Children Rapture: One-Parent-Must-Be-Saved Argument :: By Terry James

Again listening to Dr. David Jeremiah’s message on the Rapture, one of my most adamant pre-Trib Rapture beliefs came to mind.

The question in my thinking isn’t: Will all children below the age of accountability go to Christ when He shouts, “Come up here!?” My question revolves around how anyone who believes in what God’s Word teaches on salvation and the pre-Trib Rapture does NOT believe everyone below the age of accountability will go to Christ at that moment.

Objections to all children going to Jesus in the Rapture revolve around one verse of Scripture:

“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14).

Even the great Dr. John Walvoord believed these words indicate that only those below the age of accountability who have at least one “saved” parent will go to Christ when He calls the Church to Himself.

I’m name-dropping, I guess, but I asked (in an open Q & A session) my good friend, Dr. Walvoord (he wrote a number of chapters for my books, and we were indeed good friends and talked by phone and in person on occasion) if he could give any other Scriptures that backed up the contention that this verse indicated as he believed.

He thought for a moment and shook his head no. “No, I can’t,” he said somberly.

I no longer debate the matter when given a contrary opinion but respond one time and one only.

This is a salvation matter between Jesus Christ and the child (an eternal matter—not a matter dealing with physical life and death). It does not concern earthly relationships (child to parent), religion (church affiliation), or morality (personal conduct).

Children who have died and those who will be taken in the Rapture have in common the fact that they were/will be instantly with the Lord. This is because they are seen in God’s merciful economy as innocents.

Most importantly, it is an INDIVIDUAL matter—God dealing one-on-one, not collectively or corporately, with the salvation issue.

Acceptance of Christ is based upon a decision. If a person doesn’t have—and has never had—the ability to accept or reject a relationship with Him because he or she doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand, they cannot accept or reject.

The Bible says those who know to do good and do it not, to them it is sin. Conversely, I believe that the whole body of Scripture presents the case that if people don’t know they are lost because of sin, they are not condemned. But, when maturity that brings understanding comes (and the Holy Spirit draws them, convicting them of sin), they must accept God’s offer of reconciliation.

The very character of God, as presented throughout the Word of God, is at stake. All in Christ will go at the Rapture. Paul says, “all will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” What does this mean—”all” who are “in” Christ? It refers to the fact that all who are redeemed by the shed blood of Christ are a part of the Body of Christ—the Church. The child—even though born into sin because of Adam’s disobedience—is “in” Christ before he/she is able to comprehend God’s salvation provision. None who are in Christ will have to face the wrath of God during the coming Tribulation.

There is a specific heavenly book that is vital to the position of the soul of every person ever born, with the exception of the Lord Jesus Christ’s immaculate conception.

Here are the scriptural passages that speak to this.

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5).

“And there shall in no wise enter into [the heavenly abode] any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

God’s Word is telling us here that there is a volume in which every human being’s name is written at some point. No one whose name isn’t written in this book can enter God’s holy presence for eternity. The word “Life” in the title of this book is “eternal” life. Every human being who has been conceived in the procreation process has his or her name written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life.” But, there is obviously the chance that one’s name can be blotted out of that book, according to Revelation 3:5. Since it isn’t possible to lose one’s salvation once a person has “believed” in the only begotten Son of God (Jesus’ words in John 10: 27–29,) the term “blot out” in Revelation 3:5 needs to be explained.

The meaning becomes clear when thinking on the fact that each and every individual’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The name remains there until the person is shown that he or she is a sinner and is convicted or called by the Holy Spirit to repent of sin—to “believe” in the Lord Jesus Christ. When the person fully realizes that call and that Jesus is the ONLY way to reconciliation with God the Father but refuses or rejects God’s grace-gift offer, that name is “blotted out” of the Lamb’s Book of Life. The individual who rejects that gift of salvation will die in sin and spend eternity apart from the Creator. Those who have reached the age of accountability will also be left behind when the Rapture occurs.

The name will be written back in that book when the individual subsequently accepts the Lord Jesus as Savior. Jesus Christ’s shed blood is the only payment God the Father accepts. But, once a person accepts that gift, he or she is a member of God’s family–forever.

So, our position in Christ is the all-important thing, whether considering going to Heaven when we die or at the Rapture, when Jesus comes to take us to our home, which He personally has prepared for each of us (Read John 14:1–4). This is the only collective family gathering that counts in God’s economy, in consideration of the matter of the Rapture and salvation. We will, at the Rapture, go home to be in God the Father’s house. Here on earth, our relationship with our earthly parents is tremendously important, of course. But, it is our place in our heavenly family, in our heavenly home, that is absolutely crucial. This is an eternal matter. And it all relies upon our position in Jesus Christ, not upon our position in our earthly home or upon the spiritual condition of our parents.

All of that considered, what, then, is meant by the Scripture that most all seminaries teach governs which children will go in the Rapture?

“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14).

To put it as simply as possible, here is what I believe is meant by this greatly misused Scripture. I believe it means that the saved partner in the marriage will make the marriage a legitimate union in Heaven’s economy. The saved partner makes it so in God’s holy eyes, therefore, the marriage bed is undefiled, as the Scripture says in another place.

Thus, in the case of the marriage of one saved parent and one unsaved parent, a child is a legitimately conceived one—again, in the Lord’s holy eyes—i.e., the child is not seen in Heaven as having been conceived out of wedlock.

When the Rapture happens, there will be no children on earth—not even those just conceived and gestating in their mothers’ wombs. I believe the God who created mankind will make the most dramatic statement possible about His view of when life begins.

There will be great chaos on this judgment-bound planet like at no other time in human history. The sudden evacuation of all little ones below the age of accountability (and only God knows that age for each child) will make that chaos terrifying beyond comprehension.

You don’t want to be left behind to face that chaos, judgment, and wrath. Here, again, is how to make sure you go to be with the Savior when He calls.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).