Will people who call themselves Christians, get raptured when JESUS returns, if when HE returns, HE
I have failed God many times by literally gambling away my blessings. I feel so ashamed. I pray GOD will have mercy on ME!
I'm not a Christian ... but I used to be ...
Let me share something with you that might help you to find peace ...
(IMO) There has been a major theological division (relevant to this discussion) in the Christian religion since the time of James and Paul (these two represent the opposite sides of the debate). Here they are:
1. You need to demonstrate through your works that you are worthy of Salvation (at the extreme end of this scale is the aim to be perfect - because God is a judgmental God).
2. Your natural state is that of a sinner ... and you will die a sinner ... but accepting the 'Gift' of Salvation is all that is needed - Christ stands in your stead and you are seen as perfect in the eyes of God.
This battle rages between and within all Christian religions ... even if it isn't sometimes visible. Now let me share a story (from when I was a Christian many years ago) ...
My family were in a christian religion ... where everyone had basically been indoctrinated in the 1st mindset. That striving for perfection extended out to the peculiar 'dogmas' that made up that flavor of Christianity.
My parents through a set of circumstances 'discovered' the 2nd interpretation ... that of the essential Gospel message of Salvation through acceptance of Christ ... PERIOD. They began to share this with others (and ultimately ended up getting kicked out of this church because of it).
But I'll never forget my father giving a talk one day about this 'new' gospel message to a small group ... and an elderly gentlemen coming up afterward in tears. You see, he had cancer ... his wife had died a year before ... he had spent all his life 'striving' to be perfect ... he didn't think his 'wife' had made it. He didn't think he was 'worthy' - and that eternal damnation awaited him. He went away a transformed individual ... free, free from guilt, from the burden of trying to be perfect or trying to be something that he could never achieve.... in fact he had a remission that lasted several more years (it is amazing how stress and worry can affect your ability to heal).
My message to you ... and I genuinely hope you get this ... is that if you are going to be a Christian ... the 2nd interpretation will free your soul and your mind from a 'fear-driven' striving for something you will never achieve.
I hope this helps.
It's not enough to call yourself a Christian. Take a lesson from the story "HowToHypnotise" just related. The story of the man who was dying from cancer shows true repentance...that is what is required. You cannot earn your way into Heaven Think for a moment...if you could earn your way into Heaven then what was the purpose of God coming down in the flesh (Jesus), being without sin and dying on the cross for our sins? He paid the price with His body of flesh and blood. He declared, "It is finished". He did what He came to do by being a sacrifice and paying OUR sin debt to a Holy God! As far as there being a different mindset between James and Paul, it's an incorrect interpetation. James states that faith without works is dead. He says this because when we are truly one of God's children we will gladly do "good works" to serve HIm. The problem lies in people who say they are Christian but the lives they are living shows something different. They are not living a life for Christ and do not belong to Him. If you'd like to discuss this further, feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to help you understand this more thoroughly. We all fail God many times. The fact that you feel guilty is a good sign that you belong to Him. Ask for His forgiveness and He will give you peace. 1John 1:9 says,"If we ask for forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness." I will pray for you!
People who "call themselves" Christians aren't necessarily Christian. So some will be rescued (raptured) and some won't. Likewise, some people who do NOT call themselves Christians actually will be rescued.
What matters to God is whether or not you believe him. He won't force you to believe him, because that would make him a big joke, a big puppeteer putting us all on strings.
The agreement God has made, with every person who ever lived, is that he will treat you like a perfect father would, if you let him. God wants to be closer to you, always. But you must trust him first.
Most of all, he made a great sacrifice, and suffered and died in your place, for anything bad you ever did or ever will do. Your right to live with God is given if you simply believe that. Everything you do after that just determines how he rewards you. Many churches get this wrong -- "salvation" is given just for believing, "rewards" are given for good works.
There are so many proofs of God's caring for us in human history, but since you mentioned "rapture" in your question, here is a little about the future.
God knows human nature, and he knows what the world is becoming. At some time, probably soon, world leaders who don't believe God will bring the human race to the edge of extinction. This will be in the final few years and months before Messiah (Jesus) returns to Earth. People who DO believe God, before it begins, will be rescued from those horrors.
Some people won't be rescued, because they didn't believe God before the madness started. But even for them, it won't be too late to start believing. They will suffer more than any generation of humans in the history of time, but God will still hear them if they trust him.
But then some people will die, before or after the madness begins, who still refused to believe God. I wish I could say they get another chance, but the Bible doesn't tell us that. For them, we don't know exactly what God will do, but they certainly risk being separated from him forever.
I concur with the view that the Rapture is a false doctrine. It just isn't there. What the Bible does say, in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 is that when Jesus returns, it will be from heaven and not only visible but loud - with a trumpet call and the voice of an archangel.
When that happens those who are in the grave will rise up to meet him, to quickly be joined by those believers living at his return.
That's called the first Resurrection and precedes the Millennium (Thousand year reign of Jesus and the saints). The second Resurrection follows the Millenium and deals with all those who rejected Jesus, which the New Testament defines as the only sin for which we are eternally condemned.
Certainly 'All those who call themselves Christian' will not be saved, because Jesus specifically said so. There are plenty of folk 'call themselves Christian' who are nothing of the kind, and this is a theme Jesus often visited, like in the Parable of the Tares (Weeds).
One of the real kiilers of faith is 'Salvation by Works', which Paul in Galatians 3:10 calls a curse. It is basically a symptom of self righteousness which is 'the unforgiveable sin', because no-one who believes he has earned his own salvation will turn to a Saviour. That's why the Bible calls Jesus 'a friend of sinners', yet he warned the Pharisees that they were headed for hell, and taking as many with them as they could deceive into following them (Matthew 23:15, 33).
There are many good works and things that we can perform in our Christian walk that can enhance our well-being and glorify God, but if we make them requisites of qualification we sin, because 'all that is not of faith is sin' (Romans 14:23).
But surely the most eloquent answer to any such nonsense was the thief on the cross, who died beside Jesus. No baptism, no confirmation, no 'good works' or jumping through religious hoops, just a simple faith in Jesus and a heart cry for God's mercy.
He wasn't disappointed!
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