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What is the Rapture?

Many believe the Rapture will be a time when all Christians will instantly be taken up into heaven, gone in the blink of an eye.

There are many views that differ on the rapture and when it will occur.

However, there is no indication of a rapture occurring anywhere in the Bible.  The word is not used.  It is imposed on the Scripture.  Especially in this section spoken by Jesus called the Olivet Discourse (meaning the speech given on the Mount of Olives).

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:36-44

Is Jesus speaking about a rapture?  Jesus did not say Christians would suddenly disappear into heaven and non-Christians would be left on earth.  It says some would be “taken” (which could mean their lives would be taken or captured) while others were not.  This could mean an army will invade and take people away, not people will mysteriously disappear from the planet.

In the context of Jesus’ discourse, he was speaking about judgment, referencing Noah and God’s judgment of destruction on humanity.  The “hour the Son of Man will come” means when God brings his judgment and it can come in many forms—armies, plagues or the end of the world.

In Matthew 24, Jesus was talking about the destruction of the temple and God’s judgment on Jerusalem.  That day and time did occur later – 70 AD when Rome invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the temple.  The armies of Rome came and “took” many lives and prisoners. 

Jesus’ words have already come true, which proves this was exactly what he was talking about.  So, there is no rapture spoken of in the Bible.