Q. From all the anti-Christian talk I see on the web, I am starting to believe that the rapture may not be a supernatural removal of Christians from the face of the earth but instead a mass martyrdom of Christian around the world based on the false idea that if the world could just get rid of Christianity then everything would be better. I believe this could happen after the battle of Ezekiel 38 and could see the antichrist rise in an effort to “weed out” believers thru a mark. Many times thru history believers have suffered and died in the name of Christ and their resolve and strength even in the face of death is an inspiration to believers who hear their stories. What does the Bible say in your opinion about people being “magically” removed from the earth in the rapture?
A. Here’s how the Bible describes the rapture.
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Cor. 15:51-52).
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thes. 4:16-17)
Does that sound like a massacre? How could all the world’s Christians be killed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye? And even if they could, how could such a thing be organized and executed with such precision? The rapture will happen without warning at a time no one could have predicted in advance, a supernatural act of God.
However, the scenario you describe will come to pass after the Church is gone. It will happen during Daniel’s 70th week when millions of Christians will be martyred for their faith, and for their refusal worship the anti-Christ and take his mark.