I don’t think Christians should believe
in the rapture because it’s not a biblical doctrine. This is a doctrine
that was invented in the 19th century by James Darby in Ireland, and when we were on our Irish speaking tour a couple years ago we actually visited and spent a few
nights at Powers Court where Darby used to hold his Bible studies with the rich
and the noble there, and the rapture doctrine was developed. But it is not a
doctrine that is affirmed historically by any of the great confessions of the
Christian Church, Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. It’s based upon a
misinterpretation of certain New Testament passages where Paul talks
about how the Lord will return and we who are believers will be gathered to
meet him in the air. Now the question is when does this occur?
Darby thought that this was a sort of secret return of Christ prior to the
second coming of Christ on the Judgment Day, but there’s absolutely no New
Testament reason for separating this event from the second coming of Christ.
When you read Jesus’ Olivet discourse in Mark 13 and you read Paul’s teaching in
light of that, it seems quite clear to me at least that Christ will return at the
end of human history. This will be his second coming; his first was the one that
ended with his crucifixion and resurrection, that was his first coming. His second coming will be when he comes on the day of the Lord for judging the
world and determining people’s final state. So when Christ returns on the
Judgment Day he will bring with him the souls of the departed Saints and then
those who are alive at the time of his return will be gathered to meet them in
the air and accompany to Lord then to the earth for the final judgment. And so it seems to me that it is illusory to invent this
secret preemptory return of Jesus prior to his second coming.