Normally, I don’t care about theology that doesn’t pertain to salvation or living righteously, but this is a popular belief among Christians, and I’m sad to say that I can almost certainly say it’s not in scripture. Yes, there are various verses that talk about being taken like a thief in the night, or being taken up in the spirit, but is there a biblical basis for the rapture?Well, for starters, the word “rapture” is not mentioned in the greek bible. That word is completely missing. That, of course, isn’t huge evidence one way or another.
The “key verse” of the rapture theology is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. What does it mean to be caught up in the air? Some people think we’re being whisked up into heaven, and Jesus will reign for 1000000 years. I don’t have a problem with Jesus reigning for any length of time, but being caught up in the air is something we need to re-examine. The words for caught up in the air, in Greek, talk about the “lower air,” or the air near the ground. As a direct result, instead of thinking about clouds in the sky, I want to direct your attention to the tabernacle. Remember, when the Holy of Holies, once a year, would fill with God’s presences (as smoke), and a priest would go in and perform a ritual for Israel’s sin? The cloud in 1 Thessalonians uses the same word in the Septuagint that described the cloud Israel followed in the desert. This is no coincidence. We’re not talking about some high in the sky cloud, we’re talking about a cloud low enough to maybe even consider being fog.
Another popular verse is John 14:2-3, which talks about Jesus preparing a place, then He’ll come back and take us with Him. What if that place is here on earth? The scripture doesn’t say, specifically, but what if Jesus is preparing the Earth for a spiritual kingdom? Chew on that for a while. Didn’t Jesus say to Pilate that His kingdom was not of this realm? He didn’t say it wasn’t on the Earth, though. Just not physical.
Most other verses I have heard or seen beyond this aren’t really about the rapture as much as glorified bodies, which I don’t have a problem with at all.
I’m not saying don’t believe in rapture theology; that’s up to you to decide. The point I’m trying to make is, whether or not you believe in it, don’t focus on this sort of minor theology, don’t use it as a tool of evangelism, don’t preach it. Study the risen Christ, and share that message with the people you know. Work our your salvation daily; examine what you believe, see if there’s something you need to trim out of what you believe. Don’t ever be satisfied with just accepting what’s preached at your pulpit, or what you heard over the Christian radio station. If you do all that and still believe in the rapture, then believe it, discuss it with your Christian friends, but keep it out of the public. It’s a personal belief that usually causes more debates and arguments than resolves them.
Keep Christ at the centre of your faith, and you’ll do just fine.