Q. A prominent prophecy teacher says that people on Earth who have heard and understood the Gospel prior to the Rapture cannot be saved during the Tribulation. Yet, I would think that throngs of people whose family members and friends shared the Gospel with them prior to the Rapture would realize that they’d been mistaken (after the Rapture) and cry out to God asking for salvation. Surely, among the millions who will accept Christ during the Tribulation will be many who first heard the Gospel prior to the Rapture! But this teacher says that the scripture says that a deceiving spirit would prevent them from receiving the Gospel after they had once rejected it. What say you?
A. There’s good reason to believe that those who heard the Gospel before the rapture and rejected it will not change their minds afterwards because of a strong delusion God will send upon the Earth. 2 Thes. 2:9-11 supports this position.
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.
I don’t believe this passage includes those who hadn’t previously rejected the Gospel, but just never got around to making a decision one way or another. I believe the rapture will jolt these people into making a decision and many will choose the Lord. This would help explain the large number of post-rapture believers who arrive in Heaven after the Seal Judgments from every corner of the world (Rev. 7:9). Many will have been martyred for their faith and others will have died because of the wars and famine and pestilence that will characterize the Seal judgments of Rev. 6.