I copied this below from another thread I was on.
The rapture is rooted in the belief that the bridegroom will come like a thief in a night to come get his bride. Johns gospel is loaded with themes that resembles the wedding customs of 1st century Israel. Remember when Jesus said “I go to prepare a place for you.” in the gospel of John? Well,if the bride agreed upon the price the bridegroom would pay for her, he would tell her he is going back to his father’s house to prepare a “place” for them when he comes back for her. When will he be done? If it was up to the bridegroom, he would rush back as soon as he could to recieve his bride. The father would be the judge of when his son had built an appropriate wedding chamber at his fathers house, hence, “only my father knows.” Then, romantically, when everything was ready, and with the bride waiting her grooms arrival at any time, always making sure she is ready to go, with oil in her lamp; the groom assembles his friends that will accompany him to go to the house of the bride in the middle of the night to “steal” her away. But before that, the bride got a warning, a loud shout was let out, so the bride would awaken and would be ready to go when her groom approaches her.
Anyways, look at the wedding in heaven in Revelations19, it happens before he comes back to rescue Israel. Why does Jesus prophesy about this wedding in heaven before he comes back to Earth? How does the church get to heaven before this event?
I have listened to John Marogottis(sp?) apologetics on the rapture, and he explains that there is some ancient custom about people in a city would go out to greet its leader or visitor and go back with him into the city. This might be true, but a whole gospel of Jesus was not based on this tradition, the jewish wedding custom was.
Go to here and scroll down to the bottom and watch The Miracle of Passover (Parts 1+2) for a refreshing way to look at the love Jesus has for his bride and also how the “rapture” relates to his coming back for his bride, the church. Especially watch part 2 for an explanation.