I realize that this will disappoint many Christians. If the great tribulation is over, then the Rapture is not scheduled to take place prior to this tribulation. The rapture of the saints — the resurrection of dead saints and the instant transformation of those still alive on earth (I Corinthians 15:52) — gets delayed until the final act of history, when Satan rebels and Christ comes back to judge the world (Revelation 20:7-10). This means that until then, Christians will remain on earth as God’s delegated agents of judgment in history, preaching the gospel, applying God’s law to every area of life, and progressively subduing the earth to the glory of God (Genesis 1:26- 28). This means that there will be no earthly escape for church members from the progressively heavy responsibilities of exercising dominion.
Sadly, there are millions of Christians today who have adopted a philosophy of the future that teaches that most people will die and go to hell — and then be tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:14) — and nothing the church can do will be able to overcome their resistance to the gospel. The Holy Spirit will simply never change the hearts of a majority of mankind. They will inevitably perish. With over 5 billion people alive today, and with billions more to be born in the next 40 years, this is a pessimistic doctrine of the future. Yet today’s Christians prefer to believe in this horrible scenario than to believe in the growth of the church and the triumph of the gospel, for such a triumph would place tremendous responsibility on those who call themselves Christians. They really would rather see billions of people perish eternally than to admit to themselves that they, as Christians, will be called on by God to take responsibility in this world — in the areas that many Christians call “secular” —because of a world-wide revival.
We who call ourselves Christian Reconstructionists proclaim a future worldwide revival and the steady, voluntary submission of people to God’s law. We believe that Christians will steadily be given responsibilities in every area of life in a world that has run out of workable answers. God will give us these responsibilities, but not through revolution or tyranny. Instead, He will give us these responsibilities in history through the voluntary submission of those who have no other hope, and who (until that final rebel-lion of Revelation 20) will be willing to allow Christians to bear these social, political, military, and economic responsibilities.
We believe in revival. We believe in evangelism and foreign missions. So do all Christians. But we Reconstructionists have this unique outlook: we believe that these gospel efforts will be successful in history. When we call other Christians to intensify their efforts to spread the gospel, we offer them this unique motivation: their efforts will eventually prove successful in history. The gospel of Jesus Christ will not prove to be a failure in history. The power of the resurrection is greater than the power of the devil and his human followers to resist the most powerful message in man’s history: that Jesus Christ has borne the sins of man, and that evil has in principle been overcome. As time goes on, this gospel will triumph in history.