Interestingly, just got in the mail a couple of days ago a little pamphlet about the rapture and how such a theology is riddled with errors. Anyway, I'll pick up where I left off the other day and explain to you where the notion of the rapture came from.
The notion of the rapture didn't exist in Christian history before roughly 1820 when a teenage girl in Glasgow, Scotland apparently had a vision that described a rapture of sorts. A minister upon hearing this story, none other than John Darby, took the girl seriously and then subsequently developed his rapture theology that has become the basis for the dispensationalism so well known today.
In one particular text in Revelation that is often thought to refer to the rapture, a closer look and recognition of what kind of literature one is reading reveals something else. Rev. 4:1-2 says: "After this I looked and a door was open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said: 'Come up here and I will show you what must take place after this,' And at once I was in the Spirit and there before me was a throne." What John of Patmos is describing here is not his personal trip to heaven but instead an apocalyptic vision. Remember, the book of Revelation is apocalyptic in nature and must be read through such a lens. The language used here is typical of all apocalyptic literature. John doesn't really make a trip into the heavens but remains on Patmos where in the Spirit he has a visionary experience where he sees some pretty interesting things.
Tomorrow, we take this a step further and look at my personal favorite rapture text, Matthew 24:36-43, which speaks of two standing in a field with one taken and the other left.