By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


What is the rapture?


There are many Christians who believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ will be in two phases. First He will come for believers, both living and dead, in the “rapture”; read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. In this view, the rapture—which is the transformation and catching up of all Christians, dead or alive, to meet Christ in the air—will be secret, for it will be unknown to the world of unbelievers at the time of its happening.

The effect of this removal, in the absence of multitudes of people, will, of course, be evident on earth. Then, second, after a period of seven years of tribulation on earth, Christ will return to the earth with His church, the saints who were raptured (Matthew 24:30, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 1:7). He will be victorious over His enemies and will reign on the earth for a thousand years (the millennium) with His saints, the church.

After the thousand years, living unbelievers and the wicked dead now raised to life will be judged at the great white throne judgment. They will then be cast into the lake of fire, while the saved will live forever with Christ in a new heaven and earth (Revelation, chapters 19-22).

Many other evangelical Christians believe that Christ’s return and the rapture will not occur until the seven years of the tribulation have ended. As far as the latter view is concerned, the rapture will not be secret, since it will be part of Christ’s visible and triumphant return to end this present evil age (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). At this point, interpreters differ as to whether there will be a literal thousand year reign of Christ on earth or whether the white throne judgment and the new heaven and earth will immediately appear.

All Christians do not agree on every detail of what will occur in the final events of this world’s history. Some of these events and their order of occurrence have simply not been made clear in the Bible. What is important is that all Christians hold in common that Christ will ultimately return bodily, visibly, and gloriously to reign and rule with His resurrected and transformed saints forever and ever. The details of this great event will be made known in God’s own time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Michael Broadie says:

    This position is very well crafted. I am recently converted to the belief that we will experience a post-tribulation rapture.

  2. Sue says:

    My comment is, if 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. does occur and surely it will as it is written in the Bible, regardless of exactly when, WHY is is preached that we must all die? That death is inevitable? I have lived my whole life believing and yearning for the time of the “rapture” and that by Gods Grace I might be a participant in it and be taken by the Lord ALIVE. Am I wrong in hoping & believing in this? After all, there have been some prophets and I believe even Moses (whose body was never found) were taken alive to be with the Lord. When the disciples questioned Jesus as to what would happen to John and where he would sit, Jesus replied that it was none of their concern and it was ultimately the Lords decision what would happen to John.

  3. obayi Ngozi says:

    Please more on the great tribulation.

  4. Robin says:

    I am very impressed with your comments on the Rapture. I am in agreement with you. There is so little info in the Bible to support it. I think you are extremely smart to take the stand that you do. I have steered away from the organizations who support the Rapture theory. I pray for them.
    Not everything is made clear in the Bible. Our God has also told us that we don’t always know what or why he is doing things. Our God doesn’t make mistakes, so I know there is a reason for it.

  5. Linda Goss says:

    I wish to receive the emails

  6. Amy Cunningham says:

    As long as we agree Jesus is the son of God and he is indeed coming again that is what matters. We don’t have any control over the way any of it happens so we need to trust God and be ever watchful for Jesus return. Because one thing is for sure we don’t know the time of his coming! Another thing we as Christians can all agree on is how thankful we are to God for sending his son to die in our place for our sins and raising him up from the dead with the promise of returning to us.

  7. mide kiga says:


  8. siyoyo asive says:

    I would like to be kept updated everyday…You guys make me know Christ and be willing to follow him always

  9. Tammy Radcliff says:

    I want to receive email