- The term "Rapture" first became popular in the United States toward the end of the 19th century through the teachings on premillennialism and dipensationalism by John Nelson Darby, an Irish evangelist. The rapture theory continued to grow in popularity among evangelicals largely due to a preacher named William Eugene Blackstone (1841-1935). His book, Jesus is Coming, sold more than one million copies.
- In the late 1960's and 1970's, during the Jesus Movement, the Rapture theory made its way into many popular secular songs such as Are You Ready? by Pacific Gas & Electric and In The Year 2525 by Zager and Evans.
- The Rapture theory gained even greater interest during this time due to the books of Hal Lindsey. In The Late Great Planet Earth Lindsey predicted an imminent Rapture based on global conditions at the time.
- In 1972 Russell S. Doughten produced a four-part movie series beginning with A Thief in the Night. The film recorded the events surrounding the Rapture in a terrifying way, creating widespread public interest in the theory.
- In 1991 the film The Rapture, with Mimi Rogers was released. It recorded one woman's experience through the Rapture.
- Currently, the very popular Christian book series, based on the events surrounding the Rapture is the Left Behind series, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
Not All Christian Faiths Accept the Rapture Theory
- Roman Catholics do not accept a Rapture theory. They believe the concept to be a confused understanding of the Second Coming of Christ.
- Eastern Orthodox also reject the Rapture theory. From the beginning it has never been taught by any of their bishops.
- Other mainline Protestant faiths and ministers have challenged the idea of the Rapture because of the inconsistencies and various interpretations of the previously noted Bible verses. Visit this page for a denominational comparison on end times doctrines.
Speculation About the RaptureFor those who believe in a future Rapture, it is regarded to be a sudden and cataclysmic event that will be unlike any other phenomenon in history. Millions of people will disappear from the Earth without warning. As a result, tragic and unexplained accidents will occur on a wide scale basis, ushering in the tribulation period. Many speculate that the non-believers left behind who may have known of the Rapture theory, yet previously rejected it, will finally come to belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as a result of the Rapture. Others left behind will remain in unbelief, finding theories to "explain away" the bizarre event.
• Go to Page 1 - What is the Rapture?
• Go to Page 2 - Biblical References to the Rapture.
• Learn more about the Rapture at GotQuestions.org.