Some Christians don’t believe that there will be a ‘rapture’. However, the bible is clear that the ‘rapture’ will take place. These verses are found in 1 Thes 4:13-18 and were written by the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonian believers. You will find these discerning verses at the end of this teaching.
The differences between the ‘rapture’ and the ‘second coming’ are, also, quite clear. During the ‘rapture’, Christians will be caught up or raptured to meet the Lord in the air. The bible seems to indicate that just the believers will hear the Lord’s calling for this miraculous event. Unbelievers will be left on earth in a state of, total, chaos; unlike anything that has, ever, been seen since the beginning of time. During this time, all hell is going to break loose!
At the ‘second coming’, every eye will see the Lord, every ear will hear the Lord, and every knee will bow to the Lord, as He descends from heaven to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. So, in effect, the Lord will have visited on earth ‘two’ times during His first and second advent; which most of us have been taught. He came to earth as a suffering Servant and Savior during His first coming, and He will return to earth as our Sovereign King Jesus at His second coming. The following verses of Scripture apply to, both, the ‘rapture’ and the ‘second coming’:
Luke 17:34-36 … “I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”(Notice, this is, globally, night and day. Some will be sleeping; some will be working.)
There are (3) scholarly viewpoints as to when the ‘rapture’ will take place. The first view is called the pre-tribulation period. This belief states that the ‘rapture’ will take place anytime, now, before the antichrist is revealed and steps into power as the earth’s global leader during the (7) year tribulation period. The second view is called the mid-tribulation period. This belief states that the ‘rapture’ will take place in the middle of the (7) year tribulation during the antichrist’s global rule. The third view is called the post-tribulation period. This belief is that the ‘rapture’ will occur after the (7) years of tribulation and reign of the global antichrist leader.
I, personally, lean toward the pre-tribulation viewpoint for the following reasons:
- The Lord promised His believers that we will not go through the ‘hour of testing’ (the last 3 1/2 years called the great tribulation judgment) in Revelation 3:10 as follows: Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. The ‘hour’ is not human time; it is God’s time. This ‘hour’ is going to be God’s perfect judgment of wrath and fury unleashed upon the entire earth. This verse of Scripture could substantiate the mid-tribulation viewpoint, as well. However, because of my next belief, I tend to be a pre-tribulationist, and so, I look forward to the ‘rapture’ happening anytime, now.
- Everything is in place for the ‘rapture’ to take place, and, I feel, the Lord would want His children to be watching for Him; looking up and forward to His call in the air; not watching and waiting for the global reign of the antichrist.
- The bible does not have to be spread to the entire globe before the ‘rapture’ takes place, but it does have to reach the entire globe before the ‘second coming’.
- In the book of Revelation, the church is mentioned 19 times in chapters 1-3. Beginning in chapter 4, the church isn’t mentioned again, at all, until chapter 19. The pages between chapters 4-19 are a vivid description of the 7 year tribulation period.
- 2 Thes 3-8 states that before the ‘son of perdition’ (antichrist) is revealed, there will be a great ‘falling away’ from the church. Also, the Holy Spirit, who resides in each believer, is ‘restraining’ the ‘lawless one’ (antichrist) from being revealed. It further states that until the ‘Restrainer’ is taken away, the ‘lawless one’ will not be revealed. This tells us that the believing Christians have to be removed or raptured before the antichrist can be revealed!
The word ‘rapture’ is not in the bible, but, it means to be “caught up”. 1 Thes 4:13-18 is the, only, place in the bible that, specifically, foretells about this event. Not only that, but Jesus brings, with Him, all the souls of believer’s who have gone before us. During this event, the bodies of these souls, who crossed over before us, rise from the graves and their Spirits are clothed with immortality. Then, those who remain alive will be immortalized (changed in the twinkling of an eye), and be “caught up” with those who crossed over to meet the Lord in the air. What a reunion this will be!
At the ‘second coming’, Jesus sends His angels to the four corners of the earth to bring the remnant of believers to Himself in Jerusalem. Mat 24:31 … And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. The ‘second coming’ follows the ‘great tribulation period’, and the ‘millennium’ follows the ‘second coming’.
1 Thes 4:13-18 … But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
I hope this helps clear up any confusion between the rapture and the second coming. In future teachings, I will discuss what the bible says about the great tribulation, the second coming, and the millennium; if, of course, we haven’t been raptured! Are you ready to meet the Lord?
With thankfulness to our Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
In Jesus’ name,
Debby Mac Manes, disciple of Jesus Christ <><