The Rapture of the Church
The Rapture of the Church is probably the most bizarre belief that is held by Christians, and if you're a skeptic or an unbeliever, that's probably saying a lot! It says that at some point in the future, no one knows when, Jesus Himself is going to descend from heaven, (bringing along with Him believers who have died since His resurrection), but is going to stop in the air and not come all the way to earth. He will call up believers who are living on the earth to meet Him in the air, and then will usher the whole gang into heaven. Very strange indeed, but, we believe, taught nonetheless in the Bible.
No one knows how many believers (those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior) there are in the world right now, but it is undoubtedly in the hundreds of millions, perhaps even a billion, worldwide. That's a lot of people to disappear in one day! If Christians are right, and this event does occur one day, the world obviously will be a changed place......forever.You really can't put too much emphasis on this strange belief of the rapture, because if it is true, which we obviously believe it is, it changes everything.
Assuming it's true, speculation among those left behind will obviously run rampant as to what happened. No doubt many people on earth will trumpet some type of "alien" abduction theory. Some will probably feel that "those judgmental Christians" finally got theirs and now they're gone. If the rapture were to occur simultaneously with a huge natural disaster or nuclear war, there would be many non-believers and skeptics that would be gone as well, and the effect would not be as pronounced.
One effect that the rapture could have is that it might leave the nation of Israel feeling a little nervous. Right now Christians are Israel's best friend, and a lack of support resulting from the rapture could leave her feeling a little vulnerable. Will the world take notice?