There has never been, and there will never be, a “rapture” of Christians.
Moses says we will know a false prophet when what he says does not come to pass (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). So how is this for a prophecy?
Paul’s false prophecy
Paul said: “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 4:16-17).
Without a doubt, this is a false prophecy. Paul did not expect to die. Instead, he expected to be carried away on some kind of Jesus Airways. Therefore, he included himself with those ostensibly to be “caught up” to heaven. He said to the Philippians: “The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5); the very thing Jesus warned us a false prophet would say (Luke 21:8). But alas, nobody was “caught up.”
Paul said furthermore: “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51). This also turned out to be pure fantasy. Everyone to whom he addressed this deception has slept the sleep of death, including Paul himself. Why should any right-thinking Christian believe Paul again after such big gaffes?
Nevertheless, Paulinists have fabricated a doctrine out of this blunder. About 180 years ago, they called it “the rapture.” This unscriptural doctrine says the Lord is coming “very soon” to carry Christians away to heaven; leaving unbelievers behind to face tribulation on earth.
However, Jesus does not exclude his followers from tribulation in this world (John 16:33). In fact, Jesus’ desire is that believers should remain in the world. He says so to God: “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world” (John 17:15). Therefore, there has never been, and there will never be, a “rapture” of Christians. Revelation says believers are destined to “reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). Why then would we be “raptured” out of it?
In Jesus’ doctrine, it is the wicked that are “raptured” (taken away) while the righteous are “left behind;” the exact opposite of Paul’s bogus prophecy. Jesus says: “As in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left” (Matthew 24:38-41).
It was the wicked that were “taken away” by the flood, while righteous Noah and his family were “left behind.” Jesus then predicted that Noah’s pattern would apply to the Jews within forty years: “This generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34).
So who was “left behind” in A.D. 70 when, according to Jesus’ prophecy, “the flood” came by way of the Roman army to Jerusalem? Over one million unbeliever-Jews were taken away and slaughtered. However, Jesus’ disciples all escaped unscathed to Pella. They were left behind.
Jesus says: “The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:41-42). Again, unbelievers were the ones “raptured” by the Romans and burnt outside Jerusalem in Gehenna in A.D. 70.
Jesus also says: “The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away” (Matthew 13:47-48).
Rapture of the wicked
Jesus only talks about the “rapture” of the wicked, while Paul’s false prophecy says the wicked are left behind. Other scriptures disagree with Paul: “A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found” (Psalm 37:10). “The wicked will be cut off from the earth” (Proverbs 2:22).
However, Jesus says: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). The psalmist says: “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever” (Psalm 37:29). Solomon also concurs: “The righteous will never be removed” (Proverbs 10:30). That means the righteous will never be “raptured.” Neither will they live with the Lord in the air.
Where, oh where, does Paul get his doctrines from? He just fabricates them out of thin air, confident the uninformed would be none the wiser.