Tribulation Saints – The Lost We Don’t Yet See
In Acts 2:1-41, we read about the beginning of the Church, where 3,000 people put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, repented of their sins, and received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Later, after Jesus resurrected, He said in Mathew 28:18-20 (ESV) “And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Collectively, the Church, consisting of hundreds of millions of believers, has been on a God-given mission since Christ spoke those words.
That mission continues to this day, just as it should because Christ commanded us to reach the Lost. It wasn’t a suggestion. Our goal, in cooperation with the work of the Holy Spirit, is to be about the Father’s business this very hour. Our friend, Amir Tsarfati, often admonishes his audience to do so. As a Watchman for the Lord, it occurred to me that the nearness of the Rapture of the Church is so close that it raises a very critical new consideration.
ARE THE LOST ONLY THOSE IN THIS PRE-RAPTURE GENERATION?
The short answer is no. There are two principles we need to understand. First, there is a portion of the Body of Christ that will come to faith after the Rapture. John calls them “a great multitude.” Millions of people will come to faith in Jesus during the Tribulation. Verse 7 describes “a great multitude,” and verse 14 identifies them as “coming out of the Great Tribulation.” They are clearly believers because they are dressed in white robes gathered before the throne of the Lamb.
Revelation 7:9-14 (ESV) “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.’ Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones coming out of the Great Tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’”
The second point to consider is, some teach that it will be impossible for anyone to be saved after the Rapture, including those that heard the Gospel before the Rapture but didn’t put their full faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. That is not our belief at I Am A Watchman. There is a great article on GotQuestions.org Will there be a second chance after the Rapture? I recommend you read it in full. Here is a small excerpt.
“If no one can come to Christ during the Tribulation, then why are people being beheaded for their faith (Revelation 20:4)? No passage of Scripture argues against people having a chance to be saved after the Rapture. Many passages indicate the opposite.
Those saved during the Tribulation, then, are those who had never heard the Gospel before the Rapture. The “proof text” for this view is 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, which says the Antichrist will work miracles to deceive “those who are perishing” and that God Himself will “send them a powerful delusion” to confirm them in their unbelief. The reason given is that “they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (verse 10). Granted, those who are hard-hearted toward the Gospel before the Rapture are likely to remain so. And the Antichrist will deceive many (Matthew 24:5). But “those who refused to love the truth” does not necessarily refer to people who heard the Gospel before the Rapture. It could be anyone who wholly rejects God’s salvation at any time. So, there is no clear scriptural evidence to support this view.”
IMPLICATIONS FOR WATCHMEN
I went through an important shift in perspective that came from the nine months of prayer, strategy, and effort, our I Am A Watchman team spent developing the Rapture Kit (visit rapturekit.org). I had an epiphany. My role as a Watchman is not over just because we are raptured!
Watchmen – seeing the convergence of signs in this hour – are in the best possible position to project the Gospel truth into the future…past the Post-Rapture boundary. So, it is a dual mission now: Continue to reach the lost today, and simultaneously reach the lost after the Rapture. Yes—we must redefine the lost to include those that come to faith after the Rapture. I and many others believe we are so close to the Rapture that we must begin to include a new contingent of people.
We know who the lost are today; they are our family members, co-workers, friends, and neighbors, and people we meet in our day-to-day life. If you stop and think about it, it is the same after the Rapture. The only difference for the unbeliever is whether or not the Rapture has occurred.
“We must get our head around the fact that we must begin to consider Tribulation Saints just as much a burden now as those in our present-day before the Rapture. These are our future Brothers and Sisters that we will spend all eternity with; they are just not part of the Church Age, they will not be Raptured, and very unfortunately, will be left behind. But make no mistake, those that put their trust and faith in Jesus after the Rapture are our Brothers and Sisters nonetheless.” Scott E. Townsend
There are unique challenges in the post-Rapture mission field that do not exist today. The Antichrist will be revealed, and it is predicted that a great deception is coming (Matthew 24:24); the spirit of Antichrist is in the world and inflicting an even stronger demonic worldview than what we witness today (1 John 4:2-3). There will be open war against the Saints (Revelation 13:7); anyone that rejects the requirement to worship the image of the Beast will be killed (Revelation 13:15).
It is this writer’s position that there will be a gap between the Rapture when the Antichrist can seize full control over world systems to form the one-world government, one-world financial system, and one-world religion. Governments just don’t hand over their sovereignty in a day. It will take some time.
My request of the Lord is a gap of 60-90 days so that those who knew the doctrine of Salvation, those that thought they were a Christians, those that held alternative and false religious doctrine will come to immediate repentance and call out to the Lord for a true saving relationship with Him before the influences of the Antichrist begin to assert total control.
It will be too late for them to escape what is coming—and this is heartbreaking for all of us—but they will spend eternity in glory with us if they believe and call on His name!
So, what do we do as members of the Watchmen community? Well, we must prepare to push the Gospel by any means past the Rapture boundary. This is in addition to all we do now to study what is happening in the world, warn those in our sphere of influence, preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and point to His soon return.
We will not be here, but the mission field is great (see Revelation 14:14-16), and we are the ones responsible for equipping a future generation of believers. We need to do it now! More on how to project the Gospel into the future in the next article in this series.
For now, please understand that our historical view of who the lost are (today’s pre-Rapture world population) must be radically reconsidered to include those past the Rapture boundary. Our Brothers and Sisters that come to faith in the Tribulation are depending on us to give them the tools for belief in Jesus Christ, help them kickstart the Church as it goes underground, and provide them with every opportunity to pour out their lives while they still can to reach and save the Lost of their generation!
What an honor it is for us to participate in the future Post Rapture mission field!
Scott E. Townsend, founder
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