Q. I believe that to go in the rapture you must believe there will be one. How can anyone expect to receive something when they don’t believe it exists? The rapture fighters and non believers will get what they believe in. I pray and hope all will come to believe in the catching away of the saints, but I firmly believe you must believe it to receive it. What say you?
A. I agree where unbelievers are concerned, but as for the Church, I disagree. The rapture is one of God’s promises to the Church and comes with being a member thereof. (We become believers by being born again.)
In 1 Thes. 4:16-17 Paul said,
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
Paul didn’t say, “we who are still alive and are left and believe in the rapture” or anything to that effect. He said, “we who are alive and are left.” Period.
And in 1 Cor. 15:51 he said, “Listen I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.” The Greek word translated “all” means “each, every, any and all.”
In other words, believers will not all die first, but we will all be transformed from perishable to imperishable and from mortal to immortal (1 Cor. 15:53).
This means very believer who is alive and still on Earth when the resurrection of Church Age believers occurs will be taken in the rapture at the same time, whether they believe in it or not.
By the way, these verses also deny the validity of the so-called partial rapture theory which holds that only worthy believers will be taken. In our own strength none of us is worthy, but because of the blood of Jesus we are all worthy.