J3 – Judgment at RAPTURE

Clouds and rainbow

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.

Also see our articles “Prophetic Timeline of Future Events” and “Rapture is real – Saints are Changed

Is it Spirit of God or Spirit of Christ?

Holy Spirit

The Spirit of Christ

In the book of Romans, Paul wrote about the “Spirit of Christ” and the “Spirit of God” (Ro 8:9,10). In the King James Version, he also speaks of the “Spirit of Life” (Ro 8:2 KJV). Jesus spoke of One who would comfort, advocate for us and be in us, the “Spirit of Truth” (John 16:13). And, in the Book of Acts (Acts 2:4) we read of the “Holy Spirit.” So, how many “Spirits” (from God) are there?

Paul’s answered this for the Ephesians:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:4-6

It is very clear from the context of the entire chapter of Romans 8, that Paul is using different terms to describe the same “Spirit of God.” The slight changes refer to the different work that the Holy Spirit performs. This is significant because every born again believer has the Spirit of God living in them (1Co 3:16 CSB). They may at times not be “filled” with the Holy Spirit and consequently be more filled with their own desires. This may be what Paul meant in Romans 8:5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” 

Some pentecostals argue that, in Acts 2:4 the “Holy Spirit” came upon the believers and they “were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” They may expand this to say that (in reference to Romans 8:11), unless one has experienced the gift of being “filled with the Holy Spirit” and “[spoken] in tongues,” they will not go in the rapture. Others go so far as to teach that you are not fully “saved” unless and until you speak with tongues.

Although we acknowledge that believers can (and should) be “filled” (baptized) with the Holy Spirit, and that they may “speak in tongues,” we do NOT believe that speaking in tongues is required in order to be born again.

In summary, there is only one Spirit of God and that other titles (e.g., “Spirit of Christ,” “Spirit of truth,” etc) are all referring to the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. There are also references in the Bible to the “spirit of man” (1Co 2:11 KJV), “spirit of the world” (1Co 2:12), etc, but they clearly are of a different character.