->''When I feel the magic of you''\\
''The feeling's always new''\\
''Caught up in the rapture of You''
-->-- '''Anita Baker''', "Caught Up In The Rapture"

A standard feature of some Christian eschatology (a fancy word meaning "study of [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the end of the world"]]) dictates that, before (or possibly after) {{God}} allows {{Satan}} to screw the world over, He will ''rapture'' His church, by grabbing everyone who is a Christian, or possibly grab everyone including non-Christians, Muslims, buddhists, atheists, agnostics and other non-believers who might also be able to figure out what's going on and do something about it. So basically, a whole lot of people just suddenly vanish without warning, potentially leading to all sorts of [[HilarityEnsues interesting effects]]. Or, [[NoEndorHolocaust maybe not so many]].

In reality, while this idea has worked its way into popular consciousness regarding the End of the World, it's actually [[NewerThanTheyThink a fairly recent idea, dating back to a Protestant group called the Plymouth Brethren in the 19th century.]] A former Anglican minister by the name of John Nelson Darby took a single verse from 1 Thessalonians describing how the church will be "caught up together" in the air to join with Jesus spiritually. Combining this with Premillenialist theology stating that there will be a period of a great tribulation and hardship on earth before Jesus comes back to defeat evil for good and reign for 1000 years, Darby is largely responsible for creating the major trappings of the Rapture that people most commonly associate with Christianity today. It's also worth noting that many Christians do not believe in the Rapture -- the Catholic Church, for example, disavows it entirely.[[note]]Their eschatology basically amounts to "The world is going to end. We don't really know how or when but just take our word for it, OK?"[[/note]] Since its inception, it's remained a religious phenomenon that gained and kept its strongest popularity in America.

Curiously, the theology of the Rapture has extended itself out of Christianity entirely. Many New Age gurus who have left Christianity maintain some of the teachings surrounding the rapture, and many of these pseudo-Christian ideas exist in, for instance, Terrance [=McKenna=]'s ''Timewave Zero'' and the various expositions of the end of the age in the Mayan Calendar in December, 2012. [[CaptainObvious (P.S: the last one didn't happen, either.)]] (Of course, the world could have ended on December 21st, [[CloudCuckoolander we've just been caught up in our own affairs so much that we didn't notice]], the way some cartoon characters can keep running off the cliff and out into the chasm, as long as they don't notice the ground has disappeared.)

The aftermath of the Rapture is often depicted with EmptyPilesOfClothing. The time preceding the Rapture may be filled with SignsOfTheEndTimes.

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!!Examples:
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[[folder: Bumper Stickers ]]

* A common bumper sticker referring to this idea, was one that read "In the event of Rapture, this vehicle will be Unmanned".
** [[TheDevilsAdvocate "Vanity. Definitely my favorite sin."]]
* There's also joke bumper stickers along the lines of "In case of Rapture, can I have your car?" and "In case of Rapture, I call your stuff."

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* A particularly loathed ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' storyline featured a conspiracy to cause a fake Rapture.
** What's really ridiculous? The plot was to install Nightcrawler (who looks like a Blue Devil) as UsefulNotes/ThePope (somehow tricking the entire conclave into choosing someone who is ''waaay'' too young to even be considered for the role) and then having his pocket hologram generator fail, exposing him as the "Antichrist" as explosive Communion wafers disintegrate anyone who eats them and making everyone think the Rapture has come in a bid to take over the world/Catholic church. The kicker to this whole plot? As stated above, Catholics don't believe in the Rapture.
* Perhaps unintentionally done in the InfinityGauntlet. Thanos, upon becoming God through acquiring the Infinity Gems, causes half of all life in the universe to disappear, causing mass panics as people see their loved ones disappear right in front of them, wars and the typical conflicts associated with the end of days. The people who have disappeared aren't taken into Heaven, but rather become a part of Death herself.
* Creator/JackChick uses the Rapture quite a bit, both in his tracts and his ''Alberto'' series of comic books.
* ''ThereforeRepent'' and its sequel, ''SwordOfMyMouth'' are a sort of anarchist TakeThat againt ''LeftBehind'' with the Splitters who side with the angels who randomly butcher people against our heroes who have rediscovered magic in the wake of the rapture and are LaResistance.
* Dr. Fate in DC Comics' ''[[ComicBook/LegendsDC Legends]]'' catches up various superheroes for the purpose of confronting G. Gordon Godfrey at the end of the series to put an end to his stirring up the hatred of superheroes for their destruction, as per Darkseid's overall plan. In the same issue that this takes place in, the cover of that issue has Captain Marvel standing among [[EmptyPilesOfClothing piles of empty superhero clothing]], completing the image of the Rapture, although that part doesn't happen in the story itself.
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[[folder:Film]]

* ''The Rapture'' seems to be a big TakeThat to the concept, as a faithful woman is driven by fanaticism and depression into effectively damning herself.
* The NicolasCage movie ''{{Knowing}}'' is a thinly veiled allegory to the rapture, [[spoiler: with aliens taking the place of God]].
* Along with Hal Lindsey's books, the 1972 film ''A Thief in the Night'' helped to popularize this trope back in TheSeventies.
* The ''Film/{{Apocalypse}}'' film series kicks off with this, with the Antichrist Franco Maccalusso explaining that those who disappeared were [[AWizardDidIt removed by him]] because [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans they were obstacles to the goal of achieving world peace]].
** ''The Moment After'' starts off with this also.
* Kicks off the main plot of ''ThisIsTheEnd''.
* Happens towards the beginning of ''Film/RapturePalooza''.

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[[folder:Literature]]

* The "800-pound gorilla" in this scenario is the ''LeftBehind'' series of Christian thrillers. The opening of the first book has the main character, Rayford, a pilot, contemplating cheating on his wife with a stewardess, before said stewardess comes into the cockpit to inform Rayford that half of the passengers have disappeared.
** The parody novel ''Right Behind'' had a fake Rapture and a climax of the protagonist fighting the AntiChrist in a Christian bookstore by chucking Precious Moments figurines.
* A lesser known series of Christian Rapture novels were the Prodigal Project series by Ken Abraham, with arguably better character development and more realistic dialogue than ''LeftBehind''. At one point, a man is confronted with his insane female neighbor who just witnessed her children's disappearance, and then killed her husband because he refused to have sex with her to replace their missing children and now wants the man to impregnate her.
* In the ''ChristCloneTrilogy'' by James Beauseigneur, the Rapture is somewhat subverted, in that when what becomes known to the world as "The Disaster" strikes, the raptured Christians don't disappear, but [[spoiler:actually die. Their souls still go to God, though]]. The tribulation judgements, unlike the cartoonish ones in the LeftBehind novels, are pure horror.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', a televangelist is gushing about the Rapture to his TV audience, when he's accidentally possessed by Aziraphale, an actual angel, who lets it slip that no, they're going to be far too busy with Judgement Day to bother with protecting the locals. Let God sort it out.
* Before ''LeftBehind'', there was Hal Lindsey. Although he didn't create the idea of the Rapture, he helped [[TropeCodifier codify]] it with his 1970 book ''The Late, Great Planet Earth'', which purported that the Rapture would take place in TheEighties, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Israel. [[UnderminedByReality His predictions are]] [[HilariousInHindsight pretty funny now]], but back then, a lot of people took him [[SeriousBusiness very seriously]], and it helped to fuel the popularity of dispensationalism in American Christianity.
** Remember our friend John Nelson Darby that we mentioned at the top of the page? Lindsey graduated from the theological university that was started by one of Darby's staunchest supporters. Reportedly, his former colleagues were a little mad that he made ''millions'' off of essentially publishing lecture notes.
* The Evangelical Rapture is cited and explicitly occurs during the plot of Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/JobAComedyOfJustice''. [[spoiler: It's subverted, however, when it's revealed that God (who is a JerkAss) deliberately invoked it as part of a petty scheme to [[SecretTestOfCharacter screw with the protagonist's faith]] and, moreover, God and Satan themselves are merely minor deities in a CelestialBureaucracy. The whole scheme ends with a massive ResetButton, except that the hero gets his girl and lives HappilyEverAfter as a reward for his faith.]]
* A short story from the Eighties titled "If The Driver Vanishes..." (from a Rapture-related bumper sticker, "If the driver vanishes, grab the wheel") had billions of people vanishing as something - "a great star" - appears in the sky. This taken to be the Rapture (a pretty convincing case, you might say), but the "star" appears to be an alien ship, broadcasting images [[AliensStealCable from TV and films]] of increasing population pressure and war culminating in space battles. After the disappearances end, the montage changes to a happier future. The protagonist decides it wasn't divine. It was alien pest control.
* ''[[TheLaundrySeries The Apocalypse Codex]]'' features a charismatic evangelical preacher who hopes to bring about the Rapture. Unfortunately for nearly everyone, [[EldritchAbomination he's got the wrong Christ...]]
* ''The Leftovers'' by Tom Perrotta deals with the aftermath of a Rapture-style mass vanishing. Given the selection of people taken, however, many of those left behind are wondering just what God was looking for...

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[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''{{Community}}'' - on a Halloween episode where scary stories are being exchanged, Shirley tells one where the rest of her study group is having a debauched party when the radio announces "We interrupt your death metal to bring you some heavy news: all the good Christians got raptured up to Heaven so if you're hearing this, the good news is you're the coolest people in the world. [all: "Yes!"] The bad news is, the world is over. This is NPR." As they wail in agony, Shirley appears as a pure being of light not to save them, just to say she forgives them for ostensibly picking on her, then leaves them to their doom.
* Averted in ''Series/TheLeftovers'', the only thing anyone on a panel of religious experts agrees on is that whatever caused the disappearance of 2% of earth's population was ''not'' the Rapture ("If there is a God, He sat out on this one"), as the missing was a completely random mix of people ("ThePope I get, but ''Gary Busey''?") and aside from pets who witnessed the disappearance of their owners apparently going berserk there hasn't been any other supernatural phenomena in three years.
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[[folder:Music]]

* The gospel hymn "I'll See You In the Rapture" is about [[http://www.namethathymn.com/hymn-lyrics-detective-forum/index.php?a=vtopic&t=1513 this topic.]]
* Also "I Wish We'd All Been Ready", sung from the P.O.V. of those who have been left behind during the event.
* Anita Baker's song "Caught Up in the Rapture" is not actually an example of this trope, it's just using it as a metaphor for love.
* The song "21st of May" by NickelCreek gently pokes fun at this trope, particularly concerning evangelists who keep revising their predictions of when it will happen.

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[[folder:Religion]]

* This is actually ''inverted'' in the belief system of the Jehovah's Witnesses. They believe that God will remove the unworthy from Earth (no Heaven or Hell, [[TheNothingAfterDeath just]] [[CessationOfExistence oblivion]]), lift the 144,000 most righteous to Heaven (it should be noted that all 144,000 aren't necessarily all alive ''now''), and leave the rest to rebuild the world [[NewEden as it was meant to be]] and live there eternally.
* A radio preacher named Harold Camping once predicted that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM, and whipped up a lot of publicity for it through a barrage of print and billboard advertisements. Some radio stations "celebrated" by playing [[SuspiciouslyAproposMusic songs]] like Music/BritneySpears' "Till the World Ends" and Music/{{REM}}'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", while a number of atheist/secularist groups held "Rapture parties" on the date. Eventually 6 PM passed through every time zone with no true signs of an apocalypse. He later changed it to October of the same year, where it still didn't happen.
** He also predicted it would happen in 1994. [[CaptainObvious He was wrong then, too.]]
* The description in the page header is an oversimplification; of those that ''do'' believe in the Rapture generally, there's a ''considerable'' difference of opinion on when it will happen (not so much specific dates as whether it will occur before, during, or after the time when God turns to Satan and says "That's your cue, have fun"). Optimists like the "before" option because it means they don't have to go through the predicted CrapsackWorld era, those who are slightly more cynical look at certain passages in Revelation and interpret them as meaning "Okay, ''this'' is a reference to the Rapture occurring", and the real pessimists assume the Rapture is for those people who manage to remain Christian until Christ's return (or die trying to do so). Amusingly, the passage in Thessalonians, assuming that's what it means at all, seems to best support the pessimistic view.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* This is the central idea of the "Earth Inherited" scenario for the ''d20Modern'' roleplaying game, with a unique wrinkle: the truly good ''and'' the truly evil - regardless of their beliefs - are spirited away to Heaven and Hell respectively, leaving [[TrueNeutral the uncommitted]] to make sense of what's left while angels and demons battle for their souls. And the angels and demons themselves are shut out of the afterlife, leading many of ''them'' to question their purpose.
** This being one interpretation of the meek inheriting the Earth.
** This is also the premise behind the RPG ''Rapture: the Second Coming''. (Despite [[ColonCancer the title]], it's not a WhiteWolf game.)
* The ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' book "Mirrors" presents the Rapture as one of many causes for [[AfterTheEnd post]]-[[ApocalypseHow apocalyptic]] [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt scenarios]].
* The TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness fan game ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'' lists The Rapture as one of the future events that may be encountered by foolish time-travelling Geniuses, although things seem to be pretty under control.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The name of the city of Rapture in ''Franchise/{{Bioshock}}'' is an obvious reference to this concept, and its setup bears some marked similarities to it. The main difference is that, rather than devout Christians being whisked away in a flash, it's the "productive class" leaving society voluntarily, ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' style -- [[CorruptCorporateExecutive business owners]] who feel that their workers shouldn't control them, [[MadArtist artists]] who feel that they are being censored by a society [[LowestCommonDenominator too stupid]] to see their "[[SmallNameBigEgo brilliance]]", [[MadScientist scientists]] who feel that "petty" morality and ethics hinder [[ForScience proper research]], etc.
** The name has another meaning: "rapture of the deep" is another term for nitrogen narcosis, a sense of euphoria you get while diving due to the pressure increasing the nitrogen in your blood. Rapture can ''kill'' you.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' opens with the titular family seeing a movie called ''Left Below'' (an obvious spoof of ''Left Behind''), causing Homer to become exceedingly anxious about the end times. He starts researching exactly when and how the end of the world will come about, and how to avoid being "left below". He predicts it would be mere days from then, and is ridiculed when he turns out to be wrong...and consequently still disbelieved when he realises the actual date was only slightly later. This time he is ''right'', but he manages to talk God into a CosmicRetcon and call the whole thing off.
** The "Simpsons Bible Stories" episode featured the Flanders family raptured while everyone else in Springfield is left to go to Hell. Lisa was about to be Raptured too, but gets pulled down by Homer. Of course, apparently the worst thing about Hell is pineapple pieces in the cottage cheese.
** There's also the scene in "Sideshow Bob Roberts" where the construction crew arrives to tear down the house while Homer's sleeping. Homer wakes suddenly and yells, "Ahhh! It's the Rapture! Quick! Get Bart out of the house before God comes!" Clearly this was during one of Homer's more devout phases.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode "Rapture's Delight", when the Rapture happens Stan and Francine get left behind, probably because they just had sex in the church's closet.
** Later Stan seeks out Jesus and [[AttemptedRape nearly gets raptured]].
-->"You're not really Jesus, are you?"

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