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"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Do the words of the apostle Paul here—and in other passages of Scripture—describe a secret, end-time rapture of God's followers into the heavens? Or are they referring to something different? What will really happen when Christ returns? Find out below!

  • by Darris McNeely

Are we seeking to escape the purpose God has for our Christian lives?

  • by United Church of God
In the Olivet Prophecy, Jesus Christ says "one will be taken and the other left." What does this mean? Is this end-time prophecy talking about a secret rapture and some being "left behind"?
  • by United Church of God
There has been a great deal of interest in end time events based on the Left Behind series of books and movies. What does the Bible teach about the rapture?
  • by Cecil Maranville
The rapture, often called "the blessed hope," is sadly more hoax than hope, even though the man who started it had no intention of deceiving anyone. You need to know what the Bible actually says!
  • by Darris McNeely, Gary Petty, Steve Myers

As a Christian you may think Jesus will rapture you to heaven during a...

  • by Gary Petty
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is going to save you from the coming time of horrendous global trouble by whisking you away into heaven beforehand in what many call the Rapture? What will you do if He doesn't?
  • by United Church of God
Darby argued in favor of what is termed premillennialism in contrast to popular postmillennialism and amillennialism. Let's briefly consider these terms.
  • by United Church of God
Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 about the resurrection and glorification of Christ's followers at His return. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 shows that this will occur when Christ descends from heaven with a mighty shout and the great sound of a trumpet. This is no secret event.
  • by United Church of God
The most popular and widely-believed version of the rapture theory has Jesus Christ miraculously rescuing His people from an earth on the brink of tribulation. It's a comforting belief, since it offers the promise of peace and safety in heaven while the earth below is immersed in turmoil and destruction.
  • by United Church of God
Let's summarize what 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, which mentions believers being caught up, actually says:
  • by United Church of God
Most people say 1 Thessalonians 4 describes a secret Rapture taking place before the Great Tribulation. But put together all the scriptures that talk about being resurrected to meet Christ in the air, and you can piece together a coherent picture of not only when it will happen (at the end of the Tribulation), but how obvious it will be (very).
  • by United Church of God
Christians the world over are looking forward to a time when, interrupting their ordinary lives, they will be suddenly raptured into heaven with Jesus Christ. But is this true?
  • by United Church of God
The idea of a rapture of believers up into heaven before the prophesied tribulation of the last days is widely taught and believed in Christianity today.