Post for December 25:
In this Christmas season in the year 2021, it has become apparent that the recent polls and surveys have it right. Fewer people identify as Christians, and of those that do, the numbers who believe they must be born-again to get to heaven have reached an all-time low. Of 100 million people in America who consider themselves evangelical, only 4% believe in the salvation experience to attain God’s Kingdom. It is only this precious few who read their Bibles regularly, fully tithe, or share their faith with others. “Nones” have grown steadily to prominence. They may believe in a god, but have no use for such an entity in their lives. The concept of a supreme being simply isn’t important to them. They have been duped into secular humanism through persistent educational brainwashing, a full-throated media attack on Christianity, and the lack of any kind of parental guidance that might point them toward the God of the Bible.
Thus, when the Rapture of the true church occurs, a relative few will actually be snatched up into the clouds as Jesus returns for His Bride. When we run the numbers, they are staggering as to how they comport with what Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
If the numbers hold up, with only 4% of 100 million professed evangelicals declaring they must be born-again to reach heaven’s gates, this is only 4 million people. Our nation’s population is about 360 million. Taking the difference, this means that as many as 356 million, or almost 99% of the people in the United States may be left behind when the Rapture occurs. That’s a huge anti-God population.
If we extrapolate to the world with a global population nearing 8 billion people, what does this mean? I think that born-again numbers outside the U.S. may be greater than here. Worldwide, there may be as many as 5% or even 10% overall whom Jesus will bring with Him to heaven. Running the numbers at 5% saved, that totals about 400 million; at 10% it comes to 800 million Raptured. The left-behind populace is still massive at either 7.6 billion or 7.2 billion remaining on the earth at that time. Of course these numbers don’t take into account the global extinction protocols currently underway through the vaccine mandates. At the time of the Tribulation, there could be significantly fewer people on the earth with the numbers adjusted accordingly.
The point to these calculations is two-fold. We know that untold numbers of people from every tribe, nation, people, and language will come to Jesus during this trying seven years because they’ll be killed for their faith and stand before the throne of God (Revelation 7:9). Yet, those who refuse to bow their knees will continue to be many.
The 7 Bowl Judgments, the third set of judgments in which God pours out His wrath upon the unbelieving world, are part of what is considered the Great Tribulation. The other judgments were bad, these are worse. They are the culmination of God’s righteous anger upon those who want no part of Him. For that, they receive their just reward on earth. Thereafter, He gives them their hearts’ desire for eternity: everlasting life without the light and hope of Christ.
Yet, consider how many opportunities they’ve had to confess Jesus as Lord. We know from Revelation 6:15-17 that they’re fully aware of why this is happening:
Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
By the time the Bowl Judgments come, there will be very few remaining in the world – if any – who haven’t heard the Word of the Lord and been called to repentance. They’ve heard the Gospel from the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, or the two witnesses in Jerusalem, or even the angel flying over the entire globe with God’s message of forgiveness. There is no excuse. With these terrible plagues one after another, how could someone continue resisting God? What foolishness is that? Yet they do.
We see the following at the 4th Bowl Judgment in Revelation 16:8-9:
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.
Whatever the timeframe subsequent to that, they’re given another chance as noted in Revelation 16:10-11:
The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.
But no dice. They’ve gambled all their chips, and time is up. The 7th Bowl Judgment will be the end of it for them.
It’s a sad commentary on the state of affairs of mankind that it would come to this. God created us and gave us every possible means to worship, honor, and glorify Him. But the sinful, deceitful heart of man – fueled by the demonic rage of Satan and his minions – is too much for so many. They have lifted themselves above God, refused to repent, and will pay the eternal price.
I’m grateful that the Lord has given us Bible prophecy so that we can know the end of this story and act accordingly. That’s one of the many benefits of God’s prophetic Word. When we hear it and act upon it, God does an amazing work to draw us to Himself. Bible prophecy strengthens our faith because we know that God does what He promises.
He has promised to keep us from the wrath of the Tribulation to come and to give us a home with Him forever. Jesus is indeed our Blessed Hope!