Can A Believer Be Left Behind?
"...LOOKING FOR the blessed hope
and glorious appearing of our great God
and Savior Jesus Christ..."
In the late 60's and early 70's there was a great world-wide revival wherein multitudes came to the Lord. In fact, most of the believers I know today came to the Lord during that time.
In the early 70's there was a lot of excitement about the coming of the Lord for his church, the event called "the Rapture." Books were being written about it, sermons were teaching on it, and there was a general hopeful expectation in the air.
But as time went on, the fervor cooled down and this subject got less and less attention. I guess many who heard it years ago got tired of hearing it, lost interest in it, to the extent that today VERY FEW pastors even mention it anymore.
So will believers who are no longer interested, no longer eagerly watching, still be taken when the Rapture does take place?
I don't know, but it is worth taking a look at. There is one Scripture that suggests that NOT ALL will be taken. The Scripture says the Lord will appear the second time "to those who eagerly wait for him." What about those who are not "eagerly waiting for him?"
"TO THOSE WHO EAGERLY WAIT FOR HIM
he will appear a second time,
apart from sin, for salvation.
There is another passage which might imply the same thing. In Matthew chapter 25 we are given a picture of ten virgins, all of whom WERE WAITING for the Bridegroom. Five of them were wise and took oil in their lamps as they waited for him. But the other five did not take enough oil, and their lamps went out. When the Bridegroom came, only the virgins with oil in their lamps went with him. There are several different interpretations of this passage, but it is wise to keep in mind that if a believer looking for the Bridegroom does not have oil in her lamp, she may be left behind. In the Bible, oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Have you lost your eager anticipation of the coming of the Bridegroom? Does the passage of time mean the Lord has forgotten about it? Or - rather - is he separating out those who truly are eagerly waiting for him?
Will those who don't even believe in the pre-trib Rapture go with him when he comes? Perhaps. I hope so for their sake. But there are many who are "preparing" for the Tribulation and many of those I know in that camp actually mock those who are eagerly waiting for the Bridegroom. And there is certainly Scriptural reference to that:
"...knowing this first:
that SCOFFERS will come in the last days,
walking according to their own lusts,
and saying, 'Where is the promise of his coming?
For since the fathers fell asleep,all things continue
as they were from the beginning of creation.'”
2 Peter 3:3-4
When Jesus was on the earth the first time, he had harsh words for the religious leaders and scoffers for not knowing the signs of the times.
"He answered and said to them,
'When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather,
for the sky is red;' and in the morning,
‘It will be foul weather today,
for the sky is red and threatening.’
Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky,
but you cannot discern the signs of the times!"
For those of you who have once longed for the Lord but have lost "the blessed hope," I suggest you go back to your first love. Don't take a chance on missing it.
More on the doctrine of the Rapture