Updated: Jun 5
Some of those who hold the rapture theory will argue that the rapture is secret, meaning that Christians will mysteriously disappear from this earth right before the tribulation. They think that Jesus will come like a quiet thief at nighttime, only seen by Christians.
This is problematic, for how can anybody understand 1 Thess. 4 as being a “quiet” event, when it specifically says there will be a loud command, a cry of an archangel, and a loud trumpet blast? Those aren’t quiet things! And again, these are the same descriptions of the end of the world that the New Testament mentions: a trumpet blast, Christ coming in the clouds, etc. He returns in an obvious way (Mt. 24:27,30), with a trumpet like what Israel did with the walls of Jericho. There will be angels, resurrected bodies, and a judgment (Mt. 25:31-46).
Granted, 1 Thess. 4 only mentions Christ gathering Christians, so rapture-theorists think only the Christians are taken, with nobody else being aware of the event. However, just because the judgment of the wicked is not mentioned does not mean that it does not occur. Yes, 1 Thess. 4 says that Christians meet Christ in the air, and only them, but this would actually imply a judgment of the wicked in ancient times.
For when a king would come to his city in victory, he would be met outside by those who love him and to celebrate His victory, while those who were his enemies stayed inside the city walls, awaiting judgement. The king would then enter the city with his friends to pronounce judgement upon his enemies, and live forever with his friends.
This is that missing detail of 1 Thess. 4 that needs to be remembered. And as we said before, descriptions of the same event can be described from different angles, as we see in the case of the four Gospels. Rapture enthusiasts are misinterpreting Scripture.