Green apples with red in heap
Doctrine

Election or Ratification – part II

Does the Holy Spirit Leave after the Rapture, after which salvation is no  longer offered?

 

The question then is that after the church age, thus after the rapture, does salvation continue to be offered, and of course, does God through his sovereignty, continue to elect and save people?

At the point of the rapture, all the saints, both old testament, and new testament church age saints are caught up into heaven and according to 1 Corinthians 15:51

…will all be changed…For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

And 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 states

“…and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words”.

Clearly then, all saints are now in heaven to be forever with the Lord and with a new imperishable and immortal body.

But, since all saints are removed from earth is not the Holy Spirit also gone and therefore there is no salvation after the rapture since he is the agent of salvation.

One of the bible verses that many cite in support of this position is 2 Thessalonians 2:7 which states

“…however, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way.”

Regardless of how this is interpreted, “taken out of the way” does not necessarily mean to be removed from the world. Romans 1 seems to indicate this same concept where it repeats that “he gave them over”. If we recognize that the Holy Spirit is a restrainer of sin, he at times and for specific reasons loosens his restraint and that I believe is all that this is stating.

But even more importantly, and this should be able to be grasped without specific verses, the Holy Spirit is part of the Triune God and one of the characteristics of God is his omnipresence. That is, God is everywhere. There is no place where God is not.

Granted, one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit was as a comforter to the believer but he was both present and active in the spiritual conversions of Old Testament saints and will be so both in the Tribulation and the Millenium.

If there is no salvation in the Tribulation, what are the point of the 2 witnesses, the 3 angels, and the 144,000 Jewish evangelists?

No doubt, the Tribulation will be an interesting time. There are the two witnesses that constantly share the gospel and can not be killed for the first 3 1/2 years and even have amazing power as Revelation 11:5 relates

“And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies”.

They are killed finally in Jerusalem and lie dead for the whole world to see for 3 1/2 days until God raises them from the dead and brings them into heaven.

If that’s not strange enough, Revelation 14:6-9 relates the presence of three angels

I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Then a third angel followed…”.

Finally, there are 144,000 Jewish evangelists, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes, with nothing to do but preach the gospel full time.

Quite simply, if these were saved before the tribulation, they would have been caught up in the Rapture. So they must have been saved in the Tribulation.

Additionally, they are sealed – Revelation 7:4

“And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand…”.

Thus they walked into the Millenium as humans. If the Millenium is to grow over the 1,000 years, someone (a female) has to have babies. Logically, these will be redeemed individuals who survived the tribulation – so they are also saved during the Tribulation.

Now, does sealed mean they were not harmed in the Tribulation? Apparently, because in Revelation 14:1 it says

“Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads”.

So this is after the Day of the Lord when the Jesus reclaims the title deed to the earth after defeating Satan, the Anti-Christ, and the False Prophet.

 

So what about other believers during the Tribulation?

 

Where are they spoken of?

Let’s look again at Revelation 7 and verse 9, 13 and 14

After these things, I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes…”. Then one of the elders 13 answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the 14 …great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.

Now, remember, all the saints from the Rapture have glorified bodies – these redeemed have white robes. Also note that there is a great multitude, which no one could number.

Clearly, these are the elect that received salvation from the efforts of the two witnesses, the three angels and the 144, 000 Jewish evangelists. And many would be martyred while others would initially populate the millennium as Matthew 24:22 states

And unless those days were shortened, 22 no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

Conclusion

 

It seems clear from God’s word that not only will there be people saved in the Tribulation, but a great multitude which no one could number will be saved.

The Tribulation will result in one of the greatest revivals of redeemed Christians in history.

Not bad for seven years.

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