The Second Coming of Christ, the Day of our Lord and the day of our deliverance from the pain and sufferings of this Earth, is the most awaited moment of all faithful Christians in the world.
The Lord who left His royal state in heaven and chose to live in sufferings for our own sake will come in full glory accompanied by thousands and thousands of His angels to meet us in the clouds and be with Him forever in the realm of His Father. Everyone is excited to see this glorious period. Everyone is hoping to see their Lord face to face in the midst of the heavens. But the glory of this awaited moment is not the same as the moment being awaited by those who believe that the rapture will happen secretly. Yes, there are Christians who are deluded by the belief that the saints, during the rapture, will suddenly disappear prior to the tribulation, and that the public is unaware of what is happening to them.
Christ said to His disciples, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:27). The lightning that comes out of the east and shineth into the west is not a secret event. Both east and west will see the glorious coming of the Son of God and He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet to gather together His elects from one end of heaven to the other. Our beloved apostle Paul discussed the case in the same way when he stated, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thess. 4:16-17) This verse reveals that the coming of Christ and the rapture of the saints will never happen in silence or concealment.
The theory of the Secret Rapture, as how its believers called it, is a product of a doctrine developed by the Catholic Jesuits to counter the Reformation. To confuse Protestants and prevent them from believing that the papacy is the fulfillment of the apocalyptic antichrist, the Jesuits Francisco Ribera, Robert Bellarmine and Manuel de Lacunza formulated a teaching placing the coming of the antichrist somewhere in the future and not in their present period as the historicists believed. Lacunza used the pen-name Rabbi Ben-Ezra to conceal his Catholic affiliation and that the Protestants will welcome his writings where the anti-Reformation teachings are contained. The Scottish clergyman Edward Irving embraced the Jesuit teaching, especially of Lacunza who said that the coming of Christ is divided into two stages where the first point is the coming of Christ for His church to save them from the arrival of the antichrist. This is the first coming where the (secret) rapture will take place. Irving preached it with the support of the alleged rapture vision of Miss Margaret McDonald. The secret rapture belief was popularized by John Nelson Darby and then by Cyrus Scofield in the United States.