The Rapture of the Church will happen!!
Although the word "rapture" is nowhere to be found in the Bible, it has come to mean the time when the church is taken off the earth to "meet the Lord in the air." It will include the "dead in Christ" and those who are "alive and remain." All those who believe in Christ - and are obedient to him - will be "caught up together" and will be lifted up at that time (See I Thess. 4:16-17). There are four basic beliefs about when the rapture will happen. They all relate to a period of seven last years, usually called the "tribulation," that will take place in the time of the end. Those four beliefs are: The Pre-tribulation belief is that the rapture will take place before the tribulation; that the church will be with the Lord for seven last years; and will return with him when it's over. The Mid-tribulation belief is that the rapture will take place in the middle of the tribulation; that the church will be with the Lord for the last 3 1/2 years, and then return with him. The Pre-wrath belief which sees the rapture and the return of the Lord as one event sometime in the second half of the tribulation immediately followed by a "shortened" time of Great Tribulation. The Post-tribulation belief is that the rapture will take place at the end of the tribulation; that the church will be caught up to meet Jesus as he descends from heaven. They believe there is only one coming of the Lord: that the rapture and the return are one event. Therefore, the church will be on earth through the tribulation; and God will protect them as he pours out his wrath on the unbelievers.
We believe that a close reading of the Bible shows that the rapture will take place at the end of the tribulation; and that the church will be on earth through it.
The apostle Paul says it will be at the sound of the "last trump" (I Cor. 15:52). The Book of Revelation makes it clear the last trump sounds at the end: at the return of Christ (See Rev. 11:15). Jesus refers to the lifting up as the "resurrection" that will happen at the "last day" (See John 5:39-40, 44, & 54).
Many say the church will not go through the time of tribulation because Paul says we're not appointed to God's wrath (See I Thess. 5:9). But the terms "tribulation" and "wrath" are not interchangeable. You can have one without the other. Tribulation refers to a time period; while wrath refers to God's judgment on the wicked. We can live in - and through - a time of tribulation and never be subject to - or appointed to - God's wrath.
Paul also says the church will be on earth when the Antichrist is revealed (See II Thess. 2:1-3); which takes place in the middle part fo the seven last years. In addition, both the prophet Daniel and John the Revelator make it clear that, once the Antichrist is revealed, he will "make war" with the church for the remainder of the seven years that lead up to the return of the Lord (See Dan. 7:25 & Rev. 13:5-7).
The early church believed in a Post-tribulation rapture; and held that belief for about 1800 years.
For example, Irenenaeus and Hippolytus, second and third generation disciples of John the Revelator, wrote of the rise of the Antichrist and the coming of the Lord in Post-tribulation terms. It's only been in the last 200 years or so that anyone has suggested anything else.
For those truly interested in the truth, thorough research and study will show that there is no mention of a Pre-tribulation rapture in any church teaching, writing or commentary until around 1812.
The theory of a Pre-tribulation rapture - a so-called "new revelation" - has, for many reasons, become very popular. In less than 200 years, most Christian churches, and most professing Christians, have accepted it as the truth. They have wrongly placed their hope in the rapture to save them; and apparently consider some 1800 years of teaching as being in error.
Jesus, Paul and the early church leaders all taught the truth. They taught that only those filled with the Spirit of God will be lifted to Jesus on the "last day" - at the sound of the "last trump."
So, through much tribulation, the true church, the Overcomers, will "wash their robes and make them white" (Rev. 7:15). They will "endure unto the end" (Matt. 24:13).
The bride of Christ will have made herself ready (See Rev. 21:2 & 9-10); and Jesus will "present to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but it (shall) be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27).
It is important what you believe about the timing of the rapture of the church. Our major concern for Christians - for the Church on earth - is that people will not be ready for what lies ahead! If it's true - and we believe it is - that we must face the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast, believing in a Pre-tribulation rapture is only self-deception. Those who believe that way are in great danger of "falling away" from their faith - and not believing the Bible at all - when they see they are still here on earth when the Antichrist is revealed. The Mark of the Beast is coming! It is important that we know all we can about what it is - and what it is not - so that we, as God's people, can be able to refuse to take it. That is our concern!