“…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 (HARPAZO) TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS to meet the Lord in the air…”
The Thessalonian Christians were being persecuted and feared they were suffering in the “Day of the Lord (the day God will judge and destroy the world). Here Paul was assuring them they were NOT suffering God’s judgment by explaining how BEFORE the Day of the Lord, the living followers of Jesus will be miraculously taken out (raptured) of the world.
Moreover, Matthew 24 also seems to foretell of this coming event:
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be TAKEN and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be TAKEN and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matt 24:36
Now we are ONLY told that this “Rapture” will happen BEFORE God destroys the WORLD….anything can happen between now and then. Indeed, Revelation 15:16 seems to suggest that this “thief” Jesus will come in the midst of the gathering at Armageddon and or during the destruction of the Great Harlot; but certainly NOT before the persecution of many Christians. So Christian, if you still think you are going to be spared the end time PERSECUTIONS such as the mark of the Beast because you will be taken in the Rapture…think again!