The vast majority of professing Christians believe that there is a biblical prophecy proving that believers will be secretly taken by Jesus Christ to heaven either before or during the period of time commonly called The Great Tribulation. This teaching is known to most as the Secret Rapture and it is believed almost universally by professing Christianity. However, the major problem with this teaching is that the coming of Christ will not be a secret to the elect nor will it be a silent event.
The beginnings of the Secret Rapture theory seem to have come from Emanual Lacunza who had become a Chilean Jesuit in 1747. When the Jesuits were expelled from Chile, Lacunza settled north of Italy where he devoted the remainder of his years to writing "The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty" in which he speculated that Christ will come twice: once for his saints and again with his saints.
Although Lacunza had actually stumbled onto a Biblical truth, his speculation was to be the catalyst for the doctrine of the Secret Rapture. There does not seem to be any literature referring to a secret coming of Christ until after 1830 when many began to come forth with the concept of a secret coming. Among those who taught this concept were the Anglican Curate J.N. Darby, Newton, George V. Wigram, Andrew Jukes, and J.P. Tregelles.
The Secret Rapture Theory
Although there are many variations of the Secret Rapture theory, most who believe this theory believe that Christ will return twice:
He will secretly come to
gather the saints to protect them from the great tribulation.
He will return around the middle of the tribulation or at its end--seven years later.
He will return to destroy
the antichrist and begin his reign on earth.
He will return to totally destroy the earth and take any remaining believers to heaven.
THE BIBLICAL FACTS OF CHRIST'S COMING
The biblical facts clearly show the following two returns of Christ:
He will openly return to gather the saints three and a half days after the death of the Two Witnesses. See Matt.24:23-51; Rev.11:7-13.
He will openly return with the saints and his heavenly hosts to destroy the governmental and religious system of the Antichrist and False Prophet and establish the Kingdom of God on the earth. See Jude 14-15; Rev.19:11-15; Rev.11:15.
The Bible shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that when Jesus returns to gather the elect of God, the event will be neither secret nor silent. The Secret Rapture theory is really a clever deception.
The prophecies concerning the time just before Jesus Christ's return are very detailed and give a clear picture of the sequence of events that must occurr before Christ will return to gather the Father's elect children from earth in preparation for his final return to conquer the earth. These and many other prophecies concerning end time events are thoroughly explained in various studies on this web site and in our book "Prophecies For The End Of This Age."
By B.L Cocherell