I think some Christians assume that many more people will go in the Rapture than will actually go. Some think countries like the United States will be significantly depopulated because of the Rapture. I do not believe that will be the case. Perhaps only two hundred million people in the whole world will go in the Rapture.
There are seven church types on earth revealed by the Lord’s seven letters to the churches in Revelation. Even so, only the letter to Philadelphia says it will be kept out of the great trial on earth (Rev 3:10). The letter says that the church of Philadelphia was to be kept from the time of the tribulation because she kept the Lord’s word (biblical doctrine), did not deny His name (Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby people must be saved), and kept the word of the Lord’s return for His Church. How many in Christendom do that today and can be identified with Philadelphia? It certainly is only a small percentage of those claiming to be Christian.
One way of looking at this is that the Rapture is a reward for those keeping the things that Jesus commended in the letter to Philadelphia. The rest in the visible churches that remain on earth today are identified with Thyatria, Sardis or Laodicea. Those identified with these other churches will have to look for instruction from the Lord in the letters addressed to them. I believe Thyatria can best be identified with Catholicism, Sardis can best be identified with mainline Protestantism and Laodicea can best be identified with the rise of postmodern churches.
There will be exactly eight billion people living on the earth sometime between 2023-2024. I mention that because my best guess timing for the pretribulation Rapture based on my educated speculation of a 2030 to 2040 second coming would be about half a decade before or after 2024. If only two hundred million go as I propose, that would mean that only 2.5 percent of the people on earth would depart in the Rapture. The departure of two hundred million people will have an impact on the world but it will not make or break any existing nation or world order.
How did I come up with this two hundred million figure?
I assume that Catholicism and most of those in mainline Protestant churches cannot be identified with Philadelphia. For the most part they do not even teach any imminent coming of the Lord. Also, most of these depart from biblical doctrine. Those that do not hold to the truths that Philadelphia believed are not promised any deliverance from the tribulation. I am also assuming that the people attending these churches believe what their denomination teaches or they would not be attending there. Therefore, very few in what is called mainline Christianity will go in the Rapture.
After removing the Catholics and the liberal Protestants there are only about six hundred million others that identify as Christians on earth. They can be identified as Evangelicals, Pentecostals or Christian identity (cults).
About a third of those six hundred million are in cults or are in churches that are on their way to joining with the Harlot of Revelation 17. They have given up premillennialism and the soon return of Christ for some kind of social gospel. Church affiliations like Saddleback, Willow Creek, New Apostolic Reformation and some Word of Faith come to mind. Many are now following the Jesuit Way of uniting Christianity through return to mysticism and the Pope. For further information on how and why these churches are joining with the Harlot of Revelation 17, check out this article and many of the other excellent articles on Roger Oakland’s website. Also check out a few of my own articles on the Harlot of Revelation 17 here and here and here.
Take out the third or more of Evangelicals and Pentecostals that are well on the path to join with the Harlot before the Rapture and it leaves less than four hundred million people in churches that might be identified with Philadelphian biblical Christianity.
It should not surprise anyone that about half of those attending even the remnant churches are phony Christians. Go to any Evangelical or Pentecostal church and ask around. Even the leaders will tell you that they have reason to believe that many of the people in their congregation are not saved. That is why these pastors keep preaching the salvation message each Sunday. Take out the pseudo Christians and their children and that leaves about two hundred million in the church identified as Philadelphia. This is the number that I surmise will depart before the great trial on earth.
That number also fits a dubious theory of mine. Let me explain. We know that Jesus will remove His bride so that she will not suffer the time of the great tribulation on earth. My premise is based on Jesus entering Satan’s abode as a thief and stealing the bride before Jesus is given the Kingdom from the Father. Because of the Lord’s theft of two hundred million people that legally still belong in Satan’s abode, God will allow the release of the four angels bound at the Euphrates (Rev 9:16) that will prepare the way for a two hundred million man demon worshiping army out of the East (eastern religions worship demons). They in turn oppose the King of Kings at His legal return to Jerusalem and bring total destruction on themselves.
I know, I know, that is not much of an argument for two hundred million people going in the Rapture. Even so, I think the Bible says that Jesus comes as a thief for good reason. When He comes for His bride He does not set foot on earth because the earthly kingdom has not been given to Him yet. He just takes his bride off the earth via angelic power. Jesus is awarded the Kingdom after Satan is cast out of heaven unto the earth. That occurs at the mid-point of the last seven years. The details are in Revelation chapters 12 and 19.
Even if I am wrong about the 200 million tie-in from Revelation 9:16, the approximately two hundred million that follow what Jesus commended in the letter to Philadelphia still appears to be a plausible number.
Catholics and the main-stream churches of Protestantism have a works salvation. They have to earn their own salvation through good works or obedience to whatever. No one can come in that way. Those never born from above through faith in Jesus are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Those without the Holy Spirit will not be going in the Rapture no matter how Christian they appear to be.
It should not be surprising that those who only have Christian identity and no Holy Spirit do not even believe in a Rapture. They will not be disappointed. There will be no Rapture for those only having Christian identity. Perhaps only a tithe of those calling themselves Christians will be taken in the Rapture. A tithe of those in Christendom is also about two hundred million. These might also be identified as first-fruits. The first-fruits end with the sealing of the 144,000 Jews. After that comes the great harvest on earth. What will the other 90 percent in Christendom say when Philadelphia is taken? Many of the leaders will say, good riddance! The Christian fundamentalists were hindering their ecumenical kingdom building agenda on the earth. So they will say thank God that those that hinder their kingdom of God effort on earth were removed.
People like Rick Warren have said that the big problem in Christianity is fundamentalism. People like Rick Warren believe the problem in Christianity is those that actually believe the fundamentals of the Christian faith. I have news. Without Christian fundamentals of the faith there only remains a religious Harlot.
The religious Harlot will unite on the concept that there is only one God and embrace any demonic religion that also claims to worship God. The only way to Father God is through Jesus the Christ His Son. The people in the world believing that Jesus is the only way to Father God are only a couple of hundred million people. It is these people that will go in the Rapture. The rest will be tried in the fires of the tribulation to see whom they will really follow.
If you feel your own Christian beliefs are now held by only a minority of those calling themselves Christian, maybe it is because you are one of those two hundred million.