When will the Lord return to take His Church out of the world? The word rapture itself is not found in the Bible but the meaning of the word 'to be caught up or taken away suddenly' is. The rapture refers to the sudden removal of all of God's people, when Jesus comes to take His 'Church' from the earth. Understand the 'Church' are only those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ and not just those that go to Church and have not been truly born-again. The Bible says that in the twinkling of an eye, born again Christians will suddenly be transformed from their human bodies and will rise up to join Jesus Christ into the air.
Many Christians do not understand or know much about the rapture are afraid to talk about it. The world would consider this concept as totally crazy, so it is little talked about, outside of the Church, and even within the Church.
Those who believe the truth of the Bible know that the rapture is coming and from the signs it appears to be soon in the future. When will the church be raptured? We know from evidence of the signs of the times when compared to scripture that Jesus is coming for His Church soon. As these signs intensify in clarity each day; all who know Jesus Christ as Savior should be looking toward Heaven and awaiting the coming of our Lord.
Most conservative biblical scholars accept that the rapture will occur prior to the Seven Year Tribulation Period, which is labeled as a pre-tribulation rapture. Because the whole Church will be taken out of this world before the Seven Year Tribulation Period; God spares His Church from the persecutions of the Antichrist and the wrath of God that will fall upon the inhabitants of the Earth. There will be some that will come to Christ following the rapture; but these Christians will live through persecution by the Antichrist and some will be even martyred for their faith.
When will the Lord return to take His Church out of the world? There are some who believe that the rapture will happen in the middle or end of the Tribulation Period, but careful study of scripture does not support either of these views.
Matthew 24:21 says "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be."
Revelation 3:10 says " Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."
Christians in the early century church were understood about the coming of their Lord in end-times and shared their faith everywhere. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 says, "Behold, I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
When the Lord returns for His Church many will be taken up with Jesus; but billions of people will be left behind. These will be missing friends, loved ones, family, co-workers but more importantly is that all these will be left to live through this Tribulation Period, because they did not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. God will come for his Church suddenly at a time when we least expect it. For this reason, He instructs us to be ready, always prepared, and on guard for his coming. Matthew 24:42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."
How will it be explained about the disappearances of millions of believers is not known but however it is will be accepted by the general population left behind. With the main obstacle to Satan's plan removed (the Church) the way will be clear for the Antichrist to implement his evil plan for the world. With all believers gone, there will be few to stand in the way of a one world religion and government that defies any belief in God who can save them.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 says "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition"
2 Thessalonians 2:6,7 continues to say "And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way."
Its easy to see that even today how many are turning to 'New Age' ideas; religions that deny Jesus Christ and are based on good works, and other God denying methods. People do not want to accountable to anyone especially God and are a self satisfying people.
1 Thessalonians 5:4,9-10 "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him."
God promises that he will deliver His Church (His chosen people- those who are born-again) from the persecutions of the Antichrist and wrath of God to come.
You should rejoice in the saving grace of Christ if you are a Christian. Tell others you know the reason for the hope that is within you so that they may come to give their lives to Jesus Christ before it is too late. As each day passes by it is one day closer to the rapture and then it is too late.