Not in common usage and unheard of until the early 1800’s the term “Rapture” was only made popular in the 1830’s by John Darby and later in the Schofield Reference Bible in the early 1900’s. Often called the “Secret Rapture” it is so secret that God does not even mention it in the Bible. The concept of the “Rapture” supposedly comes from I Thes. 4:17 “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This verse says nothing about a rapture to heaven. The concept of the “Secret Rapture” is believed to be that Jesus will return part way to earth, meet his saints in the air to rescue them from the coming tribulation, return to heaven with the saints, wait 3 ½ years (or a 1000 years in some circles) and then return to earth for His advent. None of this concept is Biblically correct.
Does Jesus return “part way” to earth and then return to Heaven with His raptured saints? The simple answer is no He does not return part way and then wait to return again another day. In Acts 1:11 an angel describes Christ’s earthly departure and how He will return to earth in the same way. He will not return until the “Day of the Lord” which is mentioned in the Bible dozens of times. He will stand on that day on the Mount of Olives. See CSCOG7 Staff Day of the Lord for full details on the return of Jesus.
By stating the saints who meet Jesus in the air will be taken up to heaven to wait the Advent is anti-Biblical as no man has ascended to heaven and heaven is not the reward of the saved (John 3:13a Jesus said no man to heaven; Acts 2:29, 34 Not even King David has gone to heaven; Rev. 20:4-6 the Saints are resurrected at the return of Christ and reign with Him for a 1,000 year on earth, the reward of the saved). See CSCOG7 – Heaven.
The Rapture purports to protect Christians from the tribulation. This brings up a question, what about all the Christians who have suffered and been martyred during the last 2,000 years of Christianity? What about the Christians who have very recently been crucified in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia? Are these Christians some lessor Christian than those who have not suffered? Where was their secret rapture to safety? The following verses show Christians being persecuted at the time of the end (Matt. 24:6-9,20-21; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:12,17; Rev. 12:17; 13:5-7,10; 16:16;17:6,14; 18:24).
The word “Rapture” is NOT in the Bible. There are no scriptures where the Bible says Christians will be taken to heaven to wait out the tribulation. The word “Rapture” and the concept of the rapture also is not in any of the following reference materials: The New Peoples Cyclopedia of Universal Knowledge, 1889; The Encyclopedia Britannica 11th ed. 1910; Compton Pictured Encyclopedia, 1935; The Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia, 1953; Modern Reference Encyclopedia, 1961; The World Book Encyclopedia, 1994. The “Rapture” is also not found in the following Biblical reference materials and helps: Strong’s Concordance; Young’s Concordance; Unger’s Bible Handbook; Unger’s Bible Dictionary; Commentary on the Whole Bible by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown. If the rapture were Biblical one would think these “Bible” reference materials would cover the subject.
The word “Rapture” is found in Nave’s Topical Bible. However, it is inserted and used without any Biblical context. Nave’s then uses “proof texting” to create an image the rapture is Biblical. See CSCOG7 – Hermeneutics for further details.
The concept and belief in the “Rapture” is in complete conflict with the “Day of the Lord” and the time line of events spoken of by Jesus Himself in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 (See CSCOG7 – Day of the Lord for further details). The Day of the Lord and the return of Christ will be a very loud noisy event heard round the world. There will be nothing “secret” about it (I Cor. 15:52; I Thes. 4:16; Rev. 19:11-16)! To believe in the “Rapture” one must believe man has an “immortal soul”. We do not have an immortal soul (See CSCOG7 – Immortal Soul). The rapture is a false eschatology giving people a false hope of deliverance from the Great and terrible coming tribulation. The “Rapture is nowhere to be found in God’s Holy Word.