The Rapture

Jesus taught that he would return again (Acts 1). His coming is depicted dramatically in Revelation 19. He will come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. At that point he will fight and win the Battle of Armageddon and then establish his rule over the entire earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20). And when that Millenium is past, there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth (Revelation 21-22)!

The Rapture is an earlier appearance of Christ to remove his faithful followers (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). It marks the end-point of the Church Age. Then Israel will begin the last seven years of their history before Christ's glorious return.

The Rapture is part of the "mystery" of the Church. The Church was not predicted in the Old Testament or explained in Jesus' Olivet Discourse because it was not yet time for this mystery to be unveiled. When it was revealed, the Apostle Paul taught it in 1 Thessalonians chapters 4 and 5 and 1 Corinthians 15.

Some people mistakenly think that the Rapture is not found in the Bible. Of course, the English word "rapture" is not used in the Greek text. Neither is the English words "church" or "Jesus." But the Greek word for the event is harpazo, which means to "catch up," or "snatch away."

See also: Excerpts from The Prophecy Puzzle and Chapter 6 of our new book, Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy.

Key Scriptures
Current Events
Chart:Rapture vs. Glorious Return of Christ
Rapture Links
Alternate Points of View (Not Pre-Trib)
Excerpts From The Prophecy Puzzle

Key Scriptures

Click on one of these
references to see
the passage.
Thanks to the services of:

<I>Bible Gateway</I> And

<I>Blue Letter Bible</I>

Go To Bible GatewayGo To Blue Letter Bible
NIV & Other VersionsIncludes Commentary
Matthew 24:32-44 Further Study
Luke 21:36 Further Study
John 14:1-6 Further Study
1 Corinthians 15:50-55 Further Study
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Further Study
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 Further Study
2 Peter 2:6-9 Further Study
Revelation 3:10 Further Study
Revelation 4:1 Further Study
Revelation 22:7, 12, 20 Further Study

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Current Events and Links

See Also:
Ron's Blog: Rapture
Rapture Drill Today

See Articles after Jan. 1, 2012

Harold Camping Predicts End of the World, Again

Oct. 11, 2011 -
Harold Camping, the Christian broadcaster who predicted the end of the world would come last May, says the true end is now near. He was off by five months, he says; the real day is Oct. 21.
Source: ABC
Camping's Last Stand - Ron's Blog
Update: Oct. 30, 2011 - Family Radio Founder Harold Camping Repents, Apologizes for False Teachings - Christian Post

Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy

Vital Information about Israel, Islam, the Church, and Things to Come

A Second-Coming Christian

July 19, 2011 - Columnist David Neff memorialized his father, an outstanding Christian who lived until he was almost 90, but didn't plan to die. He planned instead to "meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17). David said there were many ways that he and his dad had different perspectives.
Fathers and sons often don't see eye to eye. Dad listened to Rush Limbaugh. I listen to NPR. Dad played Alan Jackson on his stereo. I have Thomas Hampson on my iPod. But on this we agreed: The Christian faith is essentially eschatological.
Because of his father's belief that Jesus might return at any time, he lived a holy and useful life.
Source: David Neff - Christianity Today

'Rapture' real aftermath: Beheadings, shootings, mass graves
July 13, 2011 - It has become known that Harold Camping's false alarm about the Rapture in May resulted in the massacre of many tribal Hmong people in Vietnam.
After listening to a translation of Camping's prediction 7,000 of these people ... gathered on a mountain praising God their suffering at the hands of the communist regime was about to end because Jesus was returning that day in May to establish a new kingdom.
Police shot many of these believers and beheaded two pastors. Others were arrested. The dead were buried in mass graves.
Source: Bob Unruh - WorldNetDaily

Harold Camping 'flabbergasted'; rapture a no-show

May 23, 2011 - At the door to his house, Harold Camping finaly emerged to talk to reporters.
"I'm looking for answers," Camping said, adding that meant frequent prayer and consultations with friends.

"But now I have nothing else to say," he said, closing the door to his home. "I'll be back to work Monday and will say more then."

Source: SF Gate
Harold Camping wrong again, but what if 200 million people did disappear? - International Business Times
Camping issues apocalypse correction: It’s really in October - National Post
Harold Camping: False Prophet, Real Trouble - Crosswalk
More mistakes a few days later: Harold Camping: Dead Bodies Will Surface from Graves on Oct. 21 Doomsday - Christian Post
Harold Camping Is (Sort of) Right - Jesus will put an end to this earth—but that is not the end of the story. - Christianity Today - "Where we stand" Editorial

May 21 was NOT the Rapture: What will Harold Camping and his faithful followers do now?

May 22, 2011 - Harold Camping of Family Radio was wrong in his prediction that the Rapture would take place on May 21.
In fact, the 89-year-old preacher is keeping out of sight in the wake of his failed prediction. The website to his Family Radio ministry hasn't even been updated, and still proclaims Judgment Day to be May 21, 2011.
Many observers expect him to offer up a reason for why he was wrong... again.
Source: N. Y. Daily Times
False May 21, 2011 Doomsday prophet Harold Camping "deserts" devastated followers, church offers solace
- International Business Times

The End is Near? Harold Camping's False Teaching
May 17, 2011 - Al Mohler reminds us about Acts 1:7, where Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” He also quotes Matthew 24:36 - “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
To state the case plainly, these two verses explicitly forbid Christians to claim the knowledge of such dates and times. Jesus clearly taught that the Father has not revealed such dates and timing, but has reserved that knowledge for himself.
Source: Al Mohler - Crosswalk

Judgment Day Saturday?
Refute Camping
May 19, 2011 - Visit this site for biblical and logical evidence that Harold Camping's prediction of the Rapture on May 21 is erroneous.
The purpose of this site is to diligently search the scriptures, like the Bereans, and to compare the teachings of Harold Camping and Family Radio with scripture, the bible.
JUDGMENT DAY - Family Radio's warning
Camping's Rapture Ruse - Chris Mangan - Rapture Rady
Let's Talk Judgment Day Come May 22 - Jerry Newcombe - Crosswalk
End of World Prophecy Attracts Followers, Provokes Ridicule - Voice of America
'Rapture Parties' Planned to Celebrate Doomsday Saturday May 21 - Yahoo
- Other Articles - Google
Why Jesus Isn’t Likely to Return on May 21st - Ron's Blog

Is The End Nigh? We'll Know Soon Enough

May 9, 2011 - Nobody knows how many people have adopted Family Radio's belief that May 21 will mark "Judgment Day," but there seem to be many of them, driving van caravans, putting up billboards, and passing out tracts that claim that the Rapture of true believers will take place on that day. Then they say that there will be a horrific series of earthquakes that will devastate the Earth. They believe there will be no more salvation at that point, and that 153 days later that the entire universe and planet Earth will be destroyed forever."

This current wave of warnings stem from the teaching of Harold Camping, the 89-year-old founder of the Family Radio network. One of the "proofs" of this prediction is that from the time of Noah's flood to May 21, 2011, is exactly 7,000 years.

Camping is not the first person to fix a date for the end of the world. There have been dozens of such prophets, and so far, they've all been wrong. Camping himself... first predicted the end would come Sept. 6, 1994.
Source: NPR

Could there be a second coming by social media?

Apr. 25, 2011 - ABC’s “This Week” host Christiane Amanpour and evangelist Franklin Graham discussed technology’s role in fulfilling Biblical prophecies.
On Sunday the two discussed the prophecy of the second coming of Jesus Christ and what that might look like. Graham noted certain events are occurring with more frequency as prophesied in the New Testament.
Graham said that the ubiquity of cell phones and social media could account for the prophecy that when Jesus comes, "every eye will see him."
Source: Daily Caller

World ends May 21?

Apr. 20, 2011 - Once every few years someone gains a following by announcing the date of the Rapture (return of Christ for believers). In 1988 Edgar C. Whisenant, a former NASA engineer and Bible student published a book called 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. Like many who have tried to set dates before him, Whisenant failed in his calculations.

Now Harold Camping, General Manager and President of Family Radio, says he has calculated the exact date, based on a complicated formula that stretches 7000 years from Noah's flood. The proposed date is May 21 at 6 p.m. His listeners have supported the theory, buying billboards and driving scores of Family Radio vehicles in many parts of the country warning people to be ready.

Critics point out that this isn't the first time Mr Camping has predicted the Rapture. On 6 September 1994, hundreds of his listeners gathered at an auditorium in Alameda looking forward to Christ's return.
Source: The Inquirer - Philadelphia, and:
US preacher warns end of the world is nigh: 21 May, around 6pm, to be precise - Independent - UK
Family Radio Worldwide
Citing Bible, group insists Jesus is returning May 21 -
Warnings and Cautions - Prophecy Central
Why Jesus Isn’t Likely to Return on May 21st - Ron's Blog
See Articles before Jan. 1, 2011

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Rapture Links

The Rapture Forums
An Interactive Community Awaiting the Return of The Lord Jesus Christ - Extensive and attractive

Rapture Ready
This is Todd Strandberg's popular site which keeps track of current events as they relate to the Rapture. It includes "Nearing Midnight" and "Rapture Index." These pages are always up to date.
Rapture Condition
Rapture Alert
This site combines outstanding graphics with excellent articles.
Extensive list of rapture-related Bible passages and other helpful materials

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Todd Strandberg of Rapture Ready

What is the Rapture?
by Barbara Henderson

Defending The Pre-Trib Rapture (Again)
Jack Kelly (On Rapture Forums)

Article: Pretrib or Prewrath?
by Ron Graff

The Rapture of the Church - Jack Kinsella

The Thomas Ice Collection
This list of scholarly pre-trib articles is just one of many valuable sections in The Rapture Index hosted by Todd Strandberg.

The Rapture: Fact or Fiction
by David Williams
From Lambert Dolphin's online library.

The Nature Of The Mystery and The Rapture
by Bob Hill & Tim McMahon - Theology Online
Excellent treatment of the distinction between Israel and the Church, and why this requires that the Rapture take place before the tribulation.

Margaret MacDonald Who?
Article by Todd Strandberg of Rapture Ready questioning that she had any effect on Pre-Tribulation teaching.

Has Bible Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?
An answer to Preterism by Thomas Ice

Left Behind Book, Video, Movie...

Perhaps Today - Classic poem by J. Danson Smith

Differences Between The Rapture
and The Glorious Return of Christ

(Links to New King James Version - Blue Letter Bible)



Christ comes for His own
Thessalonians 4:13-18

Christ returns with His own
Revelation 19:14

Believers taken to Father's House
John 14:3

Believers come to Earth
Matthew 24:30

Seen only by believers
1 Corinthians 15:52
Every eye will see Him
Revelation 1:7; 19:11-16; Matthew 24:30
No reference to Satan
Satan bound
Revelation 20:1-3
Earth not judged
Earth judged
Revelation 20:4-5
A Mystery
1 Corinthians 15:51
Foretold in Old Testament
Dan. 12:1-3; Zech. 12:10; 14:1-4

Excerpts from The Prophecy Puzzle

Absence of the Church

Revelation, Chapters 4 through 22

There are constant references to the church and the seven churches in chapters 1 through 3. The word "church" is found every few verses: angels of the churches, messages to the seven churches, etc. But in chapter 4, verse 1 John is told to "come up here." He is "caught up" (like the Rapture). Also compare Revelation 11:12 where the identical words are used to resurrect and translate the Two Witnesses into Heaven.

Where is the church in the whole story of Israel's last week of history, The Tribulation? It is missing! "Church" is not mentioned during the entire Tribulation period, Chapters 4 to 19. There is no message to the church. What you do have is Two Witnesses from Israel's past, you have the 144000 who are sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel. It is the last seven years of Israel's history before the end of this age. Israel was the vehicle of God's blessing to the whole earth. They were not the "Chosen People" because God was playing favorites. They were chosen that through them, God could get the message out to others. When they did not do well with that, He set them aside and put the Church in. (Romans 11; 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:1-11; 5:32) The Church has been here for 2000 years now. When the Church is taken away, there are still seven years of Israel's history left to play out. This is known as Daniel's 70th Week. We believers of today are the spiritual seed of Abraham, but we are not Israel. We have been temporarily grafted in by God, but the time will come when Israel is grafted back into the tree of God's purposes. (Romans 11:17-24) It all fits together perfectly.

The absent church also accounts for the rise in lawlessness during The Tribulation period. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8).

Deliverance from Wrath

Luke 21:36

"But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

1 Thessalonians 5:9

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 Peter 2

6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,

Message to the Church of Philadelphia

(Represents the Period of Missions)

Revelation 3:10

'Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.

Some people have the mistaken idea that we will be delivered from the time of wrath just because God won't allow Christians to suffer. This is not what the Bible teaches at all. As Christians, we may expect trials and tribulations, suffering and persecution (1 Peter 4:12-13 ;2 Timothy 3:12). God allows our difficulties to improve us, develop our faith, and prove to others that Christianity is true (1 Peter 1:6-8; James 1:12). He promises not to allow us to be tried beyond our ability to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13), and He will see to it that what the Devil means for evil actually turns out for our good (Job 1:9-12; 42:10-17; Genesis 50:20).

On the other hand, we are plainly told that we who trust in Christ are not under condemnation (Romans 8:1). Whenever God judges the unrighteous, He delivers those who trust in Him. This is seen in the Biblical stories of the Flood in the days of Noah, the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lot and his family saved), and the plagues on Egypt, including the death of the firstborn (Israelites delivered).

The events of the Tribulation are judgments from God, and as such, it would be consistent for Him to deliver the Church before it begins.

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Last Updated: 3/30/12
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