It is estimated that approximately 70% of professing Christians believe that Jesus Christ is going to return. Of these, only about 25% believe in the “rapture”. Put into perspective, about 2 out of 10 Christians believe there is a day coming when the Lord Jesus Christ will instantly gather together His church to meet Him in the air. The question then becomes what do the other 8 believe?
Logically about 6 out of ten Christians believe Jesus is coming back to earth to set up His eternal kingdom here. One is to assume that these Christians believe that this earth is our home for all of eternity. Studies have indicated that most Christians who do not believe in the rapture also believe that no one will be left behind and there will be a day in the future when this world is a perfect utopia with no crime or sickness or death and Jesus as King.
The concept of “heaven” is so grossly misunderstood and abused; it is truly hard to establish what people mean when they say dearly beloved so and so is “in heaven”. Where is heaven and what are goes on there? For the vast majority of Christians, heaven is a place in the sky guarded by pearly gates and one must sign in with St. Peter to gain entrance. This image has so permeated people’s minds they never stop to think if it makes any sense Biblically or otherwise.
Furthermore, it seems to make no difference to most Christians whether a person is saved or not, as that seems to not be a requirement to gain entrance into heaven. The general consensus is that Jesus loves everyone and thus everyone goes to heaven after they die. Yet, many of these same people believe Jesus is coming back to establish his kingdom on earth. Logically then, “heaven” must be a temporary place to sit around and catch up on books, videos and conversation until such a time in the future when everyone is reunited here on earth as one big happy family.
The line of demarcation between those who believe the Bible is the revealed Word and will of God vs. those who think it is simply the “good book” is huge. If a person rejects the authority of the Bible, then where is such authority going to be found? Unfortunately it usually ends up in each person’s mind as whatever they want to believe is true. Of course most people want to believe Jesus loves everyone and thus everyone goes to “heaven” and will end back up on earth to spend eternity playing soccer, cooking steaks on the grill, watching movies and lounging around the pool.
To those who reject the authority of the Word of God, talk of an event such as the “rapture” is absolute foolishness. To the vast majority of Christians (roughly 80%), the idea of Jesus Christ only taking a few chosen ones with Him on some mysterious space trip is a joke. Many others denounce the rapture as being grossly unfair and something a loving God would never do. The idea of God punishing people for their unbelief is a totally foreign concept to much of Christianity.
Perhaps 30% of so-called Christianity not only doesn’t believe in a rapture event, they do not believe Christ is ever returning. Evidently, to these people, when one dies either their life simply ends and that is the end of things, or they believe as the others did that when one dies, they go to heaven and stay there forever. Once again though, heaven to these people is for everyone, not just “Christians”. If heaven is for everyone, why bother to become a Christian?
Of all the people who claim to be “Christian” in the world today, very few of them are truly born again and a tiny fraction of them have totally dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ and declared publically that He is their Lord. Most people who claim to be a “Christian” do so in the same way they claim to be Caucasian or African American or Jewish. Christianity is not a race nor is it simply a classification of religious belief.
The overwhelming majority of people who attend a Christian church on Saturday or Sunday are no more Christians than the person who attends an Islamic mosque or a Jewish synagogue. Membership in a particular church body does not make a person a Christian. Being sprinkled, dunked or drowned in water does not make a person a Christian. Confessing creeds and memorizing church doctrines does not make a person a Christian. Giving away all one’s belongings to the poor does not make that person a Christian.
Isn’t it interesting that those who do not believe in the rapture also don’t believe there is any type of commitment involved with being born again. The two go hand in hand. The reason people don’t believe in the rapture is because they lack the commitment to believe they will be one of the chosen ones to be a part of the event. It is that simple folks.
If one believes the Bible then one must fulfill the requirements of Romans 10:9 to be born again. One must confess Jesus to be Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead. Although many preach this verse, few understand what it is saying. Salvation is not obtained by merely saying a “sinner’s prayer” and then something magical happens. Salvation is a heart issue that comes from the depths of a person’s soul where they acknowledge that they are a sinner and that Jesus Christ paid for that sin and is their Savior. A person must believe in the entire redemptive process for this to take place.
Salvation comes from the mouth where a person confesses that Jesus is Lord and not themselves or anything else in this life. This confession begins as a simple acknowledgment that Jesus IS Lord and becomes a commitment that He is YOUR Lord. When this level of commitment is reached, then there is no longer any doubt whether one is saved, and the Rapture then becomes something not only believed in but longed for.
In conclusion, those who believe in the rapture come from every denomination and non-denominational group. Belief in the rapture is NOT denominational. Those who believe in the rapture have one thing in common; and that is the absolute conviction that they are born again and that the day is fast approaching when the trumpet of God will sound and be heard by only those who will be instantly changed and appear in the presence of their Lord Jesus Christ in the air to forever be with Him.
Those who do not believe will not be a part of the event. Those who are totally persuaded in their heart that they are born again have already received the token of their eternal inheritance which will be redeemed when the trumpet sounds. For those of us who have chosen to devote our lives to our Lord Jesus Christ, there is no day more anticipated than the one soon coming when we will see Him face to face and bask in His glory and majesty in the heavenlies.