There are many people that still dispute the issue of a Rapture of Bible-believing Christians. While I have focused my posts on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, much of the liberal Church today rejects the very idea of such a Rapture of Bible-believing Christians. The folks that come from a "Covenant/Reformed" hermeneutic, which represents 90% of the Church - Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, United Presbyterians, United Methodists, Nazarenes, Wesleyans, Christian, Church of Christ, Reformed Presbyterian, and a few others are so confused they can't seem to recognize the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming.
I majored in Civil Engineering for two years before transferring to a Christian College, in preparation for ministry that required its students to write essay type questions for all exams because they believed essay exams better prepared a student for graduate school. I could bet money that would be the fact that any exam I took would begin with the question, "Compare and Contrast..........." I had two semesters of Russian History, and my final exam for the second class was, "Compare and Contrast the Causes of the Russian Revolution of 1917". That was it, just a single question. I had two hours to answer that one question. I filled up five "blue" books, that were used in college written exams back in the 1960's.
I thought it might be helpful for the reader if we did a "compare and contrast" between the Rapture and the Second Coming. There are 28 distinctions between the two that follow below. I just hope they line up like I typed them:
The Rapture: The Second Coming:
1. At the Rapture, Jesus comes FOR His Church. 1. At the Glorious Appearing (Second Coming),
(John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). Jesus comes WITH His Church. (Zechariah
(Zechariah 14:5; Colossians 3:4; Jude 14,
2. At the Rapture, Christians are caught up to 2. At the Glorious Appearing, Jesus feet touch
meet Jesus in the air. (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18). the Earth. (Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 19:11-21).
3. At the Rapture, Christians are taken first and 3. At the Glorious Appearing, the wicked are taken
unbelievers are left behind. (1 Thessalonians first, but the righteous (the Tribulation saints)
4:13-18). are left behind. (Matthew 13:28-30).
4. At the Rapture, Jesus will gather His Bride, the 4. At the Glorious Appearing, Jesus will execute
Church, unto Himself in preparation of the judgment on the Earth and establish His
Marriage of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:6-9). Kingdom. (Zechariah 14:3-4, Jude 14-15;
5. The Marriage of the Lamb takes place in 5. War on Earth comes AFTER the Marriage of
Heaven AFTER the Rapture of the Church. the Lamb at the Glorious Appearing when the
(Revelation 19:6-9). King of Kings and Lord of Lords lays the
smack-down on evil! (Revelation 19:11-21).
6. The Rapture will happen in a moment, in the 6. The Glorious Appearing will be a slow coming.
twinkling of an eye. (Blink, and it's over!). Everyone will see Jesus coming with great
(1st Corinthians 15:52). power and great glory! (Zechariah 12:10;
Matthew 24:30; Revelation1:7).
7. At the Rapture, only those who are looking 7. At the Glorious Appearing, every eye will see
for Him (Christian believers) will see Him. Him and those who have rejected Him will
(1st John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:52). wail. (Revelation 1:7).
8. At the Rapture, Jesus will descend from 8. At the Glorious Appearing, no shout is mentioned,
Heaven with a shout (calling for the Saints although the Lord does slay the wicked with the
at the resurrection). (1st Thessalonians 4:16). sword of His mouth. (Revelation 19:11-21).
9. At the Rapture, a resurrection will take place. 9. At the Glorious Appearing, there is no resur-
(1st Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1st Corinthians rection spoken of. (Zechariah 12:10; Zechariah
15:51-54). 14:4-5; Revelation 1:7, 19:11-21).
10.The Rapture can happen at any time ... maybe 10. The Glorious Appearing will occur at the end of
even now which is why we are to be WATCHING seven-year Tribulation period. (Daniel 9:24-27;
for the return of Christ Jesus! (Revelation 3:3; Matthew 24:29-30; 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-8).
1st Thessalonians 5:4-6).
11. At the Rapture, no angels are sent to gather 11. At the Glorious Appearing, angels will be sent
the Church. to gather people together for judgment.
(Matthew 13:39,41 & 49; Matthew 24:31;
Matthew 25:31; 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-10).
12. At the Rapture, those who died in Christ Jesus 12. At the Glorious Appearing, Christians will return
will return with Jesus to recover their resurrected with Jesus already in their resurrected bodies
bodies. (1st Thessalonians 4:14-16). riding on white horses. (Revelation 19:11-21).
13. At the Rapture, Jesus doesn't return riding 13. At the Glorious Appearing, Jesus will return
a white horse. riding a white horse. (Revelation 19:11).
14. The Rapture will bring with it a message of hope 14. The Glorious Appearing will bring with it a
and comfort. (1st Thessalonians 4:18; Titus 2:13; message of judgment. (Joel 3:12-16;
1st John 3:3). Malachi 4:5; Revelation 19:11-21).
15. The world is deceived. (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-12). 15. Satan is bound. (Revelation 20:1-2).
16. The focus is on the Lord and the Church. 16. The focus is on Israel and the Kingdom.
(1st Thessalonians 4:13-18). (Matthew 24:14).
17. No signs precede the Rapture. (1st Thessalonians 17. Signs precede the Second Coming. (Luke
18. The Tribulation begins. 18. The Millennial Kingdom begins.
19. The removal of believers. (1st Thessalonians 4:17). 19. The manifestation of Christ Jesus. (Malachi
20. Jesus claims His Bride. 20. Jesus comes with His Bride. (Revelation
21. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb follows the 21. The Great Supper of the wicked follows the
Rapture. (Revelation 19:9). Tribulation. (Revelation 19:17).
22. The world will not see Christ Jesus at the Rapture; 22. Jesus will descend bodily and visibly for all
but rather, believers ascend and go to meet Him in the to see, just as He ascended bodily and
air. (1st Thessalonians 4:17). visibly. (Acts 1:9-11).
23. The Judgment Seat of Christ follows the Rapture. 23. The Judgment of the Nations follows the
(2nd Corinthians 5:9-11). Tribulation. (Matthew 24:32-46).
24. Believers receive a new, immortal glorified body 24. Saints saved during the Tribulation enter
fashioned like unto the Lord's. (Philippians 3:21; the Millennium kingdom with their
1st Corinthians 15:51-54). earthly bodies. (Isaiah 65:20).
25. The Antichrist is revealed after the Rapture. 25. The Antichrist is defeated and cast into the
(2nd Thessalonians 2:8). Lake of Fire at the Second Coming.
26. Israel is persecuted during the Tribulation. Two 26. Israel is regathered. (Jeremiah 23:5-8).
out of three Jews in Israel are killed.
27. World government (the New World Order) 27. Christ Jesus' reign an government follows the
follows the Rapture. (Revelation 13:15). Second Coming. (Daniel 2:34-35).
28. World famine, pestilence, war, and sorrow follow 28. World peace follows Christ's Second Coming
the Rapture. (Matthew 24:6-10). when He reigns from Jerusalem. (Isaiah
(Matthew 24:6-10; Luke 17:31). 11:6).
Most assuredly, the comparison and contrast between the Rapture and the Second Coming, can only be interpreted to support only a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Keep looking up and listening for the sound of the trumpet.