The Rapture is an event in Protestant eschatology accompanying the Second Coming of Jesus Christ or maybe the Third Coming for Mormons. First, all dead True Christians™ are to resurrected. Then all living True Christians™ are transformed into immortal bodies, and both groups rise up into the air to meet Jesus and watch the fireworks which are about to happen on the Earth below. Non-Christians and Christians who aren't True Christians™ (such as Roman Catholics and liberal Methodists like Hillary Clinton) have to suffer the horrible plagues of the seven year Great Tribulation (described in Revelation) as punishment.
Most Evangelicals are "Pre-trib". That means they believe the Rapture is the very next event on the prophetic calendar, and they will be raptured out to miss the entire Tribulation. Some Evangelicals are "Pre-wrath" which means they have to suffer the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation, but all those plagues will be man-made (Democratic US President, worldwide economic downturn, gun control, socialist health care, taxes raised to 39% on top earners, etc.) and they are mild compared to the divine wrath of the last three and one-half years. A few Evangelicals are "Post-trib", but they aren't True Christians so they won't get beamed out.
The Rapture is when the man from Mars stops eatin' cars and eatin' bars. Now he only eats guitars!
- It also marked the time when white people started trying to pwn rap music for theyzown.
All rapt up
When the rapture comes, can I have your car?
"When the Rapture comes, I'll make 'em wait!" -- Fragment, The Brag of the SubGenius.
"I gotta rapture, that's why I gotta wear this truss. Does that make me trusworthy?"
Some fundamentalist Christians believe that the rapture will happen, and all good Christians will be taken to Heaven while the heavens rejoice. The rest will be left behind to face the Devil and his tribulations. The bad people will remain on earth because only Christians are good and good Christians will be guess where, in Heaven. There are claims that some fundamentalist Christians secretly advocate policies intended to promote conflict in the Holy Land in hopes that the conflict will hasten the Rapture. Liberapedia isn't sure how seriously to take all this but we're worried.
For the convenience of those who have been Raptured, the website You've Been Left Behind offers document storage and email sending services back on Earth after their disappearance to Heaven. ""Imagine how taken back [your friends and relatives] will be by the millions of missing Christians and devastation at the Rapture. They will know it was true and that they have blown it". The friends and relatives who are left to cope with Beelzebub and the Fires of Hades will be even more taken aback to receive emails, good wishes and instructions for the distribution of estates, etc. from those Beyond. All this for the princely sum of $40 a year, which is a paltry price to pay for confirmation of one's Utter Stupidity.
The Rapture features prominently in several works of fiction, including the Left Behind series and this one.
In urban legend
Fundamentalists like to dust off this one every now and again. Allegedaly, the FAA revokes the license of any commercial pilot who claims to be a born-again Christian, since in the event of the rapture they would leave a flight without a crew.
"Oh no, it's the Rapture! Quick, Marge, get Bart out of the house before God comes!" -- Homer Simpson
What is the fuckin' hold up? People have been talking about this on and off for nigh on two millennia. Let's go already, those who absolutely cannot wait for the Rapture, and want to escape right now, are cordially invited to Go Galt.
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