Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. Some of the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will now address:
#6. What about those who hear the Gospel before the Rapture and reject it, can they be saved during the Tribulation?
A quick summary of how our experts responded to this question shows answers are varied, in that seven answered "Yes" and four "No." Two were not sure. Off interview, Dr. David Reagan expressed his own personal answer as "No" because he believes that 2 Thessalonians 2 teaches that such a person will continue to reject the Gospel even during the Tribulation.
Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
This is a tough teaching, but I do believe that those who hear the Gospel before the Rapture and reject it won't be saved after the Rapture of the Church. Now, I know that many men, women and children will perish if that is true, but I go back and cite the example of the Ark. When God shut the door to Noah's Ark many men, women and children perished in that instant.
Second Thessalonians 2:10 reveals why people will perish in the future. It says, "The Antichrist will come with all deceivableness of unrighteousness and them that perish…" Why? "Because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved." Verse 11 reveals what kind of judgment will fall on those who didn't get saved. It says, "God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." Verse 12 reveals how many will perish. It says, "that they all might be damned who believe not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
There are people who want to water this down. They want to say all won't perish, just some will perish and some will be saved. Part will perish and part will be saved some say. But, my answer to that God said "all." If God didn't mean all, God would have said "some" or "part," but He said "all." A-L-L. I don't believe that God is mentally challenged. I believe God says what He wants to say and He means what He says. He will do what He says.
The strong delusion reminds me of the blinding of the Jews, the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, and God giving gays up to a reprobate mind. Remember Jesus talking about the Laodicean Church which I think is the church at the end of the age? He says the lukewarm will be spewed out. He didn't say "some of them." He said the lukewarm will be spewed out. And so, I believe all of them will be spewed out. He told us that there is a straight gate and a narrow way, and I believe that and I believe people need to believe exactly what the Bible says, too.
Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
I know there is a lot of debate about this topic. I've heard this question asked a lot of times. In response, I take the time to go back again and read 2 Thessalonians 2 to arrive at a really firm conclusion. My conclusion is that, yes, people who have heard the Gospel prior to the Rapture and rejected the offer of salvation will still be able to be saved after the Rapture of the Church. Now, I know that some people would try to say that is Second Change Theology. Second Change Theology is not that at all. Second Change Theology is trying to say that people can be saved after they die. I don't believe that, but I am glad that God gave me more than one chance in this life. He gave me many chances to be saved until I finally accepted what He was offering me. So, yes, I do believe that people will have that opportunity even though they may have rejected the Gospel before the Rapture.
After the Rapture God will send a strong delusion. Like I said, I am familiar with that passage in 2 Thessalonians, but a careful study of that for me personally says that everything that is being talked about there has to do with the Antichrist and the things that are going on during the Tribulation. And so, those people who will reject the truth I believe is a reference to people who are living in the Tribulation.
The long answer would take some time to go through it, but in short, yes, I do believe that people will have that opportunity. In fact, I believe immediately after the Rapture people who have heard the Gospel and rejected it will immediately fall on their face before God and cry out for the mercies of God. Our God whose mercies are infinite will hear their cry and they will be saved.
August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
That's a real popular question. I get this question a lot during at prophecy conferences that I preach at around the country.
How I interpret 2 Thessalonians 2 is that during the Church Age that we are in right now, because the Rapture hasn't taken place yet, if someone hears and understands the Gospel and they willfully and outright rejected it, they would probably not have the opportunity during the Tribulation period to get saved. The Bible says that God will send a strong delusion that they would believe the lie of the Antichrist when He comes on the scene, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness.
However, on the flip side of the coin, I believe those during the Church Age who have not heard the Gospel and have not understood it would probably have that opportunity during the Tribulation period to get saved. They'll simply accept based on the preaching of the 144,000, the Two Witnesses, and the angel preaching the everlasting Gospel.
In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, some of the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer the sixth question, "What about those who hear the Gospel before the Rapture and reject it, can they be saved during the Tribulation?"