Building Christians Up From The Foundation & Unto Perfection

Hebrews 6:1-3

Get Our Emails

New Bible studies and devotionals sent to your email. The first one includes a free gift!

* indicates required

Are The Rapture And Second Coming Separate Events

There are those who have attempted to maintain their beliefs in a pre-tribulation rapture even in spite of knowing the things we have said in our study of the rapture. In order to do this they must make the claim that the rapture and the second coming are two separate events.

The reason this claim is made is because in order to hold this view you must split the scriptures and say one set is speaking of the rapture while the other set speaks of the second coming. There is no valid reason to do this however except for the sole purpose of creating a pre-tribulation rapture where none actually exists.

So first, we will examine the two different groups of scriptures in the way some people have divided them.

Scriptures split into speaking of the rapture:

1 Thessalonians 4:17, Revelation 3:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, Titus 2:13

Scriptures split into speaking of the second coming:

Revelation 19:14, Revelation chapters 6–19, Matthew 24:40-41, Matthew 24:29-30, Revelation 1:7

Why The Split

The verses listed for the second coming above speak of it being after the great tribulation, visible to all, not going to happen until other events have taken place, is a time when the good and evil will be separated, and it is a return of the saints to the earth with Jesus.

Each one of those events can also be said about the belief in the rapture after the tribulation as well. So why are these so different that they needed to be put into their own category as being strictly second coming and not at all connected to the rapture? Simple, these do not fit in with the pre-tribulation rapture view. There is no other reason to say they are different.

The Reasons Given For The Split

Though there is no reason to say these are separate events it would cause a problem for those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture if they are indeed speaking of the two actually being the same thing. The problems are as follows:

1. If they are the same event, the church will have to go through the tribulation.

2. If they are the same event, the return of Christ can not come at any time since some things must still take place.

3. If they were the same event then the tribulation would be a time of trouble for not just Israel but also the church. (Even though the trouble comes on all the world as well according to the Bible)

These reasons that are given as to why they are separate events are not based on scripture but rather because of the desire for a pre-tribulation rapture.

However, in order to justify these as actually being reasons for splitting this single event into two several scriptures must provide proof that these problems exclude it from being one single event.

So let us list those scriptures that are provided and examine them to see if they actually do prove these issues are valid enough to split the scriptures.

1 Thessalonians 4:17

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This verse is seen as a “rapture” verse. It says that we will meet the Lord in the air.

Revelation 19:14

14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

This verse says that the armies which were in heaven followed Jesus to the earth.

Meet And Return

The reason this appears that the 2 are speaking of different events is that a simple reading shows the groups going in different directions.

However, if you even briefly consider army formations and movement then you can understand that in order for the armies to all be with Him they must first be gathered together and then they can advance as one unit.

Since 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says we will be gathered to MEET the Lord in the air (as an army gathering) and since 1 Corinthians 15:52-54 shows this happens in an instant it should not be too big of a leap to understand that this happens in one event.

Those souls in heaven are raised from the dead and are gathered with Jesus in the clouds and almost instantaneously the living are as well. Thus in a single moment the armies are in heaven and begin returning to earth together as one unit.

So this does not validate saying the two are different events.

Revelation 3:10

10 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.

1 Thessalonians 5:9

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

These verses are seen as “rapture” verses. It says that we will be kept from the hour of temptation and from the wrath of God.

Revelation chapters 6–19 show the second coming taking place AFTER the tribulation.

Wrath of Satan

Again, this would only be a problem if the thought were correct that the church would not have to go through the tribulation. The reason given that the church is not supposed to go through the tribulation is that we are not appointed to wrath.

The problem however is that the tribulation period is NOT a time of the wrath of GOD. It is the time of the wrath of SATAN. It is only AFTER Satan makes war with the saints that God pours out HIS wrath.

The hour of temptation, which will try those who dwell upon the earth, isn’t necessarily the tribulation. It is actually the period AFTER the tribulation when God Himself will try the hearts of men in HIS wrath. The word temptation doesn’t always mean temptation to sin. It can also be temptation to repent.

So again, these verses also do not exclude the rapture and the second coming from being the same event.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:9

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

These verses are also seen as “rapture” verses. Again, they are supposed to show that believers will be removed before wrath. We have already shown why this is a wrong assumption that the wrath it speaks of is the tribulation.

Matthew 24:40-41

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

These are said to be “second coming” scriptures. The implication is that during the rapture the wicked are not effected but at this time they will be.

There is no reason to believe the rapture of the just and the destruction of the unjust do not happen at the same time. In fact, we are told through many scriptures that they will BOTH be “harvested” together. Some taken and some left to be destroyed.

So again, this does not prove separating these events is valid.

1 Corinthians 15:50-54

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

These are supposed to be “rapture” verses. The attempt to separate these is in an attempt to make a claim that the rapture is a secret event that no one will see except believers.

If that claim were to be true then the next verses would have to be listed as a second coming only event:

Revelation 1:7

7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Matthew 24:29-30

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Secret Rapture

But let’s look at 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 again. Does it really say this event will be a secret?

No, it does not. It does say:

“That flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” But this only shows that the wicked will not enter heaven.

However, at no point does this passage even hint that this will be a secret event.

So again, this does not prove splitting these into two events is valid.

The final verses used as “rapture” verses are:

Titus 2:13

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:50-54

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

In combination, these verses are supposed to show that this event can take place at any time and is imminent. This is almost laughable though since there is not one thing in any of these verses that say it is imminent!

The only way you could stretch this out of them is by saying Titus 2:13 is speaking of an immediate event rather than looking FORWARD to that blessed hope!

That’s It

That is all there is to support the thought that this single event is actually two separate events. As you can see this is simply not valid.

In fact, it is not only invalid but it is also full of deception in saying that the verses say things they clearly do not!

How Can We Know The Rapture And Second Coming Are The Same

First, we need to understand that there is no scriptural reason to say they are different. However, we can also look at the similarities in the verses.

For example: The “rapture” verse 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and the “second coming verse” Revelation 1:7 both speak of Him coming in the clouds.

“Second coming” verse Matthew 24:40-41 and the parable in Matthew 13:30, 38-43 as well as Matthew 25:31-46 show a separation of the wicked and just at the same time. So while the believers are caught up the wicked are left in judgment.

On top of all of that, there are the verses in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 which are used as rapture verses, yet they say the event they speak of is a future event that happens at the last trumpet and when death is swallowed up in victory.

The last trumpet sounds after the tribulation at the FIRST resurrection. Those in the FIRST resurrection will have victory over death at that time according to Revelation 20.

There are FAR more reasons to say this is one single event than to say it is two separate ones. In fact, the reasons to say it is the same event come from scripture. The reasons to say it is not come only from human desire, adding to the scriptures what is not there, and has no valid reason to be held as truth.

June 16, 2016 at 11:35 pm | | No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Giving Praise

When I was in the Fourth grade my destroyed kidney I got from a beating was miraculously healed. Praise the Wonderful Name of Jesus.

John C. Thomas