Q. A pastor I heard recently preached that after the rapture, those who had been given an opportunity to accept Jesus and had rejected Him and were thus left behind would not have an opportunity to accept Jesus post-rapture. He cited a verse in II Thes. where it talks of a great delusion being sent and the people believing a lie.
It would appear from The Revelation that those killed in the great tribulation come from every nation, tribe and tongue are before the throne (saints) and there are 144,000 Jews who are sealed with God’s seal, all of whom had to have accepted Jesus as Savior after the rapture. Therefore I question the accuracy of his belief. Can you shed any light?
A. Some interpret 2 Thes. 2:9-12 to mean that all those who’ve heard and rejected the gospel before the rapture will not be given another chance afterward, and a literal reading of the passage seems to support that view.
The issue as always is a matter of the heart. Has a formerly non-committal person missed his or her last chance to be saved at all when the rapture comes, or just to be saved into the Church? I’ve always taken the position that a great number of these “fence-sitters” will finally be persuaded by the disappearance of millions of believers to make a belated decision for the Lord. I believe the spirits of many of these folks will show up in Heaven in Rev. 7:9-17.
So I guess I interpret 2 Thes. 2:9-12 narrowly, to include only those who’ve so hardened their hearts against the Lord that no amount of evidence would suffice to persuade them, not even the unexplained disappearance of many around them. I believe these are the people who will come under the great delusion and believe the lie.
That said, the benefits of making your eternity secure now, before the Rapture, so far outweigh any advantage you might gain by waiting, especially when we don’t know how much time is left, that it’s extremely risky to put it off. So, if you’re asking this question on your own behalf, I strongly urge you to do it now!