Do you believe in the Rapture? I do. But not everyone does. The very idea of the Rapture is regularly denounced as nonsense by non-Dispensational Christian theologians (see here).
But is the idea of the rapture Biblical?
I was perusing this conservative Mennonite commentary/study guide on Revelation. I haven’t read through it yet, but I liked a chart on p. 12 that describes six raptures in the Bible. Now, these are not all references to the rapture of the Church. Instead, they are examples of different people being “caught up” and ascending to God at different times. For example:
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God (Heb 11:5).
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11).
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight (Acts 1:9).
- A Man Paul Knew in Christ
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven (2 Cor 12:2).
- The Church
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 Thess 4:17).
- The Two Witnesses
And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them (Rev 11:12).
And here’s a seventh “rapture” not included in the Mennonite’s chart (thanks to P.E. for suggesting it):
Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).
Is the very idea of the Rapture weird and ridiculous? I don’t think so. It’s something God has done in the past and which He has promised to do in the future. Instead of being weird, it’s the great hope of the Church!