Correspondence: Taken When the Lord Comes; 1PE 3:18-19; ROM 9:18

1 Peter 3:18-19; Romans 9:18
Ques. Does the Word of God teach that all Christians will be taken up when the Lord comes, even though they may be walking in the most worldly manner; or is the promise only to a waiting people, who look and long for His appearing?
Great numbers who pass for Christians with men, and who profess to be such, will be shut out. (Matt. 25:11, 1211Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (Matthew 25:11‑12).) Solemn words! Jesus will say,
“Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.”
“Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name?... And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." Matt. 7:22, 2322Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22‑23).
We must not suppose that worldly Christians will be left behind; but that worldly professors will be left, shut out forever.
May not the blessed hope of the Bridegroom's return, restored to us in these last days, be used by the Spirit already to separate the true from the false?
“The bride" will include every true Christian. And the Spirit is moving the hearts of all such to say, "Come.”
If you meet a mere professor who says that the coming of Christ is nothing to him, his heart is engrossed in politics, pleasure, or worldly gain. Could you say from Scripture that he is a worldly Christian? Satan is leading off his companies, and the Spirit is leading the bride to say "Come." Every day shows that you cannot depend on profession. Blessed be God! we can depend on His Word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Ans. This is evidently Christ in the Spirit preaching through Noah, before the flood, to those who were disobedient. Those now are spirits in prison, yes, in that prison in which the rich man lifted up his eyes being in torment (Luke 16). These are part of the dead, who will stand before the great white throne and receive the doom of the lake of fire. And let us not forget, that as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be when the Son of man cometh.
Ques. Please explain, "Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth." Rom. 9:1818Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (Romans 9:18).
Ans. This verse sets forth God's sovereign right to do as He pleases. Man must bow. It is of no use to reason, or reply, for God must have the upper hand in the end. As to Pharaoh, the hardening of his heart was judicial. He had set himself to resist God's will, and he was given over to blindness and hardness of heart. No one was ever hardened or blinded who had the faintest or feeblest desire after God or His Christ. Theology makes difficulties in this matter: truth makes none.