The rapture: Part 1

We all get left behind


By Craig Portwood


It’s a veritable cash cow. It sells books, tape sets, movies and tee shirts. It’s taught from the pulpits. It’s propounded by pastors, theologians and Bible teachers alike. Though the word appears nowhere in the Bible, they call it, “the rapture.”

That such an event as the believers being caught up to Christ is taught in the Bible can be shown. The problem with how this event is being peddled to the ignorant believers is a matter of timing. The Bible does teach such an event will occur, after a time of great trouble, not before.

It is predicated upon Christ’s warning in Matthew 24:21 that a time of “great tribulation” will begin in the end days.

The essence of the teaching is that millions of Christians will one day vanish on the eve of the greatest cataclysm the world will ever know. Without warning, many cars will in an instant become driverless, crashing into those hapless people who have been “left behind.”


At the sound of a trumpet, commercial jets will fall to the ground causing untold damage and injury to the ill-fated unbelievers who refused to heed the warnings of their Christian friends and family. Millions of people will disappear without a trace. It will cause global riots and the world’s social and economic system will collapse. There will be a period of seven years of upheaval and then Christ will return to set up his kingdom on earth.

This belief scares the pudding out of tens of millions of believers. It is also completely baseless, requiring a complete convolution of what the scriptures teach to defend such a perspective.

It has been said that the Bible can be made to say anything if you torture it enough. Few times have the scriptures been more abused than has been seen relative to the propagation of this “pre-tribulation rapture doctrine.

The facts

The Bible does speak of an event where the saints will be “caught up”

1st Thessalonians 4:17-18


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: 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.

Likewise, 1st Corinthians 15:51 states


Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


So, don’t these verses prove that Christians will be removed from the earth before this “great tribulation” begins? The plain answer is a resounding no. Nothing in either of these verses gives us reason to assume that the events described occur before the tribulation begins.


There are too many scriptures which explicitly describe such an event as occurring at the end of the tribulation.  A careful examination of the Word of God indicates that God’s people will indeed suffer at the hands of the one we call “the Antichrist” before any such rapture can occur.

Before we conclude this introduction to the subject, we present the plain words of Christ as to the timing of this “rapture.” He tells us that it will occur “immediately after” the tribulation and not before.

Matthew 24: 29-31


Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


Somebody is clearly wrong. Either Christ was confused or the pre-tribulation rapture crowd is confused. You are free to choose whom to believe. This author believes Christ.