The word “rapture” is not found in the Bible. It comes from the Latin word “rapere” which means to seize and carry away. Thus, the rapture is supposed to refer to a time when the Lord will come for the righteous dead and living, and take them to be with Him for a period of seven years.
What does the Bible say? “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” (1 Thess. 4:17). The Bible teaches that Jesus will come again and that the saints will be caught up to be with Him. But it does not say that the saints shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air only to return after seven years. Rather it says, “and so shall we EVER BE with the Lord.”
Those believing the Rapture theory cannot understand why the expression “as a thief in the night” would be used with reference to our Lord’s coming if a secret coming is not suggested by it. However, the Lord’s coming is compared to that of a thief’s only because both will arrive at an unknown and unexpected time (Mt. 24:44). In 2 Peter 3:10, the Bible teaches that the Lord will come like a thief on the same day that the earth will burn! How then can this coming of the Lord be secret and how can the wicked be left here for seven years? On the day that Christ comes every eye shall see Him (Rev. 1:7). On that great and final day the trump of God will sound the wake-up call for everyone in the grave (2 Thess. 4:16,17; Jn. 5:28,29). Rather than a secretive coming, this sounds like quite a noisy event, doesn’t it?
According to this theory, during the seven years after Christ secretly comes, the saints will be at peace with Christ while sinners will be in great tribulation. But Jesus taught in the parables of the tares and of the fishnet that there will be no separation of the good and evil until the end of the world (Mt. 13:49, 50).
Friends, the Bible teaches that on that great day of the Lord, there will be no secretive “rapture” of the saints. It will indeed be sudden (1 Thess. 5:26), but there will be nothing secretive about it.
How sad it is that many are basing what they believe about the end of the world on the latest popular premillennial book to come from the press and not from the Book of books.
— Mike McDaniel