Home » Prophecy Line » Who Goes in the Rapture?

Who Goes in the Rapture?

Listening to a man who was obviously a pastor this morning, I was thinking how clearly he was laying out the pre-Trib view of the Age of Grace and the Rapture.

I’ve never heard it presented more clearly than he was teaching it. I can’t see the screen and they didn’t announce his name. (And I probably wouldn’t mention it if I did know his name and program, because this commentary gives only partial kudos to the gentleman.)

As I was saying, the sermon was about as clearly delivered as I’ve heard. It was very simple, and right on the money, from my understanding of what God’s Word has to say about the Rapture.

The man said that, at an unknown time, Christ will call the Church into the air, where believers will forever be with our Lord. Antichrist will arise, and all will be turned into the worst times in human history back on earth, according to Jesus as recorded in the Olivet Discourse.

He then launched into thoughts based upon three questions. I don’t remember the other two because the third was the one he dwelt on—and his take on things from that point definitely piqued my discernment radar system. The question was something like: “Who goes in the Rapture?” –Meaning who will leave this planet when Jesus calls, “come up here?”

He started by saying some disagree with him—including his wife. She believes, he said, that all Christians will go to be with the Lord when the Rapture occurs. The man then said that he believes Christians who don’t believe in the pre-Trib Rapture are likely to stay while those who do believe in the pre-Trib Rapture will go when Christ calls.

To restate, he said those who believe in the pre-Trib view are the ones who go to Christ at that great event, and Christians who don’t believe will be left behind. He muddled it all by saying only believers will go, and indicated that he believes all others who are Christians will be left behind with the lost of the world to go through the Tribulation.

This, of course, is all part of what is called the “partial Rapture”  theory. He was not preaching the pre-Trib position, although he evidently thought he was.

I was taken aback that, after laying out such a clear position on the pre-Trib Rapture, he veered so dramatically by saying something the Bible doesn’t teach.

The Rapture is a powerful and absolute doctrine taught in God’s Holy Word. But belief in the Rapture is not, I repeat not, the prerequisite for what it takes to be part of the millions of Christians who will be lifted in a millisecond of time when Christ says: “Come up here!”

I can’t remember the preacher’s Scripture to back up that some Christians will be left behind because of not believing in the pre-Trib Rapture, because I wasn’t taking notes. But the Scripture, I do remember, was taken out of context and used in his mistaken view.

The way he explained his view, it’s what a Christian believes that matters. That is, the person must believe in the pre-Trib Rapture. He never mentioned, that I heard, that it’s whom they believe in that matters. It is in whom the person believes—period—that makes the person part of those who will instantaneously evacuate this doomed planet at the Lord’s call.

Didn’t Jesus tell us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father but by me”?  I hear nothing in that statement other than “Jesus is the only way.”

Belief in anything other is a false concept—even a deadly one. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that covers our sin—past, present, and future.

So, to believe in anyone or anything besides Jesus for salvation misses the mark and dooms one to Hell, apart from God forever.

Paul the apostle makes it very clear about in whom people must believe to be saved. We use this passage, as you know, quite frequently. I don’t want people to miss what is required to go to the Father, rather than to the other place.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)

The same Paul tells about the Rapture of the Church. He lays out very clearly exactly who will go to Christ when He calls us.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)

Paul further says the following:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16–18)

Paul did not write that “some” will go when Christ calls. He said “all” (believerswill go in that glorious moment to be with their Lord. And we are to “comfort” ourselves with that assurance.

If you truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are saved. Nothing and nobody can ever take you out of God’s mighty hand (read Romans 8:38-39 for proof from God’s Word).

The greatest question for you, personally, is: Will you be one who goes to Jesus when He calls all Christians into the air? Only you can answer. We prayerfully hope you can answer a resounding “yes!” Believe me, everything happening points to the reality that his call will happen at any moment!

And when you see all these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your head; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)


  1. Paula says:

    Is it possible for some children to be left behind, Dave Regan said the children were not spared in Sodem and Gomorrah and in Noah the great flood. With the trans gender movement and exposure of LGBT to young children could maybe these children become demon possessed at a younger age.

    • GWA says:

      There is an age of accountability Sis Paula and it’s different for each child. I heard a Pastor put it perfectly one time “when they realize they are naked they are at the age of accountability. But, as in all things this is in God’s hands. BUT, I believe all children BELOW the age of accountability will be taken. I don’t know if anyone agrees with me and I am only speaking for myself.

      • Paula says:

        Thank you for your prompt answer, I do absolutely agree with you however I have a deep burden for our children because never before have they been under such spiritual attack. It’s like if Satan can’t destroy them in the womb he’ll destroy their tender spirit

    • vr96 says:

      What I’ve heard preached, and believe, is that when children become old enough to wonder at the creation and the wondrous miracle of everything they see, they’ve reached the age of accountability.

  2. Ruth L says:

    Both the dead and the living “in Christ” will go. So he would be saying that those already in Heaven, who didn’t believe in the pre-trib rapture before they died, and who are with the Lord right now, won’t be in the Rapture. They’re already in Heaven, but they don’t get their immortal bodies when the pre-trib believers do? That’s absurd.

    • Mary Anne Biele says:

      Those who have died before, are asleep and will be raised incorruptible with their new bodies, as we who are alive will also, at the same time.

      • Ruth L says:

        I believe that’s what I said in the first sentence. I was questioning how anyone could believe that the dead in Christ who are in Heaven could be denied their new bodies just because they didn’t believe in a pre-trib rapture before they died. Makes no sense.

  3. A Clark says:

    A perspective that would impose such conditions to being included in the rapture is no less than works righteousness. Back to performance based salvation. The only difference between true Christians who accept the pre trib teaching and those who don’t is the complete astonishment of those who don’t when they are taken up in the rapture.

    • Chris Madder says:

      Exactly, I do hope Ruth L takes comfort from that, I have heard rumblings of the ‘partial Rapture’ for a while now and Terry has clarified it so much. Honestly what kind of a god do these people believe in that they should actually bring grief to true disciples of Jesus Christ of Nazareth but who just are not that concerned with the timing of, or the existence of the Rapture? It’s not a god I would want to know, my God, and I am sure everybody else who is commenting here would agree, our God is not like that, as Jesus’ free gift ceases to be ‘free’. As was pointed out ‘partial rapture’ becomes a ‘salvation plus works’ gospel – horrifying. It was comforting to read that even the pastor’s wife does not believe in the partial rapture – I bet she is most occupied in prayer for him.

  4. Dan Gilbert says:

    Hi Terry,
    Have you ever thought about the average age of those to be raptured? There are 2.6B people under the age of 20 in the world today. Maybe 1.6B under the age of accountibility? 1.66B abortions worldwide since 1980! Add this 3.3B to all the children and stillborns to have ever died early in the last 6,000 years and you would find a very large number indeed! We born again Christians may find ourselves quite outnumbered by fellow souls who never got a chance to experience adulthood.
    What do you think?

    • Terry James says:

      I haven’t really thought of just how massive that number might be. I believe you are really onto something. Thankfully, everyone of the people you’ve mention will be with Jesus.

      Don’t know about the 20 year old mark you mention, but all else, I agree that it’s profound to consider.

      • Nancy Kammerzell says:

        My question is, The dead go first where have they been since their death? All the rest I am pretty clear on.

      • chris madder says:

        Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Has He ever let you down or failed in any of the promises He has given you? Is He a good God? If you can answer these questions: yes, no, and yes, then, perhaps, you can leave the details of where the dead are right now with Him. Would the God of the earth deceive us? Surely deception is part of the devil’s strategy. Just be assured that at the Rapture the dead ‘in Christ’ (very important) will rise FIRST. Personally I believe they are with Jesus right now but not yet in their ‘glorified bodies’, how that works out I am not sure but then God is not a man that He should lie, and He has told us that they shall rise first, His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts, He is infinite and we are finite and, because of that latter statement, we are completely unable to understand every detail of what God has planned for His children (John 1:11-13). The bottom line is that: “ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16

  5. Harvey says:

    We must be born again. There is no other qualification, as Terry says, than putting our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whenever the Rapture comes, we will be ready, if our confidence is in Him. As for the age of for the age of accountability, we can confidently leave that too, in Gods hands.

  6. Ed Wood says:

    Here’s is Jesus’ answer to those who asked him what one must do to be doing the works of God:

    John {6:28} Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? {6:29} Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    I would therefore conclude that anyone who does this will soon be on their way off this sorry world to join Jesus in the air.

    You are absolutely right about this, Terry.

  7. Thomas Schmelzer says:

    100%, love looking at scripture for understanding. Thanks for this.
    My question is, Who will the people living on the earth be during the 1,000 year Millennium? We have already died the first death? Yes? Thank you, I look forward to all of your writings.

    • Terry James says:

      All people who are saved and live through the Tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week) will go into the Millennium as flesh and blood people to repopulate the devastated earth.

      We of the Church Age (Age of Grace) who are alive at the Rapture will go to Christ without tasting death. All who have died during this Age will be Resurrected, their bodies and souls rejoined, to meet Christ above earth at the Rapture.

      During the 1000 year Reign of Christ, we of the Church Age will be in supernatural bodies –like the body of Christ—and will be given duties in helping Administrate Christ’s Millennial Kingdom Government.

  8. Kelly says:

    Well written article, and I agree that belief in the rapture is not a prerequisite for being called up. I do know that since studying (and coming to believe in a literal and pretrib rapture), I find this to be an exciting time to see events fall into place and a huge sense of peace about what is to come. I’m sad for those believers that are overcome with fear and worry. As believers they’ll be raptured too, but their hearts are weary with fear in the meantime as the world quickly sets the stage…

    • Harvey says:

      Yes , it disturbs me that some should hold such a fear .That is not of God. He tells us not to fear. I would encourage everyone who does, to seek the Lord for that peace that passes all understanding. It is real. I marveled when I first realised that despite the reality of what is happening, I still had that peace. It is not something we can manufacture. It is not bravery, but a gift from God that every believer can have.

  9. Jeannie says:

    Thank you for your article and I agree that it is absolutely not our belief in the rapture but our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. I do however have some questions on this. Number one, the rapture is a plan of escape, it’s a glorious promise to the bride of Christ. While there is a 7-year period of hell upon Earth the promise of Christ’s return to rescue us from this wrath is our Hope and peace. But Christ placed a great emphasis on being ready for this event and he appeared to be speaking to the church on his emphasis. Shouldn’t we remember that the rapture is a place of refuge and yes it is a resurrection so to speak and the promise to be with the Lord forever but the seven year period many people will still be saved. It’s not as if anybody left behind doesn’t have the opportunity to be saved or is doomed to hell.
    I speak from my heart and I’m inquiring because a few years back I had something devastating happen in my life and instead of fully trusting in the Lord I jumped into a life of sin. I was saved beyond a shadow of a doubt but I chose to jump into sin and to do what I did. Praise God that the word of God says that if any of us sin and confesses that sin he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    My point in confessing all of that to you is in my heart I believe if Christ had returned at the point of time when I so willfully jumped into that mud puddle of sin I’m not sure that I would have went with him. I’m just wondering if the great emphasis on being ready and being able to stand before him unashamed wasn’t spoken for a reason. Does that mean that I would not have been saved or doomed to hell or does it even mean that I was never saved? No I don’t believe so in any of the above. I’m honestly not sure that I could have gotten into that banquet with soiled wedding clothes to be honest with you! God is faithful but I am ever aware that he has given us a will that he will not violate. Again I reiterate that I do not believe that I would have been doomed to hell but I’m pretty convinced that I would not have been snatched out of that mud against my will if he had returned when I was in the middle of it because that was my choice and I would have deserved to have been left to my portion with the hypocrites for the portion of 7 years…
    Your article is on believing in the rapture to participate in it. My questions and concerns are for those who are not ready.

    • Terry James says:

      My question to you is: What did Jesus say on that cross at the moment just before He gave up His Spirit to death? Was it “finished”, “or not?” He did it All for our Salvation from all sin –past, present, and future.

      What can we do to be saved? Can we do anything except believe in our Spiritual hearts and confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus and that He Raised from death?

      Jesus said He would “take up His life again”. If He did so, that means we can have Eternal Life, too.

      Jesus is the very Word of God – John 1: 1-3.

      The Word tells us –through Paul—that nothing and nobody can separate us from God (Romans 8: 38-39). The “us” is all believers. To have some believers left behind in the Rapture would be to separate those from God –from Jesus, Who gave Himself for us –to save us. To save us from what? From Wrath, which is what the Tribulation will be… the Wrath of God.

      Jesus –the Word of God—Spoke through Paul when He was given to write that we shall ALL Be changed. Not “some” but ALL. All, Paul says will go to be with Christ at that Glorious moment (1 Cor. 15: 51-55 and 1 Thes 4: 13-18 .

      What would have happened when you went into sin back there, as you say, had the Rapture occurred at the time? If you were truly Saved –truly believed according to Romans 10: 9-10— you would have gone to Jesus when He Called in the Rapture.

      If you had unconfessed sins at that time you would have lost Heavenly Rewards at the BEMA (Judgment Seat of Christ).

      You would none-the-less been in Heaven at that moment for all of Eternity.

      To be “Worthy” is something to be desired in the sense of being in God’s Will. We want to hear Him say “Well done, good, faithful servant”. We want this because we love Him (as He first Loved us).

      Many believers hold that there will be people who are saved who will be left behind at the Rapture because they are living apart from the Lord in their lives while on earth.

      Thank God those people aren’t the Judge in such matters. Thanks be to God, too, that His Faithfulness to us isn’t like our human faithfulness. He Keeps His Promises absolutely, and His Promises about the matter of Salvation –and this includes the Rapture—will be Fulfilled completely for all Eternity.

      • Chris Madder says:

        There is only one requirement and that is repent (accept your life is not going God’s way). ask for forgiveness for your sins (never forget we are all, without exception, called to ‘love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, strength and souls’ and nobody does that all the time, therefore we have all sinned), and put your faith/trust/belief in Jesus Christ of Nazareth and in His life, death and bodily resurrection. That is ALL, if we have done that then we are saved, no matter what now occurs in our lives, if we have done that with all our hearts, we are saved, period! Our human minds, though, feel that is so unfair and our pride wants us to be able to DO something to contribute to our salvation. We can DO nothing, Jesus has done it all as you so eloquently wrote.

    • Harvey and Colleen Rosieur says:

      Jeannie, There is an old argument or belief that “once saved always saved”. To my way of thinking that is true.
      But! Can you have only 3 months or six months salvation? It is all the way or not at all. In your case, you apparently repented so there is no problem. If you had not, God is the only one who truly knows what is going on in our hearts. I would leave it up to Him, but rebellion is dangerous.
      You mention those saved later. The Tribulation Saints. I imagine that many of those had not made up their minds fully before the Rapture but decided when they realised that all they had heard was true, and believed. Others will come to believe in the course of time. These are all the ones who refuse the mark of the beast. They must lose their heads as a consequence. What a fearful consequence for their delay!
      Remember it is the Holy Spirit who convicts and not simply an idea we have in our minds .We must be born again of the Spirit. Could we really turn back to the old life?

  10. Mary Anne Biele says:

    They are asleep as it says in the Word. They are not aware that they are sleeping, so when they are awakened, they will not be aware of the time on earth that has passed by, somewhat similar to when we go to sleep at night and awake in the morning.

  11. A Clark says:

    So here is something that occurred to me; just throwing it out there to see what people think. If all saved people are taken in the rapture then who is preaching the Gospel for the salvation of those left behind? As Paul said,

    Romans 10:14 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them?

    Presumably, anyone preaching is saved but anyone saved is taken in the rapture. Just putting it out there for comment…

    • GWA says:

      Oooh! I KNOW! PICK ME! PICK ME! Seriously……the 144 thousand…..the 2 Witnesses (which I believe *personally* will be Moses and Elijah) and angels will fly about declaring “the gospel”. And, of course those saved AFTER rapture will be spreading it I would guess.

  12. Mary Anne Biele says:

    I think that the 144,000 Jewish virgin young men; 12,000 from each tribe of Israel will be the ones preaching about Yeshua our Messiah. They have been set aside to share the truth about Messiah. Hopefully many will receive Him as their LORD!

    • Chris Madder says:

      Don’t forget the three angels in Revelation 14. Also you don’t have to ‘think’ that the 144,000 pure Jewish young men will be preaching the gospel, we are told this as a fact also in Revelation 14, however you have also forgotten the Two Witneses – see Revelation 11.

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