My own Personal Comments
"And as it was in the days of No'e, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Luke 17:26-37) What happened in the days of Noah and Lot? Who was taken out of the world? It was not Noah or Lot. The wicked were the ones that were removed. Noah and Lot were protected and provided for right here on the earth. In the 34-37 verses, please carefully consider and see what the scriptures really say. Do you want to be one of the ones that are taken, or one of the ones that are left?
Before you answer that question, please consider Christ's description of the harvest time at the end of the world. Matt 13:30 tells of the harvest at the end of the world and the servants are instructed to allow the wheat and tares to grow together, until the time of harvest. At the time of harvest, the servants shall FIRST gather the tares and bind them in bundles and burn them. Then they will gather the wheat into God's barn.
"So shall it be at the end of the world: The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire" (Matt 13:49). Read the 91 St. Psalm and see how God will protect His people right here in the midst of all the war and pestilence. "A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand; but if shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked" (Psalms 91:7-8)
Those who are taken away will be the wicked, just as the wicked were taken away first in the time of Noah and Lot. Those that are Alive and REMAIN will be the righteous. Read Thess 4:15-18 again.
When does the "Caught up" action occur. It's associated with a shout, with the Sun and Moon being darkened and with the Last Trump. It is not secret and it is announced to the whole world by the great signs that God has prophesied would be associated with His coming. Read Revelations and see when the "Last Trump" will be sounded. (I Cor 15:52) (Rev 11:15) See all the destruction and tribulation that precedes the sounding of the last trump and all the signs of Christ's return.
God destroyed the earth the first time with a great flood. The scriptures indicate that when He comes again, He will destroy the earth with fire. He will burn up the wicked with the brightness of His coming. God's fire of wrath and judgement will cleanse the earth of all evil, just as the water removed all the evil in the flood in Noah's day.
Yes, there will come a time when the righteous will be caught up into the air to meet Christ when He comes. It then says "And so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess 4:17). That does not mean that we will remain forever in the clouds. Christ is returning to earth and He's bringing the Great City, "New Jerusalem", with Him. He is then going to establish His kingdom, here on the earth and if we are faithful, we will reign with Him here for a THOUSAND YEARS, on the earth!
"I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." (John 17:15) God has never promised his people freedom from troubles, but He in fact places us in the eye of the storm, so that we can be tested and grow strong in our faith, and be a light unto the world around us.
Satan always takes portions of scripture and truth and twists them to give people a false hope and belief, so that when calamity comes, they will turn against God.
A good test of whether a doctrine is correct, is to evaluate and compare the two extremes, first according to scripture, and then to see which doctrine you think Satan would rather have you believe.
One of the rapture doctrines is wrong. Which one would Satan rather have you believe, the rapture before the tribulation or the rapture after the tribulation?
Would Satan want you to have a hope that God would take us out of the tribulation and take us to Heaven? If we believed that then we wouldn't have to be concerned about all the calamity that will soon begin to grow upon the earth. There would be no preparation required for this time of trouble and hardships, other than to be spiritually prepared to meet God. There would however be great disillusionment, if the tribulations and destructions came and the rapture hadn't occurred, and we had to live through it. People would feel as if God had failed them and that God had not kept His word.
Or, Would Satan want you to believe that we had to live through the tribulation, under God's protection. If we believed this we would still have to be prepared spiritually, maybe even more so, but there would NOT be the great disillusionment of the people. If we were wrong and the rapture occurred before the tribulation, it would just be a relief that it was over so quickly and easily, and we'd be happy to be with God.
In the first case Satan could discourage and cause many to turn away from God, while in the second case people would be prepared, expecting and willing to go into the tribulation and even be expecting to be witnesses, to the lost. Many would even, knowingly be ready and willing, to give their lives as martyrs, when necessary, according to God's plan.
The time is rapidly approaching when God's people will have to "Come Out or Her" and separate ourselves from this world and it's philosophies. When the mark of the Beast begins to be used as indicated in scripture, all those who accept the mark of the beast, will loose their souls. Are you ready and willing to place yourself in God's hands and let Him lead you through the Great Tribulation?
Is your desire to serve Him, no matter what the difficulties and hardships? Is your tree rooted in God's truth, so that when the winds blow and the storms come, that you will have the strength of God in your heart and faith to withstand the hardships?