Rapture theology dominated the “end times” landscape of pop-culture Christianity for most of the 20th century. However, I don’t think this is proving to be the case for 21st century evangelicalism.
I believe evangelicals are slowly taking steps away from this modern theological invention.
I remember growing up believing that rapture theology was what the NT plainly taught. Like many fundamentalists, I was simply unaware that the idea of a secret rapture was completely foreign to the apostles, and did not stand up to exegetical scrutiny.
[I have pointed out some inconsistencies with rapture theology and the NT vision of the future in this article.]
I was a freshmen in college when I was first challenged to rethink the Left Behind doctrine. And once I discovered that it actually distorted the gospel, nullified the Christian hope of the resurrection, and undermined the promise of kingdom coming to earth (Rev 21), I intentionally questioned everything else about my faith. What else needed to be reexamined?
I then set my course to learn how to think critically about my faith.
I believe the following video is a nice exposé of rapture theology. Watch and learn about its history and influence in American evangelicalism.
Do you think what we believe about the eschaton (last things) really matters? If the claims in this video are true, what difference does it make in the present? How have you worked through these matters?
D.D. Flowers, 2012.