I am confused about what the Bible says about the rapture. In I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and in I Corinthains 15:51-54 the Apostle Paul talks about the end of history being marked by a heavenly trumpet sounding and those who are “in Christ,” (meaning “the saved”) will immediately vanish and are “caught up in the air” to meet with Christ.
Having been raised on the theology of the Scofield Reference Bible I was taught that those who had not entered into a “saving relationship with Christ” would be left behind while true Christians would be raptured. It seemed clear cut to me that godly folks would be taken up to meet with Christ in the sky, and then taken to heaven, while the ungodly would be left behind to endure seven years of suffering times called “The Great Tribulation.” After that would come the final Judgment Day!
But then, as a Red Letter Christians, I read about another rapture which Jesus Himself talked about. Check it out in Matthew 13:41-42 and then in Matthew 24:40-41 and you will find that it’s just the opposite of what my Scofield Bible told me would happen when the end of times is heralded. In Matthew it’s not the godly people who are raptured, but evil people who will be raptured and then thrown into “a furnace of fire” where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Fortunately, there are Biblical scholars who can explain away these apparently contradictory raptures, and I’m glad for that. What I am trying to say is that things are not as clear-cut as these Scofield Reference Bibles told me they were. You need to read up on all of this, and there are books like Left Behind? by LeAnn Snow Flesher and The Rapture Exposed by Barbara R. Rossing that you might find especially useful. In the meantime, get on with doing God’s work in this world and let “the end” come, “whenever”!