QIf someone rejects the gospel now, will they have a second chance after the rapture? How do we know?
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AFor those who have not received the gospel of the grace of God, they will be left behind after the rapture. But will they have another opportunity to believe?
For those left behind after the rapture who never heard a clear gospel, they will have an opportunity to receive the Gospel of the Kingdom, which we are told in Mark 16:15 will be preached “to every creature” in “all the world.” We know that multitudes will be saved in that time, both of Jews and Gentiles – a mass conversion such as the world has never seen (Rev. 7)!
For those left behind after the rapture who heard the gospel and professed to be Christians, we can say on the authority of scripture that there will be no second chance. We take this from the parable of the virgins: the foolish virgins represent those with a profession (lamp) but no indwelling Spirit (oil). There is no opportunity to buy oil for them once the bridegroom comes.
“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. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matt. 25:8-13
For those left behind after the rapture who heard the gospel but have not made a false profession, they will be in grave danger. At the middle of the prophetic week, when Antichrist comes forward, he will bring a strong delusion, and God will allow this to sweep away all who have at that point rejected the truth.
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
This will take place in the days of the Antichrist, also known as “that Wicked One.” Antichrist will be revealed at the mid-point of the tribulation. Will God use the events of the tribulation (first 3 1/2 years) to speak to souls, that some former-rejecters might believe? It could be. God is gracious. But scripture affords no positive hope of this, nor do we read of any earth-dwellers accepting the gospel. In either case, those who reject the gospel now will be in a very dangerous position, because whenever the truth is rejected Satan moves in to blind the minds of those who do not believe (2 Cor. 4:4). At the mid-point of the tribulation, the fate of “rejecters” will be sealed.
“Received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” This is clearly speaking of the truth of the Word of God presented to a person. When someone is born again, they have a new life that loves the truth. These ones refuse it.
“Believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Not only do they refuse it but they “believe it not”. In order to discount something as true, you have to hear it. Paul tells us that justification is by faith alone. These are those when believe not. Furthermore, they have “pleasure in unrighteousness.” This gives us the positive reason why they reject the gospel… they love their unrighteous lifestyle, and don’t want it to change.
What will be the end of these ones? “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned.” They will be deceived by the lies of the Antichrist. There will be great confusion at that time, pictured by clouds of smoke that blot out the sun (Rev. 9:2). The “strong delusion” itself comes from God (2 Thess. 2:11). God will judicially blind them to the obvious truth, and harden their hearts as He hardened Pharaoh’s heart so many years ago. The book of Revelation refers to a certain class of people living in the seven-year tribulation as “them that dwell upon the earth.” If you look at the references, it is not just random people living on the earth, it is those that are opposed to God and His purpose. They are those who have rejected heaven, and chosen earth. Read more about this deception in Revelation 13:14.
“And it [the second beast] deceives those that dwell upon the earth by reason of the signs which it was given to it to work before the beast, saying to those that dwell upon the earth to make an image to the beast, which has the wound of the sword, and lived.” Revelation 13:14
Therefore, we can see that earth dwellers will be swept up into the delusion of Antichrist, and afterwards will have no further opportunity. Also, it says ALL (Rev. 13:8). There are no exceptions at that point.
The door of mercy is open now, but one day it will be closed. The privilege of hearing the Gospel preached does not gain you anything if found outside the door of mercy when it closes.
“When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” Luke 13:25-27
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation.” Hebrews 2:3