A popular belief is that the rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are two separate events divided by the duration of the tribulation. On the contrary, the Bible shows us just the opposite. Jesus said in Matthew 24:29-31, “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: 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. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” According to Jesus, when He returns after the tribulation, He is also going to gather His elect, the church, at that time.
The apostle Paul addressed this on several occasions in his epistles. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 he spoke of the rapture taking place as the Lord descended from heaven. Many argue Jesus simply returns to the sky and turns right around; however, the Bible does not support this. A belief like this would force us to believe in a two phase return of Christ, which is not Biblical. Paul again in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 addresses the church concerning the coming of our Lord and our gathering together unto Him. Paul continues to refer to these events as the day of Christ. Apparently Paul believed and understood the rapture took place at the Second Coming. Also when addressing the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul spoke of the resurrection of those that are Christ’s at His coming in 1 Corinthians 15:23. Knowing there is only one more coming of Christ, the Second Coming, we must agree the rapture will take place at that time.