The term 'rapture' does not appear in the Bible. It is a word that's been assigned to an event which is described in Luke 17:22-37; 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4: 14-5:3. Those who belong to Christ are removed from the earth because they will be spared the wrath of God which is released on Israel (1 Thessalonians 5:9/Revelation 3:10) and those who have no faith in Jesus to save them. In Luke 17, Jesus explains to His disciples that, as happened on two previous occasions, everyone will be eating, drinking, working, and living as usual until the day Jesus is revealed or disclosed. When this happens, it is pointless to leave your rooftop or field to retrieve things you might own. The Greek says Jesus will receive near and take unto Himself those who belong to Him and will send forth/put away those who don't. The disciples asked Him where this would happen, and Jesus said “His utterance” (the Greek definition) would take place where the eagles convene (the lower heavens where birds fly). These scriptures do not describe Jesus as setting foot on the earth. He calls His followers to meet Him in the air. These scriptures reference the rapture, the catching up/catching away of the church, because Jesus receives unto Himself those who belong to Him, the church, and leaves on earth those who do not. By the utterance of Christ, the church is called up to the place where eagles fly. The rapture will take place just prior to the rise of the man who will become the Antichrist. We know this because this man will make a seven-year covenant with Israel (Daniel 9:27) which will usher in the Tribulation (3.5 years) and the Great Tribulation (3.5 years), the seven years of wrath which the saved in Christ will not endure. While waiting on the rapture to occur, Believers are to stay calm and live with faith and hope (1 Thessalonians 5:8) because God has NOT appointed (defined as ‘to place, purpose, set forth) us to endure the wrath (defined as ‘violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence); by implication, ‘punishment’) of the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:9). God has appointed us for salvation through Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Because we are saved, we avoid punishment! This is the reason we are baptized; so that we can approach God as innocent; to come before Him acquitted, pardoned from our sins; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21. There are 31 New Testament scriptures which declare Believers justified before God. Each of them defines ‘justified’ as ‘to render (ie show or regard as) just or innocent.’ God will NOT punish His innocent children! We know Believers will be spared the horrors of the Tribulation because this statement about NOT being appointed to wrath is placed in the context of scripture which speaks about the rapture of the church. It does not speak to avoiding the wrath of the second coming of Christ because it isn’t placed in the scriptures which speak to His second coming and the wrath it brings (Revelation 19:11-21). Also, and this is something which gets overlooked by those who scoff at the pre-trib rapture, twice, 1 Thessalonians 4:18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11, John exhorts Believers to be comforted by these words and to use them to comfort and build up one another. If these passages do not explain that Believers will NOT be present for the wrath of the Tribulation, how could they possibly comfort anyone? How could the knowledge that we, saved by the blood of Jesus, seen innocent by God, will endure the atrocities of the Tribulation ever be comforting? Because these scriptures mean that God’s faithful will not endure the horrors of the Tribulation, those of us who believe can live calmly, with faith and hope, busy about the work of God’s kingdom (1 Thessalonians 4:11) so that more people will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and also be spared the wrath of the Tribulation.
Jesus' second coming is described in Revelation 19:11-21. He returns to earth to battle Satan, the false prophet and the beast, along with the earthly kings and armies they have amassed. Jesus annihilates everyone. The birds feed on the flesh of dead people and horses. The false prophet and the beast are thrown into the Lake of Fire, and Satan is bound for the duration of the millennial kingdom (Rev 20:2), during which those beheaded during the Tribulation will reign with Jesus (Rev 20:4). These verses clearly describe two different events. The scriptures regarding the rapture tell us the Son of Man will be revealed or disclosed. Since this is stated within the context of Jesus bringing His believers alongside Him, it’s understood that Jesus is revealed to only those who belong to Him. Also, the rapture can happen at any time as there are no stated events which must come to pass prior to its occurrence (Titus 2:13/1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 5:1-3). At the second coming, Jesus is revealed to the entire earth. This will be an event missed by no one on the planet (Matthew 24:27/Revelation 1:7), but it will not happen until certain prophesied events come to pass (2 Thessalonians 2:4/Matthew 24:15-30).
You should get an interlinear Bible and study for yourself. You could very possibly come to a different understanding than what I've presented here. There are many many Christians who agree with me, but there also many who don't.
Thanks, Dennis Gries, for the pic! God used you in a mighty way!