I have known about the Rapture of the church for my whole life it seems. I can remember coming into the house when I was just a little kid (7 or 8) and being afraid that I had missed the Rapture because I couldn't find my mother right away.
Oddly enough, I somehow pictured the rapture to be a square platform with a cable attached to each corner and then each cable on the other end gathered together. Odd I know.
I have a question: If the enormous crowd in Revelation chapter 7 is a multitude of people rescued from the great tribulation, presumably for not taking the mark of the beast (which is typically what most Evangelicals believe and which is not depicted until Rev. 13), then who is the group mentioned in Revelation 15:2 who are specifically noted as the ones who were victorious over the beast, his image, and the number of his name? Are we really expecting a crowd that can't be counted to come out of the great tribulation as we have traditionally defined it (i.e., those who are beheaded for not taking the mark)?
Another interesting thought about traditional evangelical prophecy interpretation and what the Bible seems to say literally is the term "great tribulation." Normally, pre-trib preachers and teachers group the entire seven year period under the rubric of the great tribulation, when in fact, the great tribulation is a time of great distress that will come upon the world at the time of the abomination of desolation (3 1/2 years into the seven year "tribulation" period).
Anybody still with me?