Believers Missing The Rapture?
Ask a Bible Teacher
by Jack Kelley
Question: Re: Matt 24:48-51: "But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming: and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and WILL APPOINT HIM HIS PORTION WITH THE UNBELIEVERS."
I know some doubt there is such a scripture in the Bible. For they don't believe it is possible for a person who is a professing believer to be left behind with unbelievers at the rapture. But this seems to be what this verse is saying. For here pictured is one who is a servant looking for his lord's coming. But he is living carelessly, eating and drinking as in Noah's day, enjoying the pleasures of life without regard to the soon-approaching rapture. He is also found mistreating his fellowman. What happens?
The Bible says of this servant that he is cut in sunder, or cut off. This man does not lose his salvation for that is a gift to all who truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but he loses his reward. For this Scripture would indicate again that Rapture is the reward of readiness.
So, concerning this servant - the privilege that is rightfully his is denied him. For we read his portion is with the unbelievers. Instead of escaping the tribulation the indication is that he must go through it and prove his loyalty to Christ amidst the purifying and chastening fires of judgment.
Jack what is YOUR take on this piece?
Answer: The interpretation you've quoted demonstrates the error in ignoring the timing clearly explained through out Matt 24 & 25. In Matt. 24:29-30 the timing is given as immediately following the Great Tribulation at the time of the Second Coming. Events from verse 36 on describe conditions the Lord finds on Earth when He returns. The 2nd Coming will have already happened. No matter what your view of the Rapture's timing, it would have preceded this. So the servants can't be part of the Church.
Verses 45-51 describe two kinds of religious leaders alive on Earth at the Lord's return. One has kept the faith and given his flock the pure Word of God (their spiritual food) during the Great Tribulation. He will be given great responsibility in the Kingdom Age, being ushered in with the sheep in Matt. 25:34.
The other has not. By his actions and lack of faith he will have identified himself as an evil servant, a non-believer. He will have oppressed (beaten) them with false doctrine and fallen into idolatry (eating and drinking with drunkards). At the Lord's return he will be banished into the outer darkness with the Goats of Matt 25:41. THis is a description of the two varieties of Tribulation era fellowships, one true and one false.