Q. I hear all the time that some Christians will miss out on the Rapture and be left behind. Can you tell us who are these Christians? On a scale of 1-10, where is the cut-off? Do I need to be a 10, and never sin to go? Does scripture paint this picture in your opinion?
A. I also wonder where the partial rapture advocates place the cut-off. A look at current polls makes me wonder if anyone could qualify based on our behavior. 90% of those who claim to be born again Christians live secular lives and have a secular world view. About 50% don’t believe in the Holy Spirit or that Satan is real. Nearly 40% have never given the first penny to Kingdom work, and 100% percent of us still sin on a regular basis. The divorce rate among Christians is the same as among non-believers and so is the abortion rate.
The partial rapture theory is promoted by “grace plus works” Christians who want to scare everybody into behaving the way they think Christians should behave. Of course they are all convinced they will be going. It’s just the rest of us who have a problem.
There’s not one word in the Bible to support a partial rapture. According to the Bible, there is just one condition for being included in the Church, and that’s to “Believe in the One He has sent” (John 6:28-29). Believing in the one He sent means believing that Jesus died for our sins and rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Everyone who believes that is in the Church and will go in the rapture.
When he introduced the doctrine of the rapture, Paul only identified two kinds of Christians, those who have died and those who are still living (1 Thes. 4:16-17). The dead will receive new bodies, while the living will have their bodies made perfect. He didn’t mention any other categories of believers either there or in his other teachings on the rapture.
Everything else you hear is some form of legalism invented by man in an effort to impose behavioral standards on others. This is a control issue not a theology issue.