Other perspectives to think about and know.
Other perspectives are NEVER considered seriously by evangelical Christians. They aren't considered because it hurts too much to think about studying and reorganizing thoughts and beliefs that have settled in like cured concrete within our collective skulls.
Rapture is generally accepting to describe the removal of righteous persons by Christ into Paradise prior to the millennium period of shabbat (sabbath) for planet earth.
The extension of the actual event of the 'taking up' is confused and muddled by divisive conversation and differing interpretations.
"Those that love truth embrace it. Those that love it not, interpret.
" - Blaze Pascal
Whatever else one may say about the rapture dogma, one must admit it is convoluted confused and not accepted in a coherent form by most evangelical Christians. Non-American Christians generally either reject the idea out of hand or pay little attention to it. There are several versions of the rapture theory and not everyone agrees how it will play out. That being said there are other matters worthy of consideration.
According to strict study of the millennial period, ancient Hebrew prophecies state the history of the world will play out in sections of one thousand years each. One thousand years is a millennium and that's basically where the term millennium originates. The ancient prophecy states that there would be a period of two thousand years of object lessons - pre LAW. During that period God would teach in physical terms and by actual events explained by prophets. At the end of that period God would give the LAW (Torah) to His people Israel by the hand of Moses.
The next two millennia, two thousand years, would see the rule of Torah (LAW). During this period object lessons would continue as well as prophets speaking God's word. In addition, however, Torah would be held in high regard as God's written Word to His people Israel. If you are keeping track by counting on your fingers you should have four fingers counted - for four thousand years.
The next two millennia, according to ancient Hebrew prophecy, would be the Messianic period. Messiah would appear to His people and teach the ways of God to their hearts and minds directly. During those two thousand years the Messiah would be the object of considerable attention and devotion. That's six thousand years total if you're still counting.
The next period would be a shabbat or sabbath millennium. The earth would be given rest from its use and misuse and humans would not even be present. That's a total of seven thousand years, or a week of millennium years.
If you look closely at the series of events predicted by Danial, Ezekiel, Revelation and the apostolic letters you'll see that the days of human habitation upon the earth are ended prior to the sabbath millennium. The righteous are removed to Paradise and the sinners are all destroyed. There is nothing left. Satan is left to wander a barren planet for one thousand years - all alone with nobody to tempt and nothing to do at all. At the bottom of a dark pit if you look at the experience from the devil's point of view and consider the Bible's words as true.
At the end of the sabbath millennium the New Jerusalem descends from heaven. The 2nd resurrection of the sinners happens and they join satan to attack the New City. All of the attackers are destroyed and consigned to the Lake of Fire, which is the second death. There is no everlasting punishment, but there is a final permanent destruction. Not even ashes remain, the Bible says.
Versions of what is to happen during the seventh millennium vary because they do not accurately reflect ancient prophecy from the Bible nor do they logically portray events that unfold at the end of human history.
A great deal of prophecy remains in the future, but not that far away by any account one wishes to consider. The time is short and the wise man will repent and seek peace with God through Christ Jesus as soon as possible. Whether taken up during life or whether meeting Christ at death, one ought to be aware that terrible times are approaching. It is wise to prepare one's heart and get right with God.
that's me, hollering from the choir loft...