Tuesday, April 17, 2012

No Second Chance

If 2 Thessalonians 2:10 is saying that after the rapture no Gentiles will be given a second chance, will the tribulation saints [those who become believers after the rapture] all be Jewish?

2 Thessalonians 2:10 - 12 

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:   That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.



Paul, our apostle, is dealing with what is going to happen in the future.  In 1 Thessalonians he is telling the saints to stay strong as they endure the sufferings of this present time for believing the message of God’s grace.

2 Timothy 3:12 

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.


They were enduring persecutions and afflictions.  They believed God’s word through Paul:

1 Thessalonians 2:13 

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us [Paul, Timothy and Silas], ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.


So these saints at Thessalonica that Paul established in Acts 17 followed the Apostle Paul and persecution came to them from Satan and those he energized to withstand the grace of God.

In 2 Thessalonians, Paul is dealing with the issue of the 70th week of Daniel and the time of Jacob’s trouble - that future tribulation period, that future time of God’s wrath.  The saints were being bombarded with false doctrine [like the church does today] about the fact that they would have to go through the tribulation period.  Men who did not rightly divide the word of truth were coming and trying to get these saints to believe that the Day of Christ was at hand:

2 Thessalonians 2:2-3

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


That day of Christ in context is the Lord’s wrath.  He is reminding them that he told them they were not appointed to that wrath.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,


1 Thessalonians 1:10 

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.


But Paul does go into detail in 2 Thessalonians [particularly chapter 2] about that future day.  That’s the context.

So who are those in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 who will not have a second chance?  It will be anyone [primarily Gentiles, but also Jews] who has had a clear presentation of the gospel of God’s grace in this present dispensation of grace.  In other words, those who were exposed to the truth—that being, a clear testimony from Almighty God about their sin, judgment for it before God, and the answer which is in Christ’s death on the cross.  If they reject that truth they will not get a second chance.

2 Thessalonians 2:8-9   

And then shall that Wicked [the Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:   Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,


This is dealing with the Antichrist and the context of this passage has to do with the Middle East.  The stage is being set for the last days of the nation of Israel in the future.  God is not fulfilling Bible prophecy outside of Paul’s epistles now, but God has a timetable for humanity.  There is a focus on the Middle East in the world today - so much talk about Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Why so much focus on the Middle East in particular?  Because the last days of Prophecy before the Lord Jesus returns will be centered in the Middle East – the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  That land mass is now inhabited by the Muslim nations which surround Israel, and it is the land involved in the Kingdom of God where he will live.  It includes Egypt, parts of Africa, Iraq and what is called Palestine.

2 Thessalonians 2:10
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Again, the context is the Middle East and the nation of Israel.  We have to remember that when Paul was writing this very early in his ministry, God was still dealing with the Jewish people with a ‘provoking’ ministry.  Although he was not offering them the Kingdom anymore, He was offering them the opportunity to become members of the body of Christ as Paul was.  Through Paul’s ministry among the Jewish people in the Middle East, including Thessalonica, God says:

Romans 11:14 
If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

The church started in the Jewish synagogues where Paul would preach.

Acts 17:1-2 
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

I want you to remember that the focus is on the Middle East, but when Paul was there with them there were both Jews and Gentiles.  Let me be clear, when I say “post-rapture Gentiles”, I should use the Bible definition - anyone who rejects the truth will deal will this man, the Son of Perdition. 

But in our day in America the same thing holds true.  It is clear from these verses in 2 Thessalonians that anyone, both Jew and Gentile, who has had a clear testimony of the Gospel of God’s Grace [only God knows who that is and he will be the final judge], will not be given a second chance by God. 

Let me qualify that because there are some people on earth even in our day who have not been given a clear testimony about the Lord Jesus Christ.  For example, many of the Muslim nations don’t even allow Bibles.  Some are smuggled in, but it is against the law under the threat of death.

There are people on earth who have never been exposed to the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God gives them light [Romans 1] and they must respond to that light; but I am saying that there is a policy of evil to stamp out the Gospel of the Grace of God. 

2 Corinthians 4:4 
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

There are those who ‘believe not.’  They receive the light but they don’t believe it.  But there are others who, for whatever reason, have been kept from the doctrine of grace by their family or culture for generations [i.e. Muslims and Jews].

There will be Jews in the land of Israel whose families have been kept in darkness for centuries about who Jesus Christ really is.  They don’t see Him like the Jews did in the first century.  Some believed that Jesus was their Messiah; some believed Paul’s gospel.  Now, for the most part, Jews reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah and Saviour.

So there will be people who have never been properly exposed to the Lord Jesus Christ.  God will deal with them on His own terms - whether they die in their sins in this dispensation, or if they are given a chance to hear the truth after the dispensation of grace has ended.  Most of them will be Jews [again the focus is on the Middle East] because God will be dealing with the Jewish people at that time.  And then through the Jews, when Christ sets up his earthly Kingdom, others [Gentiles] will hear.

It is difficult to pinpoint every detail because this is all future.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

There will be people who perish out there in the future.  The focus is mainly on the Middle East in this passage, even though the same principle applies to the anywhere in the world if a person has received and rejected a clear presentation of the gospel of grace in this present dispensation.  For that person the day of salvation [2 Corinthians 6:2] will be over.  Why?  Because ‘they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.’  Just like in Christ’s day:

John 1:11 
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

So anyone, Jew or Gentile, who has been exposed to the Gospel of Grace before the Rapture will not be given a second chance and this is what God will do:

2 Thessalonians 2:11
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion [through the Antichrist], that they should believe a lie:

They didn’t want the truth so God will give them a lie.  Why?

2 Thessalonians 2:12
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The words ‘perish’ and ‘damned’ are used and believe me, those are not good words.  Those are words that say there will be no second chance.


Regarding the second part of your question, “Are the tribulations saints, those who become believers, all Jewish?” 

No.  Just like in time past, the focus will be on the Jews; but just like when God brought Israel out of Egypt and there was a mixed multitude that included some Egyptians and others who believed His Word, and like all throughout the history of the Jewish people, there has been a small remnant of ‘strangers’ [Gentiles who wanted to be blessed by the God of Israel through Israel].  If they were circumcised and kept the Law, they were a part of Israel.  Uriah the Hittite is an example [2 Samuel 11:3].  In the book of Esther many in that land became proselyte Jews because of the fear of the Jews.

So the tribulation saints will be mostly Jewish, but there will be Gentile proselytes.

Acts 2:10 
Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome [Jews were strangers in Rome], Jews and proselytes [Gentiles who became Jews],

Hopefully this helps! 

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