Judgment at Rapture
The judgment of Death is the point where a person is either allowed entry into heaven, or condemned to hell. The basis of that judgment is the blood of Jesus Christ. If (by grace) all your sins are under the blood of Jesus when you die, you are taken to heaven. But at the rapture of the church, the living must be judged – individually – to determine if they are eligible to be caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air (1Th 4:17). What is the basis of that judgment?
(For additional facts about the rapture, visit our article here.)
What is required to go in the rapture?
The entire concept of a rapture is based upon the catching away of Christian saints. The question is, who qualifies and what is the basis of that selection? Some theologians teach that every living Christian will go in the rapture. Others say that one must be “filled” with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). Different teachers may also add other requirements. But, each theory assumes a judgment to determine who is validated to go.
It is not logical that someone could be raptured if they were not born again, so the first requirement would certainly the same as at the Judgment of death. But there may be some additional requirements. Consider these Scriptures and see if they pertain to the rapture qualifications. (Click on the links to learn more about a particular issue or Bible reference.)
- Prayerful: “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36
- Without spiritual blemish: “to present [the church] to himself (Christ) as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Eph 5:27
- Belong to Christ: “But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” 1Co 15:23
- Spirit of Christ in you: “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:11
- Holiness: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
These may be requirements of simply being a Christian – but I doubt it. They seem to suggest something MORE that is available to the child of God. Some of these requirements may overlap while others are quite unique. The first three are commonly accepted. The last two are more controversial and I have written articles on each to deal with them further. (Spirit of Christ and Holiness)
The idea of God requiring holiness to go in the rapture is a significant issue. The Scripture at Hebrews 12:14 speaks of seeing the Lord but everyone will see him at some point in time (Romans 14:11 and Rev 1:11). So, this must refer to a different “see the Lord.” I believe that it refers to when He comes in the clouds to receive His church (1Th 4:17). Only those who are resurrected and the living saints who are raptured will see Him at that time. To all the world, this coming in the air (and all it entails) is invisible. Likely the only thing those left behind will see is the ABSENCE of someone who is taken.
The final issue concerning the rapture judgment seems to be, “Will the innocent children be taken?” I plan to offer my ideas in a separate post. But let me be clear, I do NOT believe that God will ultimately condemn those who (because of young age, mental limitations, or other such reasons) are not accountable for their actions.
Let me try to summarize the Judgment at Rapture… There may be some born again believers left behind. There are additional requirements (beyond being born again) that may Christ may impose upon those who will make up his bride.