people who simply reject it cuz they love their sins and are hardened. they are not gonna wanna be saved. anyone who wants to be saved whether before, after the rapture or during the millineum may be saved. does this sound right?

Billy said...

I'll pose this as a question instead of a comment since I can't give an authoritative answer.

Q: Isn't it true that people pre-Jesus as a man will be judged separately based on their works (the lambs and goats)? Jesus tells them you did/didn't feed me, clothe me, visit me, etc. Could this method be applied post-Jesus as a man for anyone who was never exposed to Jesus in any manner?

My inclination is no based on the verse provided by Nathan..."For since the creation of the world...his...divine nature [has]been clearly seen...so that men are without excuse"

Billy said...

Clarification...I'm not saying those people are saved by their works. They are judged by their works. It's obvious they are saved by Jesus. Salvation comes through Jesus ONLY. Didn't mean to imply otherwise.

son of thunder said...

Doesn't Paul imply in his letter to the Romans that if a person has never heard the Gospel that it won't be held against them? He writes that someone can't be judged by a law they don't know Romans ch. 3). So if someone has never heard the Gospel, how can they be judged by it?

It's not their fault if we drop the ball and don't take the Gospel to them (although my theory is that Messiah won't come back until that last person in that last tribe has heard the Gospel) and they never have opportunity to hear it.

I'm sure God has a contingency plan for people who have never heard the Gospel, though. YHWH is a righteous, holy, and merciful God.

Diane1611 said...

There may be a brief period between the Rapture and the time Antichrist shows up on the scene. If so, there would still be time for people to accept Christ before God sends the "deluding influence." Once the "deluding influence" arrives on the scene, then they will believe in the Antichrist and there will be no hope for them.

I hope that made sense. :)

Anonymous said...

Junbuggg,
John wrote in Revalation 7:9-10 "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' "

This says every nation, tribe, people and language. Every means at least one person from every tribe, nation and language will have accepted Christ and be in heaven.

Nathan Jones said...

The book of Hebrews repeatedly states the Old Testament saints were saved "by faith" in God. We know their salvation was made complete when Jesus' work on the cross was finished.

From What Happens When You Die? - Not Soul Sleep:

The Bible indicates that after the death of Jesus on the Cross, He descended into Hades and declared to all the spirits there His triumph over Satan (1 Peter 3:18-19; 4:6). The Bible also indicates that after His resurrection, when He ascended into Heaven, Jesus took Paradise with Him, transferring the spirits of dead saints from Hades to Heaven (Ephesians 4:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). The spirits of dead saints are thereafter pictured as being in Heaven before the throne of God (See Revelation 6:9 and 7:9).

The spirits of the righteous dead could not go directly to Heaven before the Cross because their sins were not forgiven. Instead, their sins were merely covered by their faith. The forgiveness of their sins had to await the shedding of the blood of Christ (Leviticus 17:11; Romans 5:8-9; Hebrews 9:22).

son of thunder said...

Diane1611, I see what you're saying and agree. I think many times we think that AC will be revealed just right after the Rapture, but I don't think that's possible.

After the Rapture, the world will be in an unbelievavle upheaval with millions of people vanishing all at once. Just like after 9/11 here in the US, I have no doubts that churches will be filled to standing room only as people try to make heads or tails of what has happened.

We Christians will leave behind a multitude of writings for these people. Raptureready.com has a page devoted to "Left Behind" letters. We leave behind the Left Behind book series and the writings of men like Hal Lindsey and Dr. Reagan along with millions of copies of the Bible.

It could be weeks, months, or years before AC is revealed after the snatching away of the saints.

So again, I beleive that people will come to Messiah after the Rapture. I don't know about after AC's revealing, but that's a different subject, I think.

Nathan Jones said...

And don't forget you can leave your own post-rapture email via You've Been Left Behind.

Well said, Son of Thunder! Email me.

son of thunder said...

And the You've Been Left Behind link.

More shameless plugs. :-)

Junbuggg said...

Nathan, and Thunder,
My reason for the initial question, about those, throughout past, present and future, who have never heard the name of Jesus......was because I have had several friends, and family, that want to argue the point that they will all be brought back to life briefly (the 2nd. res. or during the millinium) to be taught about Jesus, and then will be given the chance to accept or deny. Churches out there believe this as well, some anyway. I just don't see reference to this in the Bible to back that belief up, and thought you might be able to shine some light on it.

Nathan Jones said...

The only chance humanity has of accepting Jesus as Savior is while living on this Earth - and that's a huge opportunity. There are no second chances that the Bible reveals. To come before God while still in rebellion against Him and not having been saved is to face the absolute certainty of going to Hell.

son of thunder said...

Nathan, since the only chance we have for salvation is while we are on this earth, do you believe that includes the Millenial Kingdom?

Since mankind will have 1,000 years to replenish the earth, that implies children will be born during that time. The Bible also says that Satan will lead one last rebellion, which tells me that some won't follow Messiah. So my reading tells me that some will follow their Lord and others will reject Him.

What's your take on that?

Junbuggg said...

Nathan,
Thank you, my belief as well.

Junbuggg said...

Thunder,
I believe they, the new humans born during the millenium, will have to make a choice, choose or deny. Since they are new humans, never been on the earth before, they also will have the choice, just like we do now. Only thing is, I think their judgement will be much worse, for denial, since they will have the Lord here in direct contact and living in a perfect way.......unlike the things we have to face and put up with!

son of thunder said...

Junbuggg, that's what I think too. I guess I was just playing Devil's Advocate.

I find it beyond comprehension that people could live under direct rule of the Lord of Creation and still be rebellious. I guess that shows how wicked the heart of man truly is: that mankind could be that way with no influence from the Adversary.

Billy said...

Thunder,

Dr. Reagan wrote in his book "God's Plan for the Ages" the following (paraphrased):

"There is one other purpose for the Millennium that should be noted. I belive God is going to use the Millenium to prove to Mankind once and for all that Satan's religion of Humanism is totally bankrupt."

"God is going to prove this point by using the Millennium like a great experimental laboratory. He is going to place Mankind in a perfect environment of peace and prosperity for a thousand years. Satan will be bound. Righteousness will aboud."

"Yet, at the end, when Satan is released, most people will rally to him when he calls the nations to rebellion against Jesus (Revelation 20:7-10). The Millennium will prove that what Man needs is not a new society but a new heart."

I recommend everyone consider purchasing this book. It's great!

Billy said...

Nathan,

Thanks for the info on the saints method of salvation before Jesus' death on the cross.

Anonymous said...

The Antichrist must be revealed BEFORE the saints are raptured.

2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The coming of Christ and our gathering together unto Him (rapture) cannot occur before the man of sin is revealed. That is the first resurrection when the dead in Christ rise first and we who are alive and remain are caught up to meet him in the air.

When that happens, all the wicked will be destroyed and there will be no second chance!

Anonymous said...

Why would the Thessalonians be "shaken in mind or be troubled" that the day of Christ (Lord NASB/NIV) be at hand if that is the rapture?

son of thunder said...

Billy, I agree with what Dr. Reagan wrote 110%. No question.

Logically speaking, if people are going to choose to follow Satan after 1,000 of Messiah's kingship then some will choose to follow Jesus. So it stands to reason that mankind has opportunity to choose to follow Messiah up until just prior to the White Throne Judgment.

Nathan Jones said...

The Day of the Lord is God's judgment/wrath on the earth for its continued rebellion against Him (Zech. 14). It is also a time of bringing the Jews nationally to accept Jesus as Messiah (Jer. 30:7; Matt. 23:39). We call it the Tribulation.

The Church at Thessalonica were worried that they had entered into the Tribulation, but Paul comforts and gives them hope by explaining the Rapture, tying it to what he said earlier in 1 Thes. 1, "wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath."

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment, Nathan. Which is why the Thess verses fit the pretrib model best. Furthermore, if all the wicked are destroyed and the saved are raptured into their glorified bodies then who populates the Millennium?

Anonymous said...

We do, His saints, us. Along with those who are living and born during that time as well. However, we are the ones who reign with Him