Im new so sorry if this isnt the place to ask questions.
Welcome to the board Musicman!
I'd say a Bible Study Q & A area is a good place to ask a question, although some of the other forums get higher "traffic".
I was reading Herbs comments today and was wondering when he said he didnt believe there will be a second chance if you miss the rapture, "I believe you only have God's wrath to look forward to". does that mean if you miss the rapture you cant be saved, not accepting the mark and being persecuted & die for not accepting it and accepting christ then will not save you, is it to late then?
I looked back at Herb's post and he didn't cover the topic at much length in the commentary you're referring to, so I can see how it would raise more questions than it answers...at least on this topic.
I can't speak for Herb, but I'm willing to explore this concept as well as the scripture related to it if you wish.
Ultimately, we should take every effort to inform our doctrines and opinions by what scripture says...I'm sure you'd agree.
Firstly, getting some terms and pinning down some of the picture is in order.
I have a suspicion regarding where Herb falls on this issue, but I don't think I've seen a post or commentary of his that plainly states his opinion on when the rapture happens in reference to the end times and Revelation in particular.
So instead of speculating upon Herb's opinion I can offer my thoughts on the topic.
I am largely convinced that the rapture will happen at some point within or at the end of the 6th seal as described in Rev 6:12-17. This timing is referred to as the Prewrath view. Additionally, the prewrath view suggests that the great multitude that no one can count seen in heaven in Rev 7 is the result of the rapture and the rising of the dead in Christ that is described in 1 Thess 4. I'll spare you the volumes of scripture that leads me to this conclusion for the time being and simply note that this view is different from the pretrib rapture view.
As for definitions...one will note that these two views include the terms "wrath" and "tribulation"...and that is the ultimate issue that seperates the two views.
The most common pretrib view says God's wrath is the same as the Great Tribulation with is the same as the "tribulation" and that they constitute the entirety of the 7 year period known as the 70th week (the pretrib view normally just refers to it as the "tribulation").
The prewrath view sees God's wrath, tribulation and the Great Tribulation as different things. The Greek for wrath is NOT the same as the Greek for Tribulation, and in Matthew 24 Jesus says the Great Tribulation begins after the middle of the 70th week...so from the prewrath perspective the pretrib view is contrary to scripture, both in the claim the Great Tribulation is 7 years long as well as claim the Great Tribulation is synonymous with tribulation and God's wrath.
With that out of the way let's examine scripture for our answer...are there any instances in scripture after the end of Revelation 7 that describes any salvations?
Rev 8:13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!"
A declaration of woe to those who dwell upon the earth. Not promising.
Rev 9:20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols...
Scripture says of those who survived these plagues did not repent...no salvation here.
Rev 11:10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.
This verse says those who dwell on the earth will rejoice at the deaths of the 2 witnesses. Are there some who do not rejoice? If there are they aren't described in scripture, and the context suggests otherwise....or it would likely say "some" of those who dwell on the earth.
Then a great earthquake occurs destroying a tenth of the city and this is the result...
Rev 11:13 And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Well, that's promising...but the real question is, does giving glory to God a confession leading to salvation? Scripture doesn't provide us adequate information to determine here...but it's a possiblity. It's also possible that when scripture says they gave glory to God it might mean that they correctly acknowledge that it was by God's grace that the whole city wasn't destroyed and all of them killed.
In either case, who these people are might be of importance as well...it is very likely this is Jerusalem, and these quite possibly are Jews...so perhaps they recognize God's hand, but we simply don't have adequate information here to confirm if that leads them to accept Jesus as the Christ.
Rev 13:3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. 4And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?"
This passage says the "whole earth" followed the beast and worshiped the dragon...so it would seem there aren't lots of conversions taking place or likely to be taking place at this point.
One note here...some believe Revelation is not entirely sequential. There are quite a few different variations that different people propose..this is one of those chapters that some suggest overlaps earlier chapters. I think a reasonable case can be made to support that view, although I don't claim to be able to definitively prove it...but I'll simply point out that it's a possiblity here...but I'll point out one of the reasons some believe this...
Rev 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.
The 42 months is an indicator. That is 3 1/2 years. Revelation 6 appears to correspond to a point AFTER the middle of the 70th week, which would only allow less than 3 1/2 years remaining in the 70th week after that point...and yet here we're told of a 3 1/2 year period. This best fits if it's seen as overlapping earlier sections of Revelation (quite possibly the first portions of Rev 6 onward)
Rev 13:7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.
Additionally, in the light of earlier passages that state that the people on the earth do not repent and worship the dragon one wonders who these saints would be if this were sequential...it makes more sense if it overlaps an earlier point...but not everyone adopts that view...you're likely to find quite a few conflicting (many irrational) claims regarding this chapter.
Rev 13:7 And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.
More of chapter 13 here...all who are not written in the book of life will worship the dragon. Clearly, in this chapter there are believers, however we've yet to see a single verse that definitively describing anyone actually converting and to the contrary, have seen many passages that claim no one repents.
Rev 13:15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.
Again, there are some who do not worship the beast, but they are targeted for extermination. Personally, I have an opinion where this might overlap, but I believe there are a number of interpretations and I don't believe it is possible to "prove".
Rev 14:1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.
If Rev 13 & 14 overlap earlier chapters of Revelation then are these the same 144,000 seen in Rev 7? One could make that arguement, but again, impossible to prove.
Scripture says these 144,000 are redeemed from the earth, so if this chapter IS chronological (although that doesn't seem to make sense), then there is reference to some being redeemed in this passage.
Rev 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
This is, in my opinion, likely to be the church in the Great Tribulation...that is, assuming this chapter overlaps an earlier point. Otherwise, there are Christians on the earth after points where scripture says all the people on the earth worship the dragon...which doesn't seem to make too much sense.
Rev 14:14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe." 16So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.
This sure sounds like Matthew 24:30-31, Mark 13:26-27, Luke 21:27-28, 1 Thess 4:17 & Rev 1:7.
Then scripture seems to shift back to the specifics of the events...
Rev 16:9 They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.
Again, they curse the name of God and did not repent...no salvation here.
So, I suppose the answer to your question is partly dependant upon how one interprets the placement of Rev 13-15. Initially, I intended to avoid inserting my opinion regarding that, but as I wrote this out it seemed that if I didn't comment on this issue it would be to leave it in a state of confusion.
I just wrote this out in response to your question, so this isn't a canned response, although I'd given the subject some thought...but it's not exhaustive.
So let me challenge you...with the exception of Rev 13-15 that appears to not be chronological, but rather another perspective that overlaps another portion of Revelation, can you identify scripture that plainly describes people repenting and coming to faith in Christ?