The Rapture of the Ekklēsia
“Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9b-10. This verse is invariably used to promote the false teaching that not every Christian will go when Christ takes His “ekklēsia” (the called out congregation or assembly) home. A frequently asked question is “Will all Christians go in the Rapture?” The simple answer is “Yes”. All Christians will be Raptured! But then another question must be broached “What constitutes a Christian?” I’ll get to that answer in a moment.
The verses in the above paragraph, as well as other Bible verses, have been used over and over again to teach a false doctrine; that a Christian who might be battling any of the evils that Paul mentions above will be left behind when the Rapture of the “ekklēsia” occurs. I can tell you that many Christians believe this false teaching. I’m continually being castigated by my brethren for being of a different view on this subject. When we take Bible verses out of context it’s easy to establish false doctrines. I’ve excluded the first part of that verse above on purpose. The reason for excluding it is that it plainly answers the question “Who’s All Going?” or more specifically who’s not going “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” 1 Corinthians 6:9a. Those who wish to confuse people use only the second part of that verse, they are those who are intent on promoting their own made up doctrine. Could it be any simpler? The unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Since that statement is God’s truth the opposite must also be true. “…by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous...That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:19b, 20.
Only the righteous will inherit the Kingdom of God. Who are the righteous? Anyone who is born from above, from God! Is everyone on the same page here? When a person becomes born again they become justified (saved/righteous). That means they are, in God’s eyes, His righteous children. We were the unrighteous before we said yes to Jesus Christ, but through faith our disbelief was exchanged for justification (salvation/righteousness). “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11. Notice the Apostle Paul said “such were some of you”. But now being washed, sanctified/justified through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior means we’re no longer the unrighteous but the righteous inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
Let’s take a look at just how difficult it is to become born again. Jesus makes it abundantly clear that belief is the key. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36. Is anyone confused by that verse? All it takes to become a child of God (born again) is to believe in His only begotten Son. By believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord the new believer becomes instantaneously justified in God’s eyes. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can void our salvation.
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:11-13. Anyone who falls into the category just mentioned above is born again. Here’s the rub. Not all who profess to be Christian are actually born again. Isn’t that really what’s at the crux of the matter here? If there’s any doubt in a person’s mind as to whom Jesus the Christ really is then that person would be well advised to re-evaluate their salvation.
My opinion as to whether or not some Christians will or will not be taken in the Rapture is inconsequential. What does God say? “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. (emphases mine)
In the above verses the Apostle Paul is explaining to the “ekklēsia” at Thessalonica that at the harpazō (the Rapture) the dead “in Christ” will rise first, then the rest of us who are “in Christ” and still alive, will also be caught up together with the ones who were asleep (dead) into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The Holy Spirit speaking through Paul doesn’t exclude anyone who is born again. Everyone who is born again is “in Christ”. It’s impossible to be “in Christ” and not be born again. The following verses from Romans chapter 8 say it all. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are ‘in Christ’ Jesus” Romans 8:1 (emphases mine). No condemnation for those who are “in Christ”. There will be no missing the boat, so to speak, for anyone who is not condemned. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is ‘in Christ’ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (emphases mine). Nothing can separate us from the love of God which has been permanently allotted to all “in Christ” believers.
Still, after all those verses there will be many who argue the point. But what’s the argument? Whether or not someone is actually a Christian? Or whether or not someone who professes to be a Christian is going in the Rapture? Isn’t that what it all boils down to? Many people profess to be Christian but if asked what it means to be born again some have no idea what that means. So in those terms we can say that they, by professing to be a Christian without becoming born again, are only fooling themselves. After all, no one can fool God.
It’s not all that difficult to see the fruits of many who are justified/saved. Nor is it difficult to see the fruits of the unjustified/unrighteous, they oppose each other with striking contrasts. Here’s a perfect example: Obama claims to be a Christian, yet by his own demonstrated fruits, clearly the experience of being born from God is missing. Ask yourself this question “Would a born again believer ‘in Christ’ stand so diametrically opposed to their Savior God?” Two very obvious examples of a person who stands against God’s precepts are anyone who promotes the murder of babies while still in their mother’s womb, and anyone who promotes the homosexual agenda and same sex marriages. These are just two of Obama’s very clear stances which God abhors, but they are enough to tell any born again believer in Christ that this man is not standing with God and should not be the leader of any nation.
So in the sense that a person professes to be a Christian yet he/she has never been born again we can say with absolute certainty that they will not be raptured with the rest of the “ekklēsia”. Remember, the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Only the righteous, the born again, “in Christ” believers will be Raptured. Watch out, just because someone professes to be a Christian doesn’t mean they are so.
But getting back to those who are born again, there are a few other verses that are used by those who say not all Christians will be included in the Rapture. They are as follows. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23. This is very simple to understand. Jesus says to these folks “I never knew you”. Jesus knows all those who belong to Him. He will never lose even one who has said yes to Him. But He never knew the folks mentioned in the above verses. They were not born again.
The next verse is one the people with an agenda of promoting false doctrine like to throw out. It’s the parable of the ten virgins. We know by reading the entire account that five virgins were let into the marriage and five were not. What did the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) say to these last five virgins? “Verily I say unto you, I know you not” Matthew 25:12. Jesus never knew these last five virgins. Why, you might ask. Because they had no “oil” for their lamps (they were void of the Holy Spirit). They were not born again. You see, Jesus only knows and allows the ones into His Kingdom who have said yes to Him. “Yes Lord Jesus, I believe”. These are the folks who become born again from above. Everyone who places their faith, trust, and hope in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation is justified in God’s eyes and will inherit His Kingdom (they will be raptured) if they do so before the rapture takes place.
The truth of the matter is this. All Christians will be Raptured. The problem is that not all people who say they are Christians are being truthful with themselves. It is not my place to judge whether or not a person is a Christian. God knows the heart of every human and He alone stands at the juncture of judging. But I can tell you this, He knows all who are His and He knows who will become one of His children before Christ’s return.
Remember that God can’t learn, He can’t be surprised, He can’t be deceived, and He won’t be mocked. If you say you are a Christian, you’d better be sure. The alternative to being a true born again believer “in Christ” is this truth – you will join a huge throng of people who have made the same mistake as you. You will all be permanent residences of what the Bible calls the Lake of Fire (Hell) if you die in that frame of mind, which is rebellion to Christ.
“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28-29. We are justified by what we believe about Jesus Christ. Our salvation is not based on works. Our righteousness comes only through a belief (faith) in the only begotten Son of God, Jesus the Christ.
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV and “theopneustos” God breathed