There is no shortcut for researching the rapture in the Bible. There is not a book or chapter that you can turn to which simply explains it. The Bible doesn’t work like that. In order to understand the concept of the rapture, you have to know the Bible. If you have never read the Bible before, get an easy translation (one that starts with the word New) and read it all the way through. But start with the Gospels in the New Testament, especially John. When you finish those go back to Genesis and read the Bible through.
The first time I read the Bible I didn’t find anything about a rapture. That is because I didn’t have much understanding of it. I read the Old King James version. I didn’t really get a whole lot of it. I didn’t even find anything in the Old Testament that sounded like a prophecy of Christ, or a Messiah. But I was fascinated by it, and bits and pieces of it throughout did speak to me profoundly.
That’s a beginning. This is the way the Bible works. It is both a kindergarten reader and a graduate level study text. The same book. The same passages. They don’t get old and they don’t go stale. Each time you reread them they say something new to you. This book is its own miracle. Our pastor has been teaching the Bible 60 years and still finds new revelations each time he reads through it. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Bible is in fact more than just a book, that it is an actual living entity, a manifestation of God’s thoughts and communication. Reading scripture is the primary way that God talks to us. This is for real, not an abstract concept.
He really speaks to you when you read His word. To you, right now, today, what he needs to teach you right now. Today’s lesson will be one that you are ready for, based on your level of education and spiritual maturity. You don’t get graduate level study text in a kindergarten reader. That comes later, when you have built up to it and can properly comprehend it. Consequently you cannot expect to find Biblical research of the rapture if you are a kindergarten-level Bible reader, being as this knowledge comes at a much higher level.
After reading the Bible all the way through for the first time, get a different translation and read it through again. Only this time get a good Bible commentary to go with it, and read the commentary as you go. I would recommend Halley’s Bible Handbook, or the Word for Today Study Bible by Chuck Smith. Whole new worlds of understanding will start opening up to you. But even after that second reading, accompanied by a good commentary, you will probably still only know enough to be dangerous. You won’t be ready to argue with atheists (trust me) or debate doctrinal issues.
I am currently on my fifth reading of the Bible, and I am now finding a tremendous amount of scripture pertaining to the rapture. This research is fascinating. It’s all new. I mean it just wasn’t there before, although I am reading the same words. God knows I am ready for this level of education now, and sure enough it is there. I am also finding prophecy for the coming of Christ all over the Old Testament, jumping out at me in Psalms and everywhere. It’s amazing.
If you haven’t read and studied your way through the Bible at least four or five times you really have no business being dogmatic about doctrinal issues. It would be like a second grade student arguing about effective rocket fuel formulas with a college science professor. Reading the Bible once or twice isn’t much in the way of educational credits. This is a life-long process. We Christians need to keep our nose in God’s book as long as we are in these mortal bodies, because that is how God talks to us, teaches us, and brings us along. More importantly, as Ephesians 6:17 tells us, the Bible is the sword of the spirit. We are in a spiritual battle here on earth, and cannot afford to be caught without our sword.