How many Americans
Will Be Raptured?
An Analysis of Dr.
Overly Generous Estimate
Dr. Tim LaHaye is a Bible teacher and the very popular co-author of the best selling LEFT BEHIND series of prophetic novels dealing with the rapture of the church and the seven year tribulation period which immediately precedes our Lord's second coming to earth to rule and reign. Left Behind
He also sends out a newsletter entitled Pre-Trib Perspectives. In the May 2003 issue (Volume VIII, Number 1) he writes the following on page 3:
Many countries I am sad to say, will hardly notice when Christians are suddenly missing. For example, would it be ten percent in Germany or France? Probably not. In such countries the attitude will probably be, "good riddance"!
Not so America. Last month I cited the December 2002 Gallup Poll that found 46 percent of the American people have had a "born again experience with Jesus Christ." I hope and pray that is true! If it is, what about the many others who believe Jesus is the Son of God, that He lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death for our sins and that He rose again from the dead, but have never been introduced to the term "born again," which occurs only twice in the Scripture. Would God reject from His heaven any soul who goes out into eternity believing Jesus is the only way to God, who trusts Him for his soul's salvation? I think not.
So how many would that make who will be raptured? Only God knows, of course, but we should not be surprised if it is well over fifty percent.
Think about it. If 50 or more percent of the doctors, nurses, teachers, craftsmen and workers from all walks of life including military personnel from every branch of service were suddenly missing - that would be a devastating blow to the American economy and way of life. Into that leadership vacuum that the rapture may cause, the world would be vulnerable to domination by Germany and France, both socialist forms of government with weak leaders or a globalist organization that would propose equality of nations. A perfect setup for the Man of Sin to move in and take over.
1) Tim LaHaye is absolutely correct that a saved person must "believe Jesus is the Son of God, that He lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death for our sins and that He rose again from the dead." It is also true that the saved individual has recognized the plague of his own heart, has understood his total bankruptcy before God and has acknowledges his sinful condition before a holy God. He realized that he is a hell-deserving sinner, unable to merit or earn God's favor or acceptance in any way. He also has realized that Jesus Christ is the only Solution and the only Saviour, and apart from Him there is no salvation and no righteousness and no life. He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). For a fuller discussion of this crucial matter, see Am I a True Believer?
2) The Gallup Poll is not a valid indication as to whether a person is truly born again. Many people claim to be born again and claim to be Christians and claim to be saved, but this does not necessarily mean that they have personally received God's Son and believed on His Name (John 1:12). It's one thing to profess Christ and it's quite another thing to possess Christ (1 John 5:12). The Difference Between Professors and Possessors The term "born again" became popular during the days of President Jimmy Carter, who himself claimed to be born again. Since then prominent politicians, celebrities and athletes have embraced the term and millions of others claim that they are born again. Multitudes use this expression to describe any kind of subjective and often emotional religious experience, usually without any correspondence to the salvation experience so clearly set forth in God's Word. The term "born again" is an excellent Biblical term, but it has been inflated by so much use and abuse, and as a result has lost much of its communicative value. If you asked the 46 percent of Americans who claim to be born again to define this term, you would find that most definitions would have little to do with the true doctrine of regeneration as taught in the Bible.
3) I would agree with Dr. LaHaye, that only God knows how many Americans are saved. "The Lord knoweth them that are His, and let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (2 Tim. 2:19).
4) I was shocked at Dr. LaHaye's estimate that he would not be surprised if over 50% of Americans are saved. He also suggests that the rapture would remove more than half of America's population! My first thought after reading this was, "Does he live in the same America that I do?" If more than 50% of Americans are blood-bought children of God, indwelt by the living God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, then where are they all hiding? They are not only the silent majority, but the hidden majority. When we go out on door to door visitation we certainly do not find that the majority of Americans are saved. Indeed, the vast majority of people don't have the slightest clue about God's simple plan of salvation and could not explain to someone else how to be saved even if they wanted to. Would Dr. LaHaye dare say that a nation, made up of a majority of saved people, voted to re-elect Bill Clinton, a immoral liar totally devoid of character, to a second term? That's hard to swallow.
Visit the restaurants of the land and observe the people. Do you find a majority of Americans bowing their heads and thanking God for the food before they eat? Do you find a majority of Americans so thankful that God has delivered them from hell that they are devoting their lives to telling others about His so-great salvation? Do you find these saved people warning others about the dangers of the cults and of Catholicism and warning of the dangers of liberal, Bible-denying Protestantism? Do you find huge numbers of Americans sitting at tables and on park benches and in libraries reading the Bible and feeding their souls? If our nation is flooded with true believers, where is the evidence of this? If the majority of Americans are true Christians, then the least we can say is that it is the most carnal and wicked group of saved people that have ever lived on the face of the earth! How could that many true believers (over 50% of all Americans) have so little influence upon society? Have they no salt at all? Or, are we vastly over-estimating the number of Americans that are true believers?
5) God's way has never been the popular way. The majority has always traveled on the broad way which leads to destruction. The Lord Jesus made it very clear that the way of the saved is a narrow way and "few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). May we be separated unto the gospel of God (Rom. 1:1) and may we be devoted to knowing Christ and making Him known to others, with the hope that more and more might come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. But remember, God is not saving the world. God is visiting the nations of the world in order to call out a people for His Name (Acts 15:14). These called-out ones are members of His church, His beloved body and bride. If you have any doubt about the state of your soul, consider the following: Am I a True Believer?
6) I am of the opinion that the rapture of the church will be far less disruptive than is often depicted. Some reasons for this are found in the following: Left Behind
7) I thank God for every blood bought child of God in American and in this world. May we live godly, righteously and soberly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope (happy expectancy), even the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour (Titus 2:11-14). We may not be MANY, and we certainly don't make up the majority of Americans, but may we be the FAITHFUL FEW--faithful to a great God and true to His unfailing Word. May we be very salty (Matthew 5:13) in the midst of an evil and wicked world, and in the midst of an evil and unbelieving and Christ-rejecting America (Philippians 2:15).
--George Zeller (5/03)