Q. I know without a doubt I’m saved by grace and I have accepted Jesus Christ as MY personal savior. I believe I’m from Philadelphia (the one in Revelation 3 that John speaks about). Please explain this sentence from your study on Re. 2-3 (Epilogue). “And don’t be surprised when you’re joined (in the rapture) by some who were Catholic, some who were Protestant, some conservatives and some liberals and even some who didn’t appear to belong to any church at all.” Do you mean that some will be saved that have not been to church?
A. What I mean is that no church has the corner on salvation. From the letter to Thyatira we saw that some Catholics will be taken in the rapture. From the letter to Sardis we know there will be some main line Protestants joining us, too. Some of these people will be classified as liberal in their theology and some conservative.
I think there are a also great many believers who don’t fit into our definition of a traditional church goer at all. This not only includes those who attend home church groups and bible studies, or are members of so-called virtual congregations from the internet, but also believers who come from one of the countries in the world where Christianity is outlawed.
Christians in these places can’t meet publicly and have to worship in secret. Many risk having their own families turn them in to the religious authorities, and if they’re caught with a Bible or other Christian material it can mean imprisonment or even death.
We don’t have any way of knowing how many of these secret Christians there are, but I think if we did know the number it would truly surprise us. Fortunately, the Lord knows everyone of them and will not leave any behind. They’ll all be with us on that day when the Lord takes us home.
Remember, it’s not going to church that makes you a Christian. It’s believing that Jesus died for your sins and rose again.