This false teaching proclaims that the Church will be “raptured” (caught up in the air) to be with Christ, while unbelievers are “left behind” here on Earth to face a “7-year great tribulation” period where “The Antichrist” person of political and national power will lead the world against Christ (or more accurately, against the Jews and Israel) in the Battle of Armageddon, etc.
This “secret rapture” comes in various flavors, such as “pre-tribulation” rapture, “mid-tribulation rapture,” “post-tribulation rapture,” “pre-wrath rapture,” etc. (see also the “7-Year Great Tribulation” false teaching). I’m not going to take the time to discuss them all here, as they are all equally wrong. There is not a shred of biblical support for this theory. This theory is enormously popular and widespread today and is shouted in blaring volume 24/7/365 from the pulpits of nearly every so-called “Christian” church today!
The only “rapture” Scripture talks about is in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, where it describes events happening at the end of time “when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8). As you can plainly see from that verse, this will definitely not be a “secret” event – it will be massively visible to everyone worldwide. Furthermore, it will be visible to all who have ever lived, both the living and the dead!
This event also coincides with (occurs on) the great Day of Judgment, not to start a further “7-year great tribulation” period which is to be even further followed by yet another “1000-year earthly millennial reign of Christ in Jerusalem” period. Those are all false teachings made up by man!
On the Last Day, when the skies open up in flaming fire above, and you see the Lord Jesus with all His holy angels and saints, it will be too late to be saved if you do not already believe in Him! For the great Day of Judgment will have arrived, and you will be woefully unprepared to stand before God in Judgment unless you are covered by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ! This false teaching is therefore leading millions to eternal death as it causes them to procrastinate in coming to Christ by implying the promise of “more time,” and yet again “more time” – i.e., it causes people to think to themselves (and I’m paraphrasing here): “See, you haven’t been raptured away yet, so I still have more time to get serious about all this Jesus and Bible stuff.” Furthermore, the believing spouse or friend also procrastinates in sharing the gospel message with a friend or loved one, thinking to themselves: “Well, when you see me raptured away, then you will believe!” But be not deceived, for that will not be possible! Time will have run out on your friend or loved one, and the Great Day of Judgment will have already arrived simultaneously with the return of Christ.
Therefore, this false teaching is Satanic in nature! The fact that myriads of “Christian” pastors, teachers, and even seminary schools teach and preach this false teaching is mind-boggling and bizarre to me. See also the “7-Year Great Tribulation” Period, the “Third Temple,” the “Dispensational Premillennialism,” and the “Distortions of Matthew 24” false teachings also, as they are all intimately and cleverly woven together with this one.
As a side note, most Christians that I have met who espouse this false teaching also want to be raptured away right now instead of staying here for a while and doing hard work to help build the kingdom of God.