I have been criticized for a recent lesson stating that those “left behind” still have the opportunity of obtaining the wonderful gift of Salvation. The criticism is based on the idea that the unsaved rebelled against the Lord and once seeing the truth of the Word of God, as evidenced by the “snatching away” of the Church, cannot be given a second chance. This is based on the misunderstanding of the difference between the Lord Jesus meeting His Church in the air (the “rapture”), and the Return of the Lord when He sets foot on the Mount of Olives.
In Acts chapter seven, the first martyr, Stephen, told the Jews about the many second chances the Lord had provided the Hebrew people. He told how Abraham, the brothers of Joseph and the Children of Israel in Egypt all received a second chance. Before they were deported from the land of Israel the first time, the Prophet Isaiah foretold that they would be brought back to the Holy Land a second time (Isaiah 11:11) The Lord provided a second opportunity to take part in the Passover Feast in the second month for those who were unable to take part in first month. (Numbers 9:9-11)
The Lord has provided many second chances. Further, He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (Second Peter 3:9) Just as we, who are saved sinners, have received Salvation, the rebellious sinners will still be able to receive Salvation.
An angel of the Lord will proclaim the gospel, in a loud voice, to the people dwelling on earth. (Revelation 14:6-7) Several times in the Revelation we are told that the people on the earth know that they are being punished for their rebellion, and yet they will not repent! (Revelation 9:20,21; 16:9,11) The “earth dwellers” will know. And we know from Scripture that there will be Saints who come out of the Great Tribulation. (Revelation 7:14) Later in the Revelation, we are told of the Saints who will refuse to worship the beast or receive his mark. These Tribulation Saints will reign with the Lord Jesus for 1,000 years. (Revelation 20:4) They may have missed the “rapture,” but they will receive eternal life.
But there will be a price to pay. What you sow, you shall reap. (Job 4:8) Actions have consequences. Those who rebelled against the Lord and were “left behind” may receive the gift of Salvation, but they may also have to pay a price. The consequences will be the result of their actions, but they are not the judgment of God.
The “Great White Throne” judgment occurs at the end of the 1,000 year reign of Jesus. The second death has no power over those who are included in the first resurrection, and that includes the Tribulation Saints. (Revelation 20:6)
Praise the Lord for the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus that covers our sin, so that we do not have to pay the price for our sins. The “Tribulation Saints” may have to deal with the consequences of their previous rebellion, but they will also be covered by the blood of the Lamb of God for eternity.
God is so gracious and merciful! I am so thankful for His mercy and grace. May His name be praised for ever and ever!