A large number of Christians today believe in the Rapture doctrine as taught by Tim LeHaye in the Left Behind series and other Christian leaders. The Rapture, as they would call it, is a time in the future where Jesus Christ will secretly remove all faithful, bible believing Christians from the earth in one dramatic moment leaving the rest of humanity grappling with the chaos and difficulties that ensue. Part of what is taught with this doctrine is the idea that all those who have been left behind will have one last opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior before Christ’s return seven years from the date of the secret rapture.
Will End Time Humans Get a Second Chance?
In this article I want to examine the biblical evidence for this idea of having a second chance to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Is it possible that God is going to warn the world to get their act together or else?
If we look at what Jesus had to say about the end of the world we get some clues as to God’s intentions. In Matthew 24:36-39 we read the following:
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
Jesus here points us back to the story of Noah and the flood. We can find that story in the bible in Genesis 6. In Genesis 6 we find God seeing the great evil on the earth and that humanity’s thoughts were only evil continually (verse 5). In verse 6 he makes a remarkable statement. “And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” You know it has to have gotten pretty bad for God to have felt that! So what is his solution? Verse 7 has the answer, “So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.””. God decided that he was going to wipe out all land dwelling things. In the whole earth, God only found one man who was righteous or good, Noah.
God then asks Noah to prepare an ark, a ship, that would preserve Noah, his wife, his three sons and their three wives. The Bible doesn’t record that Noah was even required to warn people. Of course, building a big ship on dry land nowhere near water would have no doubt attracted a lot of attention. The bible doesn’t even record how long it took Noah to build the ark but once it was built, God sent animals and birds of every kind to the ark to be preserved in it. The ark then stayed there for 7 long days without a drop of rain falling. Noah was warned by God that the rain would fall in seven days. No doubt the people of the day however, gathered around the ark to make fun of its inhabitants because it didn’t even seem like the rain would ever come. On that seventh day however, Noah and his family entered the ark and God closed the door behind them. (Gen. 7:13)
On that seventh day, Genesis 7:11 tells us that the “fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of heaven were opened.” And the rain fell for forty days and forty nights (Gen. 7:12). The bible then records that it rained for forty days and so much water was released from the heavens and from the earth that all the mountains under the heavens were covered with over 20 feet of water. (Gen. 7:20) Finally, verse 23 tells us that every living thing on the earth died including all mankind except those that were in the ark.
Did the Antediluvian get a second chance?
Jesus uses this story to make a comparison with the time of the end. Now, having gone over this story, do you see anywhere in that story that the people of the day were given a second chance? Certainly they had ample opportunity to turn back to God while Noah was building the ark. God even gave them seven days after the animals were packed in the ark as well and yet no one responded to the signs. Only Noah and his immediate family ended up being saved. Everyone else turned away.
Did the antediluvians get a second chance? Clearly not. So if we go back to what Jesus said in Matthew 24:37-39, we can come to one of two conclusions. One, that Jesus meant that only eight people would be saved at the end of time or two, just like in Noah’s day, at the end of time people would not believe it was the end, they would be unwilling to repent of their evil and because of their spiritual blindness, they would end up surprised on the day of their destruction. Over and over again Jesus warns us that he comes like a thief. Check out the following verses:
“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” – Revelation 16:15
“But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.” – Matthew 24:43
“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:2
“But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:4
In my next article we’ll take a look at what this reference of ‘come like a thief’ really means. For now though, know that it means that Christ’s coming will surprise the world. They won’t expect it. They won’t be ready for it. They won’t have believed all the warning signs of his imminent coming. They will have been sleeping.
We all get one life to live. When our time comes, we will fall asleep, then comes the judgment. We don’t get multiple kicks at the can. None of us know when our time will come. We should not delay in coming to Jesus because tomorrow hasn’t been promised to us. I urge you friend, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior today! You won’t regret it.