Q. I have a question about the rapture. I used to believe that everyone will go whether they believe in the rapture or not, but I have changed my mind. I want to explain to you why and see if you agree with me.
I believe the Great Delusion happens after the rapture, although clearly deception is already at work. I believe that it is possible for eyes and hearts to be opened all the way up to the rapture.
We were told that in the End Times scoffers would come saying, “where is the promise of His Coming”? these scoffers obviously believe in Jesus or they would not even be thinking about His Coming one way or the other.
I have found that those who deny the Rapture are, for the most part, believers in Replacement Theology. Also these people believe that we must overcome by going through the tribulation. All of these groups adhere to a faith+works theology. If we must work our way into His Kingdom then why do we need Jesus? If we could have worked our way to heaven, we would not have needed a Savior. We are no longer under the Law, we are now under Grace.
To me, to deny the Blessed Hope is to deny His finished work upon the cross. I know that the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, paid my debt in full upon the cross. I know that I can do nothing at all to earn my way to heaven, my good works are as filthy rags. It is by faith we are saved, and not of works.
I think this is the key to the Kingdom, faith in Jesus Christ and in His attoning death in our place.
I believe that those who are saved during the tribulation are those who were not Christians before the rapture. They never professed belief in Christ, and they never denied the Blessed Hope.
I truly do hope that after the rapture, those who denied it will be given a second chance and will be able to “wash their robes”. Only God knows the answer, I will continue to pray for everyone on earth until I am flying up to meet the Lord in the clouds!
A false foundation always creates false doctrine. Since those who teach a post trib rapture also teach Replacement Theology, or works+faith doctrine, do you believe they will be raptured anyway?
I hope with all my heart that you answer this question!
A. I answer all the questions I receive, but I’ll also post this question because it’s a good one.
You and I agree that we’re saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave. And like you, I also believe that many who adopt the post-trib rapture position do so because of a prior acceptance of Replacement Theology or some kind of faith plus works doctrine.
Replacement theology holds that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s view and therefore is the heir to the promises of Israel. One of those promises is purification in the Great Tribulation. Hence the necessity for a post-trib rapture position.
Faith plus works contends that Jesus didn’t do the whole job and therefore we have to finish it through the purification we receive by enduring the Great Tribulation. (By the way, neither of these views adequately addresses the problem that creates for previous generations of believers since they won’t be alive to endure the judgment.)
There are hints in Scripture to support the view that believing replacement theology casts doubt on a person’s salvation. One is in Rev. 3:9 “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars–I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.” Of course R.T. advocates would deny that this applies to them.
You can also use the Sabbath Law to show the error of faith plus works doctrines. Briefly, in the Old Testament, violating the Sabbath rest by working was punishable by death. Hebrews 4 deals with salvation and implies that in the New Testament the Sabbath represents the believer’s life long Sabbath Rest from the work of his salvation, “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His.” (Hebr. 4:10) Paul confirmed this change in Colossians 2:16-17 saying the Sabbath was a shadow of things to come, the reality is in Christ.
Therefore New Testament believers keep the Sabbath commandment by observing a lifelong rest from the work of their salvation. Continuing to work to earn or keep your salvation means you don’t believe the Lord did the whole job, and that means you don’t really believe He saved you. This requires that you keep working through out your Sabbath Rest. The penalty for working on the Sabbath is death, because in reality the work demonstrates unbelief. (Faith plus works believers would obvoiusly disagree with this treatment of Hebrews 4.)
All that said, we must be careful not to judge others or make decisions about their spiritual condition, because only God knows the intents of their hearts, and He has reserved judgment for Himself.(1 Cor. 4:5)