What does the Bible say about the rapture? When will the rapture of the church be?
The Bible says that when the dead in Christ are raised, all Christians who are alive will be raptured to Heaven. No one knows when it will happen but it will be in the last times.
What is the rapture?
The rapture is when the saved who are alive will be taken to Heaven, next to Jesus, without dying ( 1 Thessalonians 4:17 ). Enoch and Elijah were taken up, they went up alive to Heaven ( Genesis 5:24 ; 2 Kings 2:11 ). Jesus too, after he was resurrected, ascended to Heaven, while his disciples watched ( Acts 1: 9-10 ).
When will the rapture be?
The rapture will happen when Jesus returns to seek the saved in the last times ( John 14: 2-3 ). Jesus will give the order, a trumpet will sound, Jesus will descend to earth, the dead will rise and then the living will be taken away ( 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 ). Nobody knows when it will be and can happen at any time, so we must always be prepared.
See more about the end times here.
There is much debate about whether it will happen before, during or after the great tribulation mentioned in Matthew 24:21 . The two main theories are:
Some people believe that the rapture of the church will happen before the great tribulation , leaving everyone who does not believe in the earth to suffer. They also believe that some may still be saved after the rapture. In that case, Jesus’ second coming would take place on another occasion, long after the rapture. Unlike the second coming of Jesus, the rapture would take place in secret, leaving many people confused.
Find out more here: what is the dragon of the Apocalypse?
Others believe that the saved will be raptured after the great tribulation . This will happen at the time of Jesus’ second coming. The dead will rise and the saved who are alive will be taken away and Jesus will bring judgment and justice on earth. The rapture and the second coming of Jesus will not happen at different stages.
As we do not know the future , it is impossible to say with absolute certainty whether any of these theories is right. Much of what is written about the end of terms is symbolic and everything depends on how we interpret the symbols. It is also good to remember that God has a very different notion of time than ours ( 2 Peter 3: 8 ).
See also: what is the Great Tribulation?
The most important thing about the rapture is that it will happen one day. Knowing when and how is not essential. Knowing that it will happen, we have a good motivation to continue to follow Christ and make our lives straight ( 2 Peter 3:14 ). The rapture is the promise of eternal life for all who accept Jesus as their savior ( 1 Thessalonians 5: 9-10 ).