Over the last few days, we have been looking at the Parable of the Ten Virgins. We saw that the Lord warned His people that there would be no second chances and that the five foolish virgins who were not ready when the Bridegroom came, were shut out. Today, we jump to another passage in the Scriptures where Jesus warned of the same thing:
23Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them, 24"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.' 26"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' 27"But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!' 28"There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out (Luke 13:23-28).
The Lord is clearly warning that there will be no second chances after He comes for His people. The Scripture says the door of salvation will be closed to the unbelieving and that when this time comes, there will be much regret and weeping and gnashing of teeth. Theologians call Christ’s coming for His people the Rapture or the snatching away of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:17). When God’s people are safe and inside the wedding banquet, then will begin the wrath of God on those who have willfully rejected God’s free offer of a pardon. I don’t see anything in this passage to indicate even the slightest hope that if one were to come later, he or she will find the door open again.
There will be no opportunities for one to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God once the door is shut. It is as if God's drawbridge of grace is lifted, and those who are left behind must face the wrath of God and be eternally outside of God’s Kingdom. This hard truth is painful to accept because we all have friends and relatives who may be left outside that door when it closes. At that time, it will not matter what kind of good life you have led on planet earth; it will not matter if you went to church, took communion (ate and drank with you, v. 26). When Christ comes for His church the deciding factor will be, do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?
21Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23).
When will this rapture of the saints occur? Jesus told us clearly that the gathering together of the elect (those who have relationship and faith in Him) will take place, “Immediately after the distress (KJV Tribulation) of those days…at that time…he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matthew 24:29-31). I believe we are soon entering that dark time before Christ comes.
Only those who have a relationship with Him will be allowed to enter through the door. If you are not sure where you will go on that day, then God wants you to be confident and prepared. He does not wish this truth hidden from us, the truth of where we are going when we die (1 John 5:13). Cry out to Him today. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). Keith Thomas