Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In 1st Thessalonians Paul describes the Rapture:

1Th 4:13 through 17 KJV

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Do any Denominations hold a consensus as to where in the Book of Revelation, this "Rapture" spoken by Paul is mentioned?

share|improve this question
Not surprisingly, there is no one answer to this. There is a bit of disagreement on how to interpret the verses. – David Jan 11 '14 at 1:45
I edited the question to make it more specific but people are still misunderstanding the question. I think they read it as "When will Rapture take place?", instead of "Is Rapture found in Revelation?". – Mawia Jan 14 '14 at 5:50

This is the LCMS answer to questions concerning the Rapture:

The short answer is: On the Last Day.

When is the Last Day? We don't know. The last day will come "like a thief in the night," bringing destruction to unbelievers but salvation to believers (1 Thess. 5:1 - 10).

Q: Does The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod believe in the rapture?

A: The answer to your question depends on what you mean by "the rapture." The English word "rapture" is derived from the Latin translation of the verb "caught up" in 1 Thess. 4:17 (rapiemur). Lutherans certainly believe what Paul teaches in this passage, namely, that those who are still living on earth when Christ returns visibly on the last day "will be caught up" ("raptured") together with "the dead in Christ" to "meet the Lord in the air."

Some Christians teach, however, that the "rapture" will take place not on the last day but in connection with an "invisible" coming of Christ occurring before a seven-year period of "tribulation" on earth, allowing Christians to "escape" this tribulation and then later return to earth for a literal "1,000 year reign of Christ."

Lutherans do not believe that these teachings are based on a proper understanding of Scripture. Scripture teaches that all Christians will endure varying degrees of "tribulation" until the last day, that Christ will return only once (visibly) to "catch up" ("rapture") all believers, living and dead, into heaven, and that all believers will reign forever with him in heaven. Lutherans understand the "1000 years" of Rev. 20:11-15 to be a figurative reference to Christ's reign here and now in the hearts and lives of believers, which will culminate in our reigning with Christ forever in heaven following his return on the last day.

For more information, you may want to read the Synod's theological commission report titled The End Times: A Study of Eschatology and Millennialism.

share|improve this answer
So, Rapture is mentioned in the Book of Revelation or not? The question is not asking when Rapture should take place. It is asking whether this idea is found in the Book of Revelation or not. – Mawia Jan 14 '14 at 5:45
So the answer to the question, for Lutherans, is that Revelation doesn't speak of a secret rapture? – Bruce Alderman Jan 24 '14 at 21:32

When I was a pre-tribber I learned that the rapture was indicated at Rev 4:1, as is taught at this site.

There are other views now, which are discussed on this paper.

Personally I don't believe the rapture is taught in Revelation, or even in the whole Bible. A close comparison of 1 Th 4 with 1 Co 15 shows that Paul is talking about the resurrection, not a separate "rapture."

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 1Co_15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 1Co_15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 1Co_15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

Look for the word "rapture" in your Bible. I can't find it in my KJV. I do find "resurrection."

share|improve this answer

Harvest of the Earth is the Rapture

Many scholars believe that the Harvest of the Earth in Revelation 14 is the Rapture of the Church.

Revelation 14:14-16, NIV

I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

From The People's New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson

14:14 Upon the cloud one sat like the Son of Man. Jesus has himself said that the Son of man shall be seen coming upon the clouds of heaven (Mt 24:30). John here sees the Son of Man sitting upon a white cloud. The Savior said that his coming shall be with great power and glory (Mt 24:30). John now sees upon the head of the Son of man a golden crown. The Savior said that he will send his angels to gather the elect (Mt 24:31). John hears an angel bid him who sat upon the cloud, to reap the earth, for its harvest was ripe.

14:15 Thrust in thy sickle, and reap. There is gathered first the ripened harvest of the elect of God. It is an angel that came out of the temple of God as a messenger of God, carrying to the Son the Father's command to gather the elect from the four corners of the earth. Then a longing, waiting Church, loving the appearing of the Son of man (2Ti 4:8), shall first be gathered into the heavenly garner. The ripe sheaves are gathered.

14:16 And the earth was reaped. The harvest of souls is ended forever. But those who are upon the earth shall not be taken before them that are asleep (1Th 4:15). At the voice of the archangel the dead shall wake from their long sleep in the embrace of earth. Death shall be swallowed up in victory (1Co 15:54). See also Re 14:13.

The sample pictures will give a better idea of how it would look like.

The harvest of the earth


Important points from Apostle John's vision:

  1. The Son of man represents Jesus Christ

    “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64, NIV)

  2. Jesus was sitting on the cloud: Jesus did not set his foot on the earth but was sitting on the cloud and swung his sickle over the earth. This would indicate that Jesus did not come to judge the earth(Second Coming) but only to take away the believers (Rapture) to meet with Jesus on the clouds. Only those who are harvested will witness this.

  3. Jesus wore only one crown: This would mean that Jesus was not in all his glory. Compare this with Revelation 19:12 where the rider on the white horse (Jesus) wore many crowns, which would mean "with all his glory". Hence, the harvest and the rider on the white horse are two different events. This would mean that the Rapture(Harvest) comes first and then the Second Coming.

The sequence of events would be

  1. The Anti-Christ (Revelation 13)
  2. The 144,000 Israelites (Revelation 14:1-5)
  3. The Harvest or Rapture (Revelation 14:14-16)
  4. The wrath of God (Revelation 15,16)
  5. The fall of Babylon (Revelation 17,18)
  6. The Second Coming (Revelation 19)
  7. The Millennium (Revelation 20:1-6)
  8. The Judgement Day (Revelation 20:7-15)
  9. The New Earth (Revelation 21)
share|improve this answer
The linked Crossbearer website has some misleading information. It lists Gill, Henry, and Wesley as supporters of post-tribulation rapture, when in fact they lived and died before the doctrine of the rapture was ever formulated. – Bruce Alderman Jan 24 '14 at 21:39
Wesley, for example, understood the being "caught up" in terms of judgment day, and not as a distinct event of "harvest" or "rapture". – Bruce Alderman Jan 24 '14 at 22:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.