Someone in Yahoo Answers has asked a question about the “rapture”:
“ok she is asking the question, when the rapture happens and the people left behined will see it, they will have more proof that this bible “stuff” is real, now isnt it unfair for the people who died before the rapture occured, like people in the 18th century and so on or died yesterday or whenever? being that they didnt have the same proof. now for me i think this is a pretty easy question, i would have to say that first the first scripture that comes to mind is when Jesus tells thomas that he believes because he sees and blessed are those who don’t see and still believe, so at first glance it may seem as if the people who see the rapture happen get the upper hand, but really its just the opposite, we who don’t see the rapture happen or if it happens after where all gone from this earth, actually get the upper hand because we didnt have to see anything miracolus to believe, so we are blessed for that, and also people who were around during christs time had an easier time believing since alot of people saw jesus resurected. if you have any more points or other answers for this i would appreciate it. thank you”
I think the following is a good answer that is based on time reference and audience relevance:
Traditions have told us we are living in the ‘last days’ in the 21st Century. But what were the ‘last days’ the end of? The Bible says that Jesus was manifested in “these last days” (these, meaning, the ones the writer was living in, so 1st Century days.) Now that begs the question, are we still living in the last days 20 centuries later?With so many time indicators about the “end” scattered all over the New Testament, we have more than a clue about WHEN this end really was, and therefore WHAT the end really was. Consider some of them: “soon, at hand, in a little while, at the door, near, quickly, about to come, shortly, the last hour, will not delay.” What does that tell us?Either that Jesus wasn’t sure about the time of this ‘end,’ or that He was misleading His disciples about it, or that He meant exactly what He said, and the ‘end’ DID occur within a generation (40 years) as He asserted.What happened between Jesus’ ascension and 40 years? A horrible tribulation period under Caesar Nero, starting about 63AD, and a great war between the Jews and Romans (66-70AD). Jewish historians write about earthquakes, famines, signs in the sky such as comets and chariots, etc.
So taking Jesus’ words at face value, and understanding that the AGE of Judaism, national Israel, or the Mosaic Covenant world did end in AD 70, we can conclude that the “end” was not a planetary, cosmic destruction, but rather, a covenantal world destruction, communicated with Jewish metaphors borrowed from the Old Testament.
The Old Covenant age ended in AD 70, and the New Covenant age began to exist on its own in AD 70. This is what the Jews meant by old “heavens & earth” and new “heavens & earth.” It was simply a transition of ages whereby God moved His presence from the Temple… to our hearts.
The rapture (‘catching up’) would have occurred on or about the ‘Day of the Lord,’ or 9th of Av (our Aug/Sept) in AD70. Some who understand fulfilled eschatology see this as a literal happening, and others see it as the Presence of God coming to fill believers as a Bridegroom would come and carry His bride away to consummate the marriage.
If interested, link below is a great start to understanding history and how Biblical prophecy was fulfilled in the 1st century.