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Are The Rapture And Second Coming Separate Events

Before you read: This article is part of a larger series that builds on itself from the foundation up, with each study building on the last. If something in this article does not make sense to you or if you believe it to be incorrect please be sure you have read over the entire course before passing your final judgment. Also be sure to visit this page’s FAQ And Objections Page

There are those who attempt to maintain their beliefs in a pre-tribulation rapture. Even in spite of knowing the things that we have covered in our last study of the rapture. If you haven’t already seen it please do. If you have questions about it feel free to look at the FAQ link at the top of the page.

In order to maintain a pre-tribulation view it is often pointed out that the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ are two different events. This, they say, is why people get “confused” about the subject.

So they “split” the scriptures up into two categories. In one group they place scriptures they claim are about the rapture and NOT the second coming of Jesus. In the other group they place scriptures they claim are about the second coming of Jesus and NOT the rapture.

There is no valid reason to do this though! None, 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

If you read each of the verses listed you will notice that they all seem to be speaking of the same event. That’s because they are!

The verses listed for being about the second coming speak of it being:

1. After the great tribulation

2. Visible to all

3. Not going to happen until certain other events have taken place

4. Is a time when the good and evil will be separated

5. A return of the saints to the earth with Jesus.

The verses listed for being about the rapture speak of it being:

1. A gathering of the saints in the air

2. A time when the church will be protected from God’s wrath

3. A time when the dead are raised and we gather with Jesus as He descends from heaven

4. A time when we shall be changed from corruptible to incorruptibly

I want you to notice a few similarities here in the two groups. Both have a gathering of the saints with Jesus. And if you combine them into ONE group you will find that they do not contradict each other. Each thing mentioned could easily take place together in one event, the second coming of Jesus and the gathering of the saints at the same time.

So why are these so different that they needed to be put into their own category? Why is one set of verses said to be strictly about the 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 indication given in the Bible to say they are different.

The Reasons Given For The Split

Though there is no reason to say these are separate events this causes a problem for those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. It causes a few problems actually. If the two are not different events 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. Notice that the only real reason given to split them up is to confirm the belief that the return of Jesus can happen at any time and we won’t have to suffer.

In other words it’s split into two groups so that we don’t have to accept things we don’t want to. It’s not based on scripture but rather because of the desire for a pre-tribulation rapture.

Of course Satan doesn’t go down without a fight. He is going to twist the scriptures to make it fit the view. So let us list those scriptures that are provided and examine them. Lets see if they actually do prove there is a valid reason 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. One going up, and one coming down.

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 in one place 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

Does this mean that the church would not have to go through the tribulation? Some say yes, and therefore use this to split the verses. The reason given that the church is not supposed to go through the tribulation is that we are not appointed to wrath.

BUT 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 7 year 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 mean trial.

So again, these verses also do not exclude the rapture and the second coming from being the same event. The church is not appointed to the wrath of GOD but the wrath of Satan is another story.

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.

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 is 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!

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 the Bible simply does not give ANY indication or reason to split the two events up.

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 that, there are the verses in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 which are used as rapture verses, BUT they say the event is in the future and 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. So the Bible clearly indicates the events are not taking place at different times.

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.

Continue To Unit 6B:4 – Daniel 11 Verse By Verse OR

Return To Christianity 101 Unit 6B – The Latter Days – A Detailed Look

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

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