After the rapture, will Christians still exist on the earth?
After the rapture, many important events will occur. But first, we will define the rapture and when it will occur relative to the tribulation. The rapture is defined as the catching up of all Christians to meet Christ in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). This will occur just before the Day of the Lord starts (1 Thessalonians 4:16-5:2, see 5:2), and the Day of the Lord starts with the tribulation period (Daniel 9:27). That is, the rapture occurs just before the tribulation. Immediately after the rapture, there will not be any Christians on the earth because all Christians will have been removed. that is, after the rapture there will not be any Christians be on the earth. What follows explains what happens after the rapture.
What Happens After the Rapture?
1 Thessalonians 4:16-5:2 teaches us that after the rapture the Day of the Lord begins. The Day of the Lord comes as a thief of the night. We cannot know when the Day of the Lord will begin. If the rapture were to occur in the middle of the tribulation or at the end of the tribulation it would not occur as a thief in the night. The day of the Lord would not be a surprise since the tribulation is seven years long. That means the middle (3.5 years) and end of the tribulation (7.0 years) will be known. That is the message of 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 and Daniel 9:27. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:3 the Day of the Lord begins with peace. That is, the tribulation begins with peace and the destruction will start 3.5 years later. This is consistent with Daniel 9:27. Joel 2:31 also refers to the Day of the Lord and then in chapter three (Joel 3:9-17) a description of the tribulation is given, including Armageddon (Joel 3:12). The destruction and Armageddon is described in Revelation 6-19.
What happens after the rapture during the time of destruction? Revelation 6:1-17 gives us a summary. Verses 3-4 reveal that the tribulation will be filled with war and blood. Verses 5-6 describes famine. Verses 7-8 teaches us that death will occur. In fact, one-third of the population of the world will die. Verses 9-11 tells us that there will be Christians in the tribulation who will be martyred. Horrible and oppressive terror will occur in verses 12-17. That is, there will be Christians in the tribulation. But how will people become Christians in the tribulation if all the Christians are removed at the rapture? The answer is given in the next section.
Non-Believers Can Become Christians After The Rapture
Now we should ask, what happens to non-believers after the rapture? Can people become a Christian after the rapture? The answer is that at the rapture all Christians are removed from the earth. After the rapture, some non-believers will become Christians. The book of Revelation reveals that God will send the 144,000 witnesses (Revelation 7:4-8), the two witnesses (Revelation 11:1-10) and an angel to preach the gospel (Revelation 14:6) about Jesus Christ. The world will be called to repent but the vast majority will refuse and instead curse God (Revelation 16:21). That is there will be a second chance after the rapture for people to become a Christian. Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17 reveal that some people will become Christians in the tribulation. Yet, many of these Christians will die (Revelation 20:4). To become a Christian means almost certain death. Therefore, after the rapture, will there be Christians be on the earth? The answer is yes!
The wonderful news for Christians who are raptured before the tribulation is that they will escape this evil and corrupt world that “lies in the power of the evil one” (Isaiah 13:11; 1 John 5:19). They will also be rescued from the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10). But it is bad news for non-Christians who enter the tribulation and suffer horribly. Additionally, there will not be any Christians to explain what happened or how to become a Christian in order to go to heaven. Non-Christians will either have to remember what they heard from a pastor or other Christian, listen to a sermon about the future or read about the rapture and how to become a Christian. How does a person have their sins forgiven and go to heaven? The answer is they need to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was resurrected in order to forgive our sins. Jesus has promised that anyone who believes in Him will never perish but have eternal life. That is, they will not go to hell but to heaven.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NASB)
For more information about how to have your sins forgiven and go to heaven, read “Searching for God — Go To Heaven.”
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