The Rapture – Part 3: the Firstfruits

Will all the Christians that are alive on the earth be raptured at the time of the opening of the 6th seal? The answer is NO.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:40-42, “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” Here the Lord Jesus is telling His disciples that not all Christians will be taken. Who are privileged who will be taken before the great day of God’s wrath?

The Firstfruits (remnant) – Raptured to Mount Zion Before the Throne of God
Revelation 14 calls these ones the firstfruits because they are the first to have ripened (matured) according to God’s standard: “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads…They sang as it were a new song before the throne…These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Rev. 14:1, 3a, 4-5). What are the characteristics of the firstfruits?

  1. The firstfruits follow the Lamb all the way to the heavenly Mount Zion, which represents God’s throne and His kingdom. Today, God’s kingdom is His church (Heb. 12:22-23). In His kingdom, God must reign as King and Judge of all. He desires those in His kingdom to be made perfect, according to His perfect righteousness and not man’s standard (Is. 64:6).
  2. The firstfruits have the Father’s name written on their foreheads. This means that they are always about the Father’s business (Luke 2:49).
  3. They are not defiled with women, for they are virgins. This means that their first and best love is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord said, “…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word…” (John 14:23-24) and “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10:37).
    They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. The Lord, the Lamb of God, said: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me,” (Matt. 16:24).
  4. No deceit was found in their mouths. 1 Peter 2:1 says to lay aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking. Matthew 12:34 says, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” This means the hearts of the firstfruits must be thoroughly dealt with by God. Jeremiah 17:9-10 says that the heart is deceitful above all things and is incurably wicked, but are you willing to let Him search your heart (Ps. 139:23-24) and get a new heart which He desires to give to you (Ezek. 18:31; 36:26)?
  5. They are without fault before the throne of God. A Christian may have a good outward “front”, but will he or she truly be without fault when standing before God who can see the inward condition of the heart? God not only will judge our outward actions, but our inward intents (Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28). We are judged by His standard of righteousness.

These are the firstfruits, who mature before the vast majority of the Christians.

The Left Behind Christians (majority) – Remain on the Earth
For the vast majority of Christians who are alive, but have not yet matured, it will be as the Lord warned His people: among two men working on the field and among two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and the other left (Matt. 24:40-42, Luke 17:34-36). They will be left behind to suffer the great day of God’s wrath for 3½ years. Revelation 12:17b says that Satan will “make war with the rest of her (the woman’s) offspring, who … have the testimony of Jesus Christ” – these are the Christians still living on the earth during the final 3½ years. Further evidence that Christians will be on the earth is in Revelation 13:7 where they will face the persecution of the beast, the Antichrist: “And it was granted to him [the beast] to make war with the saints and to overcome them” (Rev. 13:7).

Needless to say, to be a left behind Christian alive on the earth during this time will be terrible suffering. The goal for every Christian should be to become a firstfruit! Let us redeem the time for the days are evil (Eph. 5:16). Let us work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) and mature quickly to become the firstfruits to be raptured!

What will happen to the left behind Christians? Read on by clicking HERE.