One interesting aspect of "missing" the rapture that is overlooked by most is that those who fail to enter in do so by their own choice. Just as with the Children of Israel, who would not enter into the Promised Land when God offered it to them, but they feared and chose to remain where they were in the wilderness. This is illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom
The bridegroom tarried and the foolish virgins, because they had brought no extra oil, were not able to keep their lamps lit, and when finally He appeared, because their lamps were going out, they were in darkness and not willing to go and meet Him. They tried to borrow oil from the wise virgins, (the Philadelphia church), but the wise could not share any with them because there was not enough (how could there be not enough Holy Spirit? The oil is not the Holy Spirit, but teaching or revelation knowledge of the Holy Spirit) and so they sent them to buy more for themselves. Just as Jesus also councils them:
Revelation 3:18. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
2 Peter 1:8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So basically, it is true that there is something that we each must do in order to be ready. But being good enough according to the law is not it. He took care of that for us. What we must do is accept His salvation, (do justly) become His disciple and forgive others (love mercy) and walk humbly with Him, as we have already stated. Then you will be in open communication with Him and the Holy Spirit and since this is important, He will keep you informed as to when to expect Him.
1 Thessalonians 5: 1. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
Not only that, you will not be ashamed or afraid at His appearing. You will have the extra oil (of the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Spirit Himself) for your lamp, which will lighten your path at this critical hour.
This is not the Holy Spirit Himself because you cannot run out of the Holy Spirit and you don’t ask fellow virgins to borrow some of their Holy Spirit, and you sure can’t go and buy for yourself more Holy Spirit. (As Peter rebuked Simon, the sorcerer for offering money for the Holy Spirit.) This is revelation knowledge that you get from the Holy Spirit; therefore it is oil of the Holy Spirit.
The foolish virgins became painfully aware at the moment of the rapture that they were wholly unprepared for what was happening, because they were too preoccupied with the cares of this world to have been taught by the Holy Spirit of these things. They never put Jesus first in their lives and became disciples. The wise had been taught and were trimming their lamps and assessing all that was taking place. However, they were barely able to take it all in for themselves, since, let’s face it; the rapture is going to be scary. (You have not passed this way before…)
Other than maybe in some horror movie, have you ever seen a grave opening and someone coming out of it? If you saw that today, would it frighten you? How about the possibility of UFOs coming out of their hiding place all over the world at once? Some have suggested that it is at this very moment when Satan is cast down to earth from his place in the heavens. In other words he loses his ability to be invisible to the physical realms of our dimension, and therefore he has great wrath, knowing his time is short.
The point of our scripture at hand is that if you are not ready for this event, there is no way that anyone will be able to catch you up once it begins. It will take all the attention of a wise virgin just to get himself in the door at this moment; he will not have enough extra knowledge to share with dummy, foolish virgins at this point. But this is not works of the law, it is being faithful to hold onto what Jesus has done for you and having redeemed the time and made good use of your grace that God has given you by taking His yoke on you and learning of Him. Being saved by grace does not mean that there is nothing that we do as part of the salvation equation.
Playing Hooky from Men; Back To School, With God
Think of it like a college scholarship. If you were poor but wanted to attend a college or university and you were given a scholarship for free, then that would be like grace, unmerited favor to attend the school. That gets you in the door, but it’s still up to you to pay attention in classes and learn what you are expected to know in order to graduate. God paid our way into fellowship with Him through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection from the grave. But now that we are able to become disciples, it is up to us to give ourselves to Him and become taught and learn what He wants us to know.
2 Corinthians 5: 14. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15. And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Those among us who take this seriously and learn are the ones who have the extra oil. That’s why we are called "wise". But those who goof off and don’t take the classes seriously but pursue other hobbies or interests instead will be rejected at graduation time. They will be ashamed. They will not know or be able to accept that God already paid their way in as well, because they will not know God and His loving ways. Like the Children of Israel were, they will be afraid to enter in when the invitation is given and they will stay in this earthly wilderness while those who are ready will joyfully go on in. Whew!
All these kinds of things I learned from God and by spending time with God. This is oil for my lamp. I am able to share it with you right now because the rapture is not happening right now. Once the rapture begins, I will no longer be able to share this with anyone because I will need all my attention to be focused on the Lord and what is required of me at that moment. I will have nothing to offer then to some fellow virgin who did not do their homework. But will rather say to them,
"You need to read the Bible and see for yourself what this means... It’s the rapture and I’m going in, why don’t you come too...?" But like the Israelites, they will not be able to because of "unbelief" and fear. This is why they are numbered with the fearful and unbelieving. They then must enter into the tribulation and deal with Antichrist. They can still be saved, indeed millions will. But it will be much more difficult now. That’s why Jude says:
Jude 1: 22. And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
The fire is the tribulation. You can be saved right now by God’s compassion, or if you don’t go for that, then you can still be saved by fear during the tribulation. I choose the compassion of God over the fear.