What happens to those people left behind on Earth after the rapture of the church? Is there any hope left for these individuals, or are they forever condemned to hell? To understand the answer to this question, we must first review the timeline of events from the rapture of the church to eternity:
- Rapture of the church occurs
- Tribulation period – 7 years in length (a.k.a. time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble, Daniel’s 70th week)
- Battle of Armageddon
- Millennial Reign of Christ (literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth)
- New heaven and new Earth created – eternity begins
The time period we are examining is the tribulation, which is also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble or Daniel’s 70th week. It is a period in time after Jesus has gathered His bride (the church), and God goes back to dealing with His people, the Jews.
So is it possible for someone who was left behind after the rapture to make it through the tribulation? Yes, I believe it is. Let’s take a look at Scripture:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” – Revelation 20:4 KJV
In Revelation chapter 20, we find a description of the individuals that endured the tribulation and were saved. They were “beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands.” So how does one make it through the tribulation? They must refuse to worship the beast and take his mark, which will likely result in dying as a martyr for Jesus Christ.
Robert Breaker, a bible teacher I highly respect, published an excellent teaching entitled “The Tribulation Gospel”: