I was reading some of the questions and I came across a response regarding accepting Jesus after the tribulation. When I read your response that “After the rapture occurs, many non-Christians will realize the Bible is true and they will turn to God. ” I was somewhat troubled because I have always believed that once the rapture has taken place those that previously heard of Jesus and knowingly rejected Him will have no chance. Correct me if I am wrong, but does believing that you can be saved after the rapture make people believe that accepting Jesus now is not important? The reason I ask this is that I remember years ago people saying that they would wait until the rapture takes place before they get saved. I also remember reading in the Bible that God would allow a strong delusion to come when the Holy Spirit will leave, therefore no convicting work will take place.
The key questions you have asked appear to be: 1) Can people be saved in the tribulation? and 2) Should we tell people that they can accept Jesus during the tribulation?
Saved During The Tribulation?
The answer to this question has two parts. First, if the Holy Spirit is removed during the tribulation how can anyone be saved? The answer is that people will be saved during the tribulation just as people were saved in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament but He did not dwell in them permanently. Here are some examples.
And He has filled him with the Spirit of God . . . (NASB) Exodus 35:31
Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them . . . (NASB) Numbers 11:17
So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit . . .” (NASB) Numbers 27:18
And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him . . . (NASB) Judges 3:10
So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon . . . (NASB) Judges 6:34
Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul . . . (NASB) 1 Samuel 16:14
. . .And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me . . . Psalm 51:11
But they rebelled And grieved His Holy Spirit . . . Isaiah 63:10
Then in the New Testament, we find that Jesus says He will send the Holy Spirit after He leaves.
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me . . . (NASB) John 15:26
Now we have a question which we must ask, “If the Holy Spirit was already active in the Old Testament, in what unique way did Jesus send the Holy Spirit in the New Testament?” The answer is that the Holy Spirit starts living inside a Christian and never leaves until he or she died. The Holy Spirit is the seal of God’s promise (Eph. 1:13) and the guarantee that we belong to God. If the Spirit lives in us, we will be led by the Spirit.
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (NASB) Romans 8:14
So the Holy Spirit has always been active on earth but not living inside of men and women permanently before the day of Pentecost. After Pentecost the Holy Spirit started living permanently inside of believers until they die. This means that people living during the tribulation can be saved also. The Holy Spirit will be active but not living permanently in believers. It will be a horrible life and many who accept Jesus will die for their faith. Revelation 7:4-13 tells us that there will 144,000 evangelists or missionaries for Jesus Christ during the tribulation and the following passage tells us that many will become Christians during the tribulation.
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation 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.” And one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where have they come?”And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (NASB) Revelation 7:9-14
People are saved during the tribulation.
Telling The Truth
You ask an interesting question, “Should we tell people that they can accept Jesus during the tribulation?” Let me answer the question two ways. First, I am responsible for accurately teaching what the Bible says. I do not want to sin by distorting what the Bible says. I am aware that many manipulate the Bible in order to support some philosophy or opinion they hold. But we are not responsible for someone’s misuse of truth. We are only responsible for teaching what God has said.
Second, I hope no one is waiting until the tribulation to be saved because the tribulation may not come during their life time. The tribulation will be a horrible time of suffering. But if someone did find themselves in the tribulation and found this question on this website, I would want them to know the truth that they can be saved by believing in Jesus.
Today is the day of salvation and not tomorrow. We cannot be sure that we will live until tomorrow to believe in Jesus. If you’d like to learn what it means to believe, visit the page Searching For God.