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The Redeemers Return by Arthur W. Pink

2. The Hopeless condition of the left-behind ones.

What will happen when Christendom awakens to the solemn fact that the real Church, the Church of God, has been removed from this earth and taken to be with the Lord? Again we say, it is not difficult for our imagination to supply the answer. But we are not left to the exercise of our imagination; the Holy Scriptures contain a plain and full reply to our inquiry. The Word of God intimates that following the Rapture of the saints many of the left-behind ones will earnestly seek the salvation of their souls. Multitudes of men and women will, for the first time in their lives, all upon the name of the Lord and cry unto Him for mercy. But their cry will not be heard. Their seeking will be in vain, because they have delayed the all-important matter of their salvation until it is too late. The door of mercy will then be closed, for the Day of Salvation will have ended. Often had these left-behind ones been warned, but in vain. Servants of God had faithfully set before them their imperative need of fleeing from the wrath to come; knowing the terror of the Lord, they had sought to persuade their unsaved hearers to be reconciled to God, only to be laughed at for their pains. And now the tables will be turned. God will laugh at them, laugh at their calamity and mock at their fear. Listen to the solemn declaration of Holy Writ -- |Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then they shall call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.| (Prov.1:24-31). Unspeakably solemn words are these -- words which ought to be thundered forth from every pulpit in the land. Many the time had these same people heard the Gospel preached, but they had deliberately hardened their hearts. Many the time had they been urged to |Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near| (Is.55:6), but they despised the invitations of Divine grace. Now they shall reap as they have sown. Hitherto they had mocked God; now God shall mock them. Hitherto Go had called to them, but they had refused to attend; now shall they call upon God and He will decline to answer them.

Parallel with this solemn declaration is the Old Testament Scriptures we find our Lord Himself testified, |Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able when once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye being to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know ye not whence ye are| (Luke 13:24, 25). These words contain an amplification of His utterance concerning the |foolish virgins| -- |Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not| (Matt.25:11, 12). Whoever the |great multitude| of Rev.7 may be, it is certain that none in Christendom who have rejected the Gospel during the present dispensation will be among that number.2 Thess.2:10-12 is equally explicit. The Anti-christ shall come |with all decevableness 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 ALL might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.| Let it then be distinctly understood that, there will be no |second chance| for present-day Christ rejectors left behind on the earth after the removal of the Church, for when the Church goes the Holy Spirit, too, is taken away. Knocking and crying then will be useless. The door has been closed. The Day of Salvation is over. An angry God shall then mock those who have mocked Him. As it was with Israel of old, so shall it then be with a God-forsaken Christendom -- |Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them| (Ezek.8:18). Unsaved reader, consider thy peril. The Lord is at hand, and if you are not among the number caught up to meet Him in the air, then your doom will be eternally sealed. |He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him| (John 3:36). But not only shall the left-behind ones seek the Lord in vain, but they shall be the objects of His wrath. This leads us to consider --

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