But before I do that let me tell you that I do believe in a literal 7 year end times period after which Jesus comes back to the earth to set up His literal 1000 year Millennial kingdom and I also believe in a rapture that will remove His children before His wrath is poured out upon the earth.
I also believe that it is vitally important for a Christian to have a correct rapture view, not only for the purpose of pleasing God by having correct doctrinal beliefs, but also for one’s own personal sake, because a wrong rapture view can leave a Christian open to destructive consequences.
Thus what I am about to explain to you is vitally important, and I know that as a good “Berean,” you will prayerfully examine the scriptures to see if what I am saying is true.
So when will the rapture occur? Paul basically answered that very question—the Thessalonians were confused about the timing of the rapture and God through the apostle Paul told them when it would occur.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
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. 1Thes 4: 15-17
Here Paul is telling them that there will come a time when Jesus will descend to the clouds, and believers who are alive at the time will be caught up to the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This catching up is what the English word rapture means.
The Latin Vulgate translates the Greek ἁρπαγησόμεθα as rapiemur meaning "we are caught up" or "we are taken away" from the Latin verb rapio meaning "to catch up" or "take away".
So it is clear that even though the word “rapture” is not used in the Bible, the word “caught up” is used in the Bible, and in English we give that catching up event the name rapture based on the latin.
Thus the caught up/rapture event is clearly being discussed by Paul in this passage. Let’s see what else God tells the Thessalonians about the rapture event.
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. 1Thes 5:1-3
Here we are told that this caught up/rapture event will occur suddenly like a thief in the night and is clearly associated with and part of a greater event known as the Day of the Lord.
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 2 Thes 2:1-2
Here God again is discussing the rapture event as our gathering together unto Him at the coming of the Lord. He then calls this event the Day of Christ which is synonymous with the Day of the Lord, as it is the same Greek word. Again, God confirms that the rapture occurs during the Day of Christ or the Day of the Lord.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: Acts 2:20
God clearly tells us in that passage that the sun is darkened and the moon is turned to blood before the Day of the Lord occurs.
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; Rev 6:12
Here is a confirmation of this fact. Look at what the rest of the Revelation sixth seal passage says.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Rev 6: 15-17
Notice that the people of the earth say “hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne.” Why do they say that? Because they see the Lord in the sky at the rapture event, after which the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth—rapture before wrath—pre wrath rapture.
Over the years I have corresponded with many about this issue, and one of the most common responses I have gotten from people is that they say that one’s rapture view is not that important, and we should not really discuss it because it is causes too much division in the body of Christ.
Well how important do you think a correct rapture view will be when Seals 1 to 5 are opened and you have to live through that time totally unprepared. Think about it.
The choice of what you believe about the rapture is yours to make, but realize that there will come a time in the future when a wrong rapture view can have serious consequences.
Let me sum things up.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36
Do you know what will happen in the end times and how to prepare for them? I wrote a book to help you. It is entitled The Coming Epiphany and will explain to you, in an easy to understand format what you need to know about the end times. The Coming Epiphany is available in paperback and as an eBook on Amazon.com. (If you cannot afford one please email me)