Having been taught about the Rapture, like most Christians, we were surprised to discover for ourselves what verses are used to support this teaching. I Thessalonians 4:17 has been taught as one of these. Now it does say that we will meet the Lord in the air (spirit) when He returns. That’s because we cannot meet him or see him in the flesh. His return is within each of His followers as He spiritually changes them into His likeness.
There is no “first flight" for the "special" Christians to escape the horrific tribulation that has been imagined by men. Why would the Lord raise up an army, Ezekiel 37:10, and then fly it away from the war - a war that is going on now, not only in the future? Our tribulation or test is now, as we try to spread the truth and the world resists it and as we are changed from glory to glory into His likeness.
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
The writer of a very financially successful series of books about the Rapture says that Revelation 3:10 is his proof that there is a Rapture. What we read is the Lord saying that if we keep (guard, protect, revere, obey) His word He will keep (guard, strengthen, comfort) us in the hour of temptation, the time since Christ ascended and Satan's hour had come. This hour is every day of our lives as we serve the Lord in His Kingdom here on earth.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
We are also told in John 17:15 that we are not going to be taken out of this world, but protected and led by our Heavenly Father.
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
This teaching is fueled by fear or pride. Since God says He did not give us the spirit of fear, then it is a worldly carnal Satanic emotion used to make us of no avail in the Kingdom of God here on earth, II Timothy 1:7. The Lord says that pride defileth a man when it comes out of him, Mark 7: 20 – 23, therefore; let us not think that we are “ too good” to go through tribulation for the kingdom of God.
Once we understand that the tribulation is now, there is no need for this “escape security blanket!”
Source Unravelling False Images