Considering the controversies over the number of Christians taken in the Rapture or whether the Rapture is a real event, you need to have a deeper understanding of one key aspect that I have not yet heard spoken of but one that needs to be recognized. Allow me to explain this.
When I hear people, especially pastors, saying some, many or most Christians will be left behind, it makes me cringe. The Bible is clear: the quantity is stated by the word all; you either believe it or you don’t.
Since the Bible says that all Christians will be taken in the Rapture, why do we still question it?
Matthew 25:10-12 “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
Where is the word all? Only half were taken. Yes, I see that; however, it is further explained here:
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”
This is where we start to see the divisions taking place, and with some understandable reasons; but it is not a question of how many Christians are taken or if it’s real. It goes even deeper.
Kindly keep in mind the difference between those claiming to be Christians vs. a true Christian who has given his / her life earnestly to The Lord.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
In here we are told to handle scriptures alongside other scriptures and to do so in truth. Okay, let’s do just that; let’s use some scriptures side by side and see what we come up with.
The 5 virgins who were not taken did not have oil (Holy Spirit-filled lives); they were not committed with their hearts but still claimed to be Christians. They may have even acted it out, but they didn’t believe it and did not have a personal relationship with God. If God says “I know you not” you had better believe they did not know the Lord as Savior and didn’t consider the Bible to be God’s Word.
From some of earliest recorded interactions between man and God where God Himself provided the animal skin coverings for Adam and Eve – Gen 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” into Matthew 9:13 “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” – we see a case building for how God operates with His motives and reasoning behind those actions.
Noah built the Ark; however, it was God that shut him in (closed the door). See Gen. 7:16. In one instance after another, God wants our participation; but it’s God alone that finalizes the deal. Our level of participation is required, but completing the act is always God’s doing. Some actions are simply beyond us, and God makes us aware of that too, but wants us to know we need to lean on Him for reliance and finalizing whatever it is that’s being done.
We work in cooperation with God, not ahead of Him; and we don’t close the deal either. He does. The same applies to both the issues of salvation and the rapture; we’re participants but it is enacted by God. It’s God’s nature to urge our hand into action, but that’s all. We act to the level which we have been instructed to, and the rest of it all depends on God for completion.
I keep hearing the church will not be taken in a rapture event because we don’t deserve it – that because we’re sinners we must go through the tribulation. Those Christians pass this self-inflicted punishment over us being sinners as if God didn’t know what we would be doing from the start; they’re saying we are condemned because we haven’t lived up to some type of standard that someone believes we need to meet. I have to wonder at what point would the people that condemn the church say, Okay that’s a good act now; you’ll be allowed in and taken in the rapture.
Is there some level of “good” they know about that maybe God isn’t aware of?
It was God’s word that said in Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Time after time, event after event we have seen that it is God who finalizes whatever is happening and not us. We do not possess the ability to be good or good enough; we fail each time and every time. The dividing line is, did we really believe? Did we really have His Spirit within us?
Two of the main scriptures used to validate being “good enough” to be taken in the rapture are perhaps found in Luke 21:36 “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
And Matthew 25:1-12 “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
The reality of those scriptures and their implications are enough to scare me into believing I need to do something to be seen as being worthy by The Lord, but what? Knowing our righteousness is filthy rags and we fail each and every time no matter what we try, what could we do to be considered worthy?
Nothing, not one single thing or act can make us worthy. The only act we can do which is acceptable before a perfect God is the accepting of His Son and His gift of salvation which is becoming born again of the spirit. And again, this is not something we do; it is God doing it. We simply accept it and believe by being open to our level of participation and doing whatever it is God requires of us. That is where and when we act by being obedient.
1 Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
The five virgins who were not allowed in after the door was shut were false Christians. They had never given their lives over to The Lord. That is why The Lord answered “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” He did not know them; they were not Christians but knew some scriptures, enough where they had head knowledge but not true salvation.
It could even be that they pursued their own works with their own will being lived out and not what The Lord required from them. Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Those people who are judging the church have been using a certain amount of non-Christian judgmental bias by including those unsaved individuals as being part of the Bride. That is a mistake.
It is the Church which shall be taken, all of them; every single Christian will be taken exactly as Paul said would be “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall “all” be changed. Those that never truly accepted Christ for salvation – those will be left behind to face the tribulation.
I suppose that group will also be used during the tribulation period to educate the others, the hard core non-believers which were atheists and God haters prior to the rapture. They will need someone to fill in the blanks, and that group will at least have some head knowledge.
1 Corinthians 15:50-52 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
There is Rapture, and it includes every Christian that ever lived. It is God’s personality, His nature to save His people. After all, this is why He came here to start with. I hope this clears things up for those who still condemn the church and deny the fullness and meaning in these scriptures.
The next question is when is it? That one I will not touch, not in the least… but it is soon.
(All scriptures referenced from KJV)