Will repentance be possible after the Rapture of the Church?

Question:

Will the people be able to accept Christ by faith and to turn to Him after the Rapture of the Church? Will the Holy Spirit be present among the people? 

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As the question is asked, I assume that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is concerned, because the Holy Spirit has always been on the earth, even before man was created.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)

God intended to let the Holy Spirit remain in man always, so that man could reflect the image of God and live forever (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8: 9-11). But because of sin, which began to reign over man, God decided before the flood that His Spirit would not always remain in man.

Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:1-3)

Also, in the Old Testament we often see the expression “the Spirit of the Lord came upon…’’. We also see in the life of King Saul that the Holy Spirit left him.

Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him. (1 Samuel 16:14)

Furthermore, after David sinned with Bathsheba, he prayed that God would not take the Holy Spirit from him.

Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:11)

So, David was aware that, because of sin, God could take His Holy Spirit from him.

However, in the New Covenant, the Lord Jesus promises that after He goes to the Father, He will send the Holy Spirit, who will remain with them forever.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper(Greek: Paraclete, defender, counselor.), that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17)

This abiding, “with us forever.” of the Holy Spirit is called “baptism with the Holy Spirit”. We can receive this gift only through faith and repentance. That is why I assumed that the question concerned the possibility of the new birth or the Baptism with the Holy Spirit after the Rapture of the Church.

The remnant of Israel will be saved after the Rapture of the Church

According to Romans 11, after the Rapture of the Church (the fullness of the Gentiles will come in) all Israel will be saved.

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” “This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. (Romans 11:25-31)

Therefore, after the Rapture of the Church, which is composed by Jews and Gentiles, all Israel, as a nation, will be saved. More specifically, the remnant will survive the great tribulation.

Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord God of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land. (Isaiah 10:20-23)

In Zechariah we find written:

“It will come about in all the land,” declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (Zechariah 13:8-9)

Also in the book of the prophet Zechariah we find written about the mass return of the people of Israel with repentance and faith, that is, they will recognize God in the Lord Jesus.

I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, every family by itself;the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves. (Zechariah 12:10-14)

According to the prophet Daniel, Israel as a nation, will be saved in the time of the great tribulation (a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time).

Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:1-2)

The question remains: If the Jews will believe in the Lord Jesus and will repent, will they be baptized with the Holy Spirit?

God tells through the prophet Joel that a time will come when He will pour out of His Spirit all over the people of Israel.

Then the Lord will be zealous for His land and will have pity on His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied in full with them; And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations. “But I will remove the northern army far from you, and I will drive it into a parched and desolate land, and its vanguard into the eastern sea, and its rear guard into the western sea. And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up, for it has done great things.” Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad, for the Lord has done great things. Do not fear, beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, for the tree has borne its fruit, the fig tree and the vine have yielded in full. So rejoice, O sons of Zion, and be glad in the Lord your God; For He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before. The threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. “Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. “Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other; and My people will never be put to shame. The Promise of the Spirit “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. The Day of the Lord “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. “The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls. (Joel 2:18-32)

According to this text from Joel, God will pour His Spirit upon the people of Israel, after He will spare His people Israel. These are some of the promises He makes to His people:

  • He will remove the enemy from the north, who according to Daniel 11:40-45 will enter the Beautiful Land in the end times.
  • He will bless materially the land of Israel.
  • He will no longer shame Israel among the Gentiles (this phrase that repeats itself, shows that it is something important). This has not yet occurred, but it will happen at the Second Coming of Jesus with the establishment of the Kingdom of God (Daniel chapters 2 and 7; Revelation 20).
  • The people of Israel shall know God.

All this will happen after the Second Coming of Jesus on earth to establish the kingdom of God (the kingdom of a thousand years – Revelation 20). (What happened in Acts 2 was the fulfillment of this prophecy as a phenomenon but not as an event: because of the Jews’ fall, as the apostle Paul writes in Romans 11, the salvation of the Gentiles was possible and the Holy Spirit, which was promised to the Jews, was poured out over the Gentiles – read Romans 11:11-15).

Then Israel will be saved, but they will not have the changed bodies like the Church (made up of Jews and Gentiles who have turned to the Lord through repentance until the Rapture). This prophecy was written about Israel:

But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness. “I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying. “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed. “They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. “They will not build and another inhabit, they will not plant and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, and My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands. “They will not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; For they are the offspring of those blessed by the Lord, and their descendants with them. It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 65:18-25)

We know that it is about the kingdom of a thousand years, and not the new earth (Revelation 21), because here are those who will die at the age of 100 years, and on the new earth “there will no longer be any death” (Revelation 21:4).

The fact that the people of Israel will receive the Holy Spirit (baptized with the Holy Spirit) after God will bring them into the land, is also confirmed by Ezekiel.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. (Ezekiel 36:22-30)

What about the people of other nations who repent during that time? Since Jewish people repented during the Church age (the time after Christ came when the gospel spread over the world), we can assume that even during the seventieth week settled by God for Jews, people of other nationalities will turn to the Lord too. Revelation writes about those who had been victorious over the Beast, that is, those who were martyred because they did not worship the Beast or his image, but nowhere does it say that they are all Jews. Their fate is like the Church’s:

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)

So, after the Rapture of the Church there will be people who will turn with repentance and faith to God and will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, but they will not be part of the Church. The Bride of the Lamb is prepared before the Second Coming of Jesus on earth. This happens before the resurrection of the martyrs who have not worshiped the Beast and before Israel receives the Holy Spirit. Their status is different.

Translated by Marcela Tasca

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