There have been so many theories as to answer this question. Who will be left behind at the end of the age? For many years, there has been a popular teaching in the church that on the last days, the church would be raptures to heaven and the unrighteous will be left behind on earth to perish with it. The movie Left Behind made this theory more popular across the world.
We need to ask the question, What does the Bible have to say concerning that? Seeking to find out the answers yourself. A popular doctrine taught in the church does not make it a correct teaching. Majority is not always right. The Bible has shown us many examples affirming this statement.
Look at Jesus. His teaching as compared to that of the Pharisees and the entire traditions of the people of Judea was in the minority. The majority was wrong. Imagine yourself living in Judea during that time. You and I would probably had followed the majority teaching of the things of God. The same happened to Paul in contrast to the religious leaders and even some from the Church. He, like Jesus, was excommunicated and punished for teaching false teachings.
Don’t immediately despise teachings of the minority sect. No matter the denomination they may hail from. Study the Bible for yourself like the Bereans and find out if what they said is true. We are all striving to attain perfection hence sometimes even the Greatest men and women of God make mistakes pertaining to some aspects of the doctrine of the Word of God. God is still revealing more and more. No one has all the revelation except God.
God is never an Author of confusion. His Word stands true and never contradicts itself. There is no definite claim from the Word that our main goal is to leave earth to go to Heaven. Why then was the earth created in the first place? Why was man created?
This is what the Word says from the Book of Psalms:
“The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.”
Psalms 115:16 NKJV
Heaven was made for the Lord and earth was made for man. The earth (physical) was created by God as an extension of His kingdom. Man was created to rule the earth in subjection to God (Gen. 1:28). Death came in through Adam and messed things up(Romans 5:12). Once that is corrected with death being abolished/destroyed (1 Cor. 15:26), man will revert back to their rightful duties in all perfection.
The after the fall of mankind, the kingdom influence of God from Heaven deteriorated immensely. However, already factored in God’s plan was to re-establish that. Within the contents of our famous Lord’s Prayer, was kingdom of God being established on earth. His will on earth just as it is in Heaven:
“So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
Luke 11:2 NKJV
While Jesus taught us to pray for Heaven coming to earth, many from the Body are praying for quite the contrary – leaving earth in a rapture to Heaven. Well no matter.
In one of our previous sessions(Resurrection of the Dead – Alive & Remain ), the theory of the church being left behind was touched on briefly. The popular teaching was that the church will be taken away and the rest/wicked/unrighteous left behind. But really. Who will be left behind ? Let’s explore shall we,
We noticed from the Parable of the Wheat and Tares in Matthew 13 spoken by Jesus, that the tares were commanded to be gathered first and burnt.
“FIRST gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up…”
This would only mean that the wheat were left behind at that moment until the reapers
returned to gather them into the barn. Furthermore, the Lord gave
the meaning to this allegory in verse 38;
“and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are
the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil
So we see here that the sons of the evil one were the FIRST to be
removed from the field which is the WORLD. And this happened
during the time of the harvest which is the end of the Age (v39).
If any was left behind, it will be the wheat – Children of the
Let’s look at other occurrences in the Scriptures. Here’s a good one. Jesus’ speech concerning the end recorded in Matthew 24.
Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.”
How many times have we heard this preached during Church service concerning the rapture of the church? A believer (a sunless believer, they claim) will be with an unbeliever and the he/she will suddenly disappear. This has been ingrained the minds of so many that there have been dreams and visions about this. We see the err when we take that verse out of the whole context. Let us have a look at what Jesus meant in his speech.
“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
“Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.”
The Lord Jesus stated that His Coming will be like the days of Noah which he explained quite simply here in this paraphrase.
Noah entered the ark and these people , who were eating and
drinking – basically doing normal life activities, did not understand until they were TAKEN AWAY by the flood.
So the question again. Who was left behind in this case?
The two men in the field. The one taken away was clearly the unrighteous one. The righteous one, just like Noah and his family, remained. We all know the story of Noah. At least most of us do. The righteous ones, Noah and his family were left behind whereas the others were taken away by the flood. This is how Jesus said His second coming will be like.
From our previous session (Resurrection of the Dead: Alive & Remain), those who remained received the promise of the inheritance of the kingdom. In that age or era, those set of people would be Noah and His family. Noah was inaugurated into the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 as a child of the kingdom because He remained after the shaking of whereas the others didn’t. He gained approval (Heb 12:2)
“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the
righteousness which is according to faith.”
But just like the others, he awaits to receive the promises(v. 39). He awaits the rest of us who will receive with him(v.40). Those who die before the appointed time will join Noah and the others in waiting to receive the inheritance kingdom. Those who are alive and remain after the great shaking in the end will join with the Dead in Christ to receive.
From all that as been displayed. It is evident that the Bible doesn’t necessarily agree with the popular teachings of how the rapture will come about. Will rapture happen? Yeah. But not in the way many of us imagine it to be.
Jesus mentioned that during the event of his second coming, the wicked will taken away just like it was in Noah’s days. They were taken away by a flood. This flood (water) killed them all. Jesus mentioned of the tares thrown into the fire at the end of the age. These two – water and fire – signifies the same thing. We will get to that in the subsequent series. I bet we all want to find out how the unrighteous would be taken away. I pray for grace to be able to at least point to a much clearer picture than of the ones we already have. God’s Word holds the answers.