Welcome back to another episode, everyone. Today we’re going to talk about what many Christians call the Rapture. But before we do that, I need to introduce you to a fun word that you’re going to feel smarter for knowing the word is eschatology. Eschatology, put simply, is the doctrine of the last things. When we talk about eschatology, we’re talking about events believed to occur at the end of the world, Christ’s second coming, the resurrection, the battle of Armageddon, Christ millennial reign, judgment, et cetera.
It’s Judgment Day. Different religions have different eschatologies, different beliefs about the end of the world. And oftentimes those eschatologies rely on different terminologies that outsiders might not be familiar with. The Rapture is one of those terms that most Latter day Saints aren’t going to be familiar with. It’s not a term we use.
So in this episode, we’re going to look at what the Rapture is and we’ll see how closely or not closely latterday St eschatology aligns with it. Let’s do it.
All right. So before we get into this, I want you to understand a few things. First, when it comes to the Rapture, different people believe different things. We’re going to touch on some of the more popular beliefs, but understand that there’s lots of variation. And there are also denominations of Christianity that believe parts of the Rapture concept or none of it at all.
Second, this video is not an attempt in any way to debunk any of the variations of the Rapture that we’re going to talk about. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re going to be disappointed. And third, this is a six ish minute video. So what we talked about today will be necessarily simplified. If you feel like I’m skipping over some things, it’s because I am.
But as always, if you want to dive deeper, I’ll leave your resources in the YouTube description below. So the Rapture is the belief that Jesus Christ will come again and believers, both living and dead, will be taken from the Earth to be with Christ. This belief is based largely on an interpretation of one Thessalonians 416 and 17. But among believers in the Rapture, there is oftentimes disagreement on the timing of when it is supposed to happen. Scriptures like Daniel Twelve One and Matthew 24 21 prophesy of a time of trouble and tribulation that is to occur before Christ’s second coming and subsequent thousand year millennial reign.
I remember Revelation 712, and I looked and behold there was a great earthquake and the sun became as black as sackcloth. After doing some math based on prophecies from Daniel and the Book of Revelation, believers in the Rapture generally affirm that this time of tribulation will last for seven years. According to Gotquestions. Org, the tribulation is a future seven year period of time when God will finish his discipline of Israel and finalize his judgment of the unbelieving world. The Church made up of all who have trusted in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from being punished for sin will not be present during the tribulation.
The idea is that the righteous will be raptured or taken from the Earth and thus spared from the devastation the wicked will endure. During the tribulation. The virtuous have gone to heaven and the rest of us have been left below. This belief that the Rapture will occur before the tribulation is called Pretribulationism. There are also some who believe the Rapture will occur halfway through the tribulation.
The righteous endures some tribulation, but are spared of the great tribulation said to occur during the last half of the seven years. This is called midtribulationism. There are also those who hold that the righteous will be around for the entire tribulation, and that the Rapture won’t occur until the end of those seven years. Believers are caught up to meet Christ in the air as he descends for the second coming. This is posttribulationism.
There are also a few other variations out there, but these are the main ones. Now let’s switch gears. What do latterday Saints believe in latterday Saint Jargon? You’re not going to hear anything about the Rapture specifically. As mentioned previously, it’s not a term we’re accustomed to using.
We do not believe in a specific seven year period of tribulation, but we certainly do believe that as Christ’s second coming nears, there are Christ’s second coming nears. Things are going to get rough. Wars and rumors of wars, plagues, natural disasters, et cetera. However, we do believe that when the second coming happens, when Christ comes again and makes himself known to the whole world, the Saints that are upon the Earth who are alive shall be quickened and be caught up to meet him. And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth for their graves shall be opened.
And they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of Heaven, they are Christ’s the first fruits. They who shall descend with him first. If we’re going to point to a Rapture for latterday Saints, this is it. It’s something that occurs at the second Coming of Christ. If you want to put it in Rapture language, I suppose you could say the latterday Saints most closely align with post tribulationism.
Except again, we don’t believe in the specific seven year tribulation thing, and there are lots of other details that factor into our eschatology that might be foreign to other Christians. But when it comes to being caught up to meet Christ, we just lumped this event in as part of the second Coming of Christ. What does it mean to be caught up to Christ? Will people just disappear? Will they be literally taken up into the sky?
I don’t know. We’ll find out now in this episode I’ve really only presented Latter day St eschatology as it applies to the Rapture question. But there’s still a lot of stuff that we believe will happen at the end of the world that we didn’t get to which perhaps we’ll address in a future episode. If you want to learn more about the non Latter day Saint version of the Rapture, it’s always a good idea to just go talk to someone who believes in it. I’ve left several non Latter day Saint resources in the YouTube description that have helped me understand this concept better.
So check those out. Check out some of our other great videos on our channel while you’re here have a great day.