Marie Komar said:
Please expound on what I am missing in thinking that all true believers may be ‘the Bride’ and all will be included in the rapture.
I guess the question comes down to what constitutes a “true believer”?
I know that there will always be this debate among us until Jesus comes at which time the answer will be clearly seen by all. I appreciate a sincere request to understand the position of those like myself who see a separate outcome for some Christians than others especially concerning the rapture. There are some who have suggested that the body of Christ is all of us but the bride is a smaller group (like a rib) taken out of the body from close to His heart even as Eve was taken out of the body of the first Adam to become His bride.
It seems that we all as believers agree up to a point that when we receive Christ, that is accept that we are sinners and repent and believe in Jesus’ atonement and ask Him into us to save us, we are saved at that moment by grace through faith. Call it born again or whatever, you know what I mean, right? It is here that opinions hit forks in the road. At this point there is one position that believes that the new life in that person is eternal and nothing that ever happens to that person can ever change their saved state and all the benefits of being born again are that person’s to claim including the rapture before the tribulation no matter what. Included in this view is that anyone who falls away was never actually born again to begin with. In this view all born again people will be raptured at once before the tribulation and then the judgment of works will take place and rewards and crowns will be determined according to each individual’s works after salvation. Their works will be tried by fire to see which are gold, silver, precious stones or wood, hay and stubble. But salvation is not on the line here only rewards for service.
Then there is another position that says being born again is the same as being called into a race but it does not mean that you have finished the race yet neither have obtained the prize but must press on towards it to the end in order to win. Like being nominated in a political race does not mean you have been elected. Calling and election are two different things. Many are called or nominated but few are chosen or elected. In this view, being born again is not a guarantee that you have eternal life yet but you are in the race to obtain the promise of eternal life and that this eternal life is yet a hope (hope of eternal life) which will be given for faithful continuation in the faith that began the first day.
1. Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
2. , which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
3. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, (past tense) by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7. That being justified by his grace, (past tense) we should be (future tense) made heirs
8. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
In this view we have been saved from our sins and the power of sin and may choose to walk worthy of that gift or not but the eternal life part and promise has not yet been obtained but is yet a hope. And therefore there is no reason to accuse someone who believes that someone can be saved and lose it again of calling God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or God’s word a liar as though He has given eternal life and then taken it back again from someone. God promised it from before the world began but it is a hope. If it was already given at the moment of being born again then why would we yet hope for it, as Romans asks?
24. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Jude demonstrates how salvation works with the example of the exodus out of Egypt and how all of the Israelites were “saved” out of Egypt but not all of them made it to the Promised Land but only those who continued to believe God.
Jude 1:5. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
The salvation process has conditions that must be met. Faith must be begun and maintained and without faith it is impossible to please God. It is possible to have faith one day and then put away faith and make shipwreck and lose even what you had. In this view, every day is a new day to decide to trust God or not to trust God. Rewards go to the one who trusts God with their life and the opposite for those who draw back from faith unto perdition.
38. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
I know that there are some like Lynn Mize who believe that there is a separate salvation for the spirit and the soul and that all believers get spirit salvation upon being born again which he says cannot be lost but then it is their soul that must be saved or sanctified and that this determines what rewards are given. I actually have my doubts about this position because among other things Mize says that “outer darkness” where those go who are spirit saved but not soul saved, is part of heaven and I just have trouble with that. (By the way, it seems that Chuck Missler has also been teaching this view of late.) I feel that there is too much manipulating of the scriptures to make it fit that position. Rather, I find it easier to see that there appears to be either complete salvation which is being with God or complete death or separation from God period. And that it is possible to be right with God and in a faith relationship and therefore “saved” just as Jude says it of all who came out of Egypt, but then to begin allowing doubts to creep into your heart about God and you turn to “other gods” (golden calf) or trust in false doctrines or go back to the world (return to Egypt) whatever it may be and you can lose the life connection that you once had and you are totally lost then. To put it another way, it is possible to have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life but then to have your name “blotted out” due to your own choosing to walk away. Not that someone can pluck you out of Jesus’ hand if you want to stay but you are free to walk away if you so choose. Free will is still involved each day of our lives. Choose you this day whom you will serve.
If being “born again” was a solid guarantee that you would be going to heaven when you died then why would Jesus tell that parable of the servant who was forgiven a great debt but who would not forgive a fellow servant who owed him a small debt and the master restored his debt back to him and threw him in jail until he should pay the whole debt which was never possible for him to pay? It is not that the servant was never “saved” for he clearly was forgiven was he not? But his own choice to not forgive another caused the master to place his forgiven debt back upon him. Did this make the master a liar, because he just previously said that the servant was forgiven?
I believe upon being born again we are covered but we must maintain faith in Jesus each day in order to remain in that safe position. (And we must be willing to forgive others their trespasses against us.) Like the covenant with Rehab the harlot and the Hebrew spies that whoever was IN THE HOUSE with her would be spared death but anyone outside the house was not safe or protected by the covenant of the red chord in the window.
18. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.
19. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.
Likewise, it is possible to leave the confidence of Christ and go trust in something other than Him and if you do that you just left the safe protection of His salvation. These kinds of things are what Jesus was pointing out to the various churches in Revelation that they had done in order to make Him have to say, “Yeah, I know your works, nevertheless I have against you…” It was various different things that broke their connection to Jesus but the bottom line was they left His covenant covering. They decided to believe that something else besides Him was a better deal for their life. The thing that amazes me is when people teach that such is not even possible after salvation. That once you are saved you are always saved etc. But for an example of what I am referring to I suggest you read the letters posted by Susan and Sabrina here on the Doves which I truly believe are genuine letters from Jesus. In those He constantly warns His people that they need to come back to Him before it is too late and trust Him with their whole lives because if they are treating Him like taking Him and His salvation for granted while going out into the world and carrying on as if He should follow them around, then they will be shocked when they are not included in the rapture. Look here to read these letters and I will include an excerpt below.
Yes daughter you may write. I, JESUS have Words:
MY true love is MY bride. If you are not in ME then you are apart from ME. If you are apart from ME, you are not coming when I rescue MY bride. This is a simple reality. To be in ME, you must surrender completely and without full surrender, we are apart. You go your way, away from ME and I go MY Way, the Way you were meant to go, when I created you.
You travel away from ME to outer darkness. If you begin to drift out too far from ME to other worldly things, you will drift away for eternity. You will be away from MY Holy Pure Light Presence for all time. I will then leave you behind to face the worst if you drift away from ME before I return to save MY remnant Holy bride church. This church wears MY mantle of Holiness because I, JESUS cover MY bride with MY Precious Veil of Holiness.
MY bride is beautiful, filled with MY Light and Love, brimming with divine beauty from above, lovely, pure, covered with MY eternal purity and holiness. Without her LORD and MASTER, she would be lost. I cover her with this beauty. She is ready for marriage. She is ready to take her place for eternity along side her GROOM, her KING.