The Rapture was a historical event that occurred in the Left Behind books on an unspecified date at 12 AM (midnight) Eastern Standard Time when all believers prior to the Tribulation were taken into Heaven, and where they would receive a glorified body. The physical bodies of both living and dead believers disappeared, so any clothes that the believer was wearing, as well as any glasses, hearing aids, false teeth, and any form of prosthetic device such as pacemakers were left behind in the spot where the person was taken. The teaching comes from 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17:
- For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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.
While in the story the adults that were true believers along with children that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior were taken in the Rapture, there were also newborn babies as well as unborn children that were taken in addition to other children who were too young to fully accept accountability for their actions.
The event caused all sorts of disruptions among humans, as manned vehicles were found without operators and residences where people were cooking meals on stoves were found catching fire with no one to turn off the heat. Telephone lines were jammed with people making so many phone calls at the same time.
Following the Rapture, there were many speculations about what had taken place. Some among unbelievers thought it was aliens with advanced transporting technology to take those who offered least resistance away with them. Nicolae Carpathia postulated that it had something to do with the presence of nuclear missiles and other unexplained natural phenomena working together to cause the disappearances to happen. Enigma Babylon One World Faith spiritual leader Peter Mathews believed that it was God removing "the chaff" from "the wheat", allowing only those who were considered good in His eyes to remain.
However, to those who knew the truth, who thought they were Christians but found themselves to be hypocrites when they were left behind, the Rapture became a startling revelation and the start of a mighty work of salvation formed in the nucleus of a small group called the Tribulation Force.
There are differing opinions on when the Rapture will occur. The authors of the Left Behind books, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, support a Dispensationalist, Premillenial, Pre-tribulation point of view, and thus the story of the Left Behind series follows this view.
Known People Raptured
- Vernon Billings
- Irene Steele
- Rayford "Raymie" Steele Jr.
- Lucinda Washington
- Mrs. Williams (Buck's Sister-in-Law)
- Buck's Niece and Nephew
- Mrs. Fitzhugh (Gerald Fitzhugh's Wife)
- Christopher Smith's Family
- Loretta's "Whole Extended Family"
- Mrs. Barnes (Bruce's Wife)
- Bruce's Children
- Mr. White (Amanda's Husband)
- Pope John XXIV
- Dwayne and Trudy Tuttle's Children
- Lionel Whalum's Children
- Zaki and Bahira Ababneh
- Yasmine Ababneh
- Tom Byrne
- Judd Thompson Sr.
- Ronnie Washington
- Apocalypse Dawn
- Left Behind: A novel of the Earth's last days
- Left Behind: End of State
- Left Behind: The Movie
- Left Behind (2014 film)
- The Rapture: In The Twinkling Of An Eye
- The Vanishings
- The date of the Rapture is never specified in conjunction with the bible passage: "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Matthew 24:36), but the literal 'hour' was revealed to have been around 12 midnight Eastern Time in the first installment of Left Behind: The Kids.
- Dates and months given throughout the Left Behind series suggest that The Rapture in the series occurred in the month of February.