by Wayne Blank
The second reason is that before I can answer someone's question, I almost always have to write back and ask which "rapture" that they believe in because there are many "rapture" doctrines that people have come up with in the last two or three hundred years (the rapture theory was practically unknown before the 1800s). Some believe that God's people will be "raptured" away before the great tribulation, while others believe that their rapture will happen in the middle of the great tribulation, while others believe it will happen at the end of the great tribulation. On top of that, some believe that they will be raptured to safety in heaven, while others believe that they will be raptured to a place of safety on earth. And to add more to their confusion, some have declared that their rapture will occur as a result of two returns of Jesus Christ - and even they are divided, some believing that Christ's first return will be, in effect, a "bounce" back to heaven with His raptured people, while others believe that Christ will return and hide out somewhere on earth with His "raptured" people until His, and their, second "public" return.
Can you see why I find it so hard to answer questions about the "rapture"? People who believe in it themselves don't agree what it is, who it is, or when it is. Their "rapture" is a doctrine of confusion, but "God is not the author of confusion" (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV).
How Many Last Trumps Can There Be?
The Holy Bible does not speak of any "rapture." It speaks of a resurrection (see also When Will You Be Judged?) at the time of the one and only return of Jesus Christ. That will happen at "the last trump," the last trumpet, and they will all, that same day, be on earth - not to hide, but to rule "with a rod of iron."
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [see What Happens When You Die?], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet The Lord in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 KJV)
The Return Of Jesus Christ will be a one-time event. The Messiah himself warned about those who teach or proclaim otherwise:
Those who think that God's end-time people will be "raptured" to a place of safety ought to very carefully consider what the Holy Bible actually says about the terrible persecution that God says His people will face. The only "place of safety" that God's people have ever had, or will ever have, is obedience to Him. God's people are those who obey Him, who live by His Word, not their own. The obedient to God are then safe from the wrath of God - but subject to the wrath of man, which in the immediate future means the end-time political/religious "beast" (see World War 3 In Prophecy) who will "make war with the saints" and "overcome them":
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them ... He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." (Revelation 13:7,10 KJV)
Fact Finder: What is meant by the Biblical term "the great tribulation"?