The rapture is not from the Bible, and not from valid sources; so why do so many people buy into it? It was not accepted by any denomination or godly theologian, or anyone who knew biblical languages and the Bible. Why? I think it was because it was exciting and people like a bit of excitement, especially if they do not know or get into the Bible They do not know the excitement an intimate relationship with God gives, so they look for substitutes by making up their own stuff or following others who do. By the way: every denominational and Christian group outside the Pentecostals rejected this doctrine until the 1980’s.
It has only gained popularity recently in the 1970’s when churches stopped teaching what’s in the Bible, solid doctrine, and how to study the Bible. Instead, “feel good” messages have filled our pulpits and airways as the sheep get fat on junk food and miss the main meals Christ has for us.
Many of these proponents seem to just quote other people who promote their views who quote other people and so forth. But the bottom line is this: no credible evidence in the Bible or in scholarship can be found. So where did it come from? Not from God!
The word rapture itself is not a good word to use for this event. That is why it was never used in church history by the greatest thinkers and expositors. Perhaps of the words used by Scripture, to be caught up is best; if you must have a term, “quickening” from the Old Irish seems best. Keep in mind that if you insist this is a true doctrine, this term came from false teachers who held a callous disregard to solid biblical doctrine and the rules of biblical interpretation. It is not a part of our Church thinking because most people today are not being discipled; they do not know the Word and thus buy this non-sequential thinking hook, line, and sinker because they do not know the difference. Others just go along with the rest of the non-thinking sheep, “bawing” to peer pressure. And shame on us preachers for not being more careful in presenting the Word of God!
The Purpose of the Rapture?
Yes, there will be a rapture, as in “caught up together to meet the Lord” as the Scriptures tell us.
But for us to argue its sequence and manner is just silly and misses the point. The purpose of “a rapture” from the Scriptures is not to vacate the earth, but to show Christ’s glory! It is not about us, it is about Him! The Church is not removed, rather is to participate in Him, to live in Him, to be marked in Him, to be identified in Him for His Lordship and lead here on Earth. Baptism means to be identified in Christ, yet so many Christians do not understand that either and thus fight over trivial meanings that baptism is not about. We do this with the Rapture too! We miss the point just as the Apostles did when they walked with Christ. But His Word is clear. Baptism is to be identified with Christ; mode and means are irrelevant.
Faith and action that lead to our obedience to be identified in Him is relevant. There is no way out of that if you read the Bible; the Rapture of the Church is all about Christ and His glory. It is not about us, our theories or a seven year tribulation or whatever ridiculous conjecture of the day might be. Christ is Lord; Christianity is about Him and how He seeks and saves us. It is not about us, our views or agendas. When we get away from our selfishness and pride and really surrender ourselves to look to Him, our Church will flourish and we will get the point of what He saves us for! This is what Biblical Eschatology is all about.