Are the Rapture and the Second Coming Two Separate Events?

March 11, 2014   |   Category: Blog   |  

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.

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12 Responses to “Are the Rapture and the Second Coming Two Separate Events?”

  1. Actually the verse is saying that the Angel’s are gathering the elect from heaven. Not going to heaven. Look for your self. The words. FROM HEAVEN is important here. Angel’s are gathering the elect to help rule with Christ on earth for the millennial reign. 1000 years. So still 2 different events

     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.”  

    • Doug Norvell

      When you look at Marks testimony of the same event you get more of the detail please read the following and look closely at the last scripture.
      Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
      27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

      Notice verse 27 says “uttermost part of the Earth”

      Notice another scripture that Paul says the gathering together unto Jesus happens at His Coming.

      2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
      2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

      Notice he says at the coming of the Lord, Jesus is only coming back a second time and that is when the resurrection occurs.

      1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

      Notice the topic is the resurrection, and the scripture says it will happen at Christ coming. There is no secret rapture. The dead in Christ rise first and then we who are left will be changed into our immortal bodies, but that happens at His coming.

  2. Deborah Sayers

    The end is near, everthing seems be falling into place, the world is like sodom and gommrah going about their selfish ways, not thinking of heavenly things, everything wrapped in materials things this world money etc, i think the return is soon , God gives us the reasons that are indicated in revelations for his return and Jerusalem is at the center, they will never be defeated Almighty God will interfene first. The enemy has already been defeated and he knows it and trembles because he knows his time is short, he indeed the enemy has great power, but remember God is control, remember he holds the devil back, if you are truly born again he has no control over you, God has defeated death, and if he is for you who can be against you. God is your protector and Savior the believes also he will never leave or forsake you. GOD IS INDEED IN COMPLETE CONTROL. HAVE FAITH IN GOD AND HE WILL BE WITH UNTIL THE END AND WILL RESCUE YOU HE LOVES YOU WITH EVERLASTING LOVE, DONT EVER BE AFRAID HE WILL COMFORT YOU IN YOUR TIME OF TROUBLE IF YOU WILL GIVE YOUR LIFE TO HIM.

  3. Trish LaFleur

    Greetings in Christian love. You are correct that the Rapture and 2nd coming are not 7 years apart. They are 30 days apart. During the 30 days is God’s wrath. For the time period see Daniel 12. Blessings.

  4. Maryam

    Christ went thru so much so we dont suffer y wud he turn sudenly cruel to us in the end? no it makes no sense. bsides they r talked of as if 2 dffrnt events in bible isnt it

  5. Wow. Amazing how many people believe this lie. At the rapture, Jesus comes for his saints, those who have died and those still alive. He meets us “in the clouds”. At the second coming, He comes to earth and his feet touch the mount of olives, causing the biggest earthquake the world has ever known. After the rapture, we are judged not on our sins, but in order to be given rewards. Then the marriage feast of the Lamb takes place in heaven. He comes for us in the rapture as a blessing. At the second coming, He comes to defeat His enemies and the bible tells us He returns with tens of thousands of His saints. That us who have been raptured earlier. When the bible talks about Him coming for His elect, those are the Jews who were left behind and accepted Him during the tribulation, not His church. How can He return with tens of thousands of His saints if we haven’t been taken to be with Him in the first place at some earlier point? Revelation makes it clear when Jesus says “I will keep you (the church) OUT OF that hour that tests the whole world. No, the rapture and second coming are NOT the same event. I am willing to bet that you have to say this in order to back up another false doctrine that many believe which is that a Christian lies in some state of unconsciousness after he dies. there are numerous verses that contradict that. Paul saying that he is torn between staying to preach the gospel and departing to be with the Lord. Saying that to die is gain. Why? Because he knows at the moment the body dies the spirit is in the presence of the Lord. (To be absent from the body is to be in the presence of the Lord). No, the rapture and second coming are definitely NOT the same event.

  6. Carol Cooper

    This is what I believe as did Corrie ten Boom. I’ve learned pre-trib (& now we have mid-trib & prewrath) are popular in US & Europe but most Christians in world other than those are posttrib

  7. Jonathan R Gable

    It’s sad that there are many other websites that distinguish between the Rapture and The Second Coming as 2 separate events. I never understood why, even as an adult, the idea of such a secret rapture was so terrifying, because any moment BOOM, you’re gone. Once I actually read the Bible myself, and didn’t just take what a pastor taught and ran with it, I learned that the rapture, biblically called The First Resurrection, happens at the same moment of Christ’s return. There are so many Christians deceived by this pre-tribulation view, and I understand even why its a dangerous doctrine. Ultimately, a believer begins to see the events of the tribulation begin to transpire, then they keep getting persecuted by the Antichrist’s reign and then they begin to lose hope in Christ. I pray that God will reveal the truth about this as he has with me.

    • David Latham

      Jon, I whole heartedly agree! The pre-tribulation position is what I was taught in bible school. The pre-wrath position makes the most sense to me. 2 Thess. 2:1-5 is a clincher for me. The subject is “the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ AND our assembling to Him. Paul is telling the Thessalonians that Christ can’t come and snatch us away until the Apostasy comes, the man of lawlessness is revealed, and is seated in the Temple (which presumes that one is built which currently does not exist), demonstrating that he is God – the Abomination of Desolation (AOD). We know from Dan. 9:27 that the AOD takes place in the middle of the Seventieth Week of Daniel and that the Great Tribulation (Gk. Thelipsis = tribulation or affliction) occurs following the AOD. This chronology is exactly the same chronology mentioned in Mt. 24 and Rev. 6 at the opening of the Sixth seal. Additionally, in 1 Thess. 4:15 says that we believers are “surviving” (Gk. perileipomia meaning “about-lack” characterizing the conditions at that time as affliction but not wrath) to the presence of the Lord at which point we are snatched away then His wrath (Gk. Orge) begins. Furthermore, I have examined all the arguments for the pre-tribulation position and not one of the advocates references one verse that indicates the snatching away and the Second Coming are mutually exclusive events.

      • I did mention a verse from Revelation. “I will keep you OUT OF that hour that tests the whole world”. The Greek word used means “out of, not “through”. I’ll say it again so maybe it sinks in. At the rapture Jesus meets us IN THE CLOUDS. At the second coming His feet touch the mount of olives because he returns to earth. First time the clouds. The second time earth. The raptured saints are the “tens of thousands of His saints” that he returns with. You deny all of this but show no verses that actually contradict this. The anti-Christ cannot come to power while we are hear. He is restrained by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Only after we are raptured can the anti-Christ come to power. And again, revelation is in chronological order. The judgments do not fall until after the verse where Jesus says He will keep us out of that hour. The “elect”mentioned is NOT the church, but the Jews who turn to Christ during the tribulation. There’s nothing sad about it. It’s a reason to rejoice. I guess you’ll have to find out when it happens.

        • Doug Norvell

          1. Matthew 24:29-31 clearly says that the rapture happens after the Great Tribulation. Some will say that “the elect” in this passage applies to the Jews, but there is no scriptural proof of this. Furthermore, a study of the word elect or election in the New Testament reveals that every time the word is used, it refers to the church, not to the Jews. The most poignant case is Romans 11:7. Even in Matthew 24, Jesus uses the word elect (verses 22 and 24) to refer to the church, not the unbelieving Jewish people. Further support of verse 31 as the rapture of the church are the verses that follow it, which describe, among other things, two being in the field – one is taken, the other left. This is the rapture.

          2. II Thessalonians 2:1-4 clearly says that the Antichrist will be revealed before the rapture. Verse 6 clearly says that what is holding back the revelation of the Antichrist is that it’s not time yet.

          3. Revelation 20:4-6 says that saints who were killed during the mark of the beast period – the Great Tribulation – would be part of the “first” resurrection. This conflicts with the pre-tribulation rapture theory, which states that the first resurrection happens before the mark of the beast. The pre-tribulation rapture theory converts the resurrection in Revelation 20:4-6 into the “second” resurrection, while John takes great pains to tell us that it’s the first. In an attempt to avoid scripture breakdown, those who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture have said in the past, “There have been many first resurrections.” This of course is absurd and wholly unnecessary. Also, it has been said that a rapture and a resurrection are not the same. But the rapture is when the dead in Christ rise. This is the very definition of resurrection.

          4. Matthew 13’s parable of the wheat and the tares (verses 24-30 and 36-43) describes the harvest of the wicked and good as one simultaneous event, not two events separated by seven years. Those who say it does allow for a seven year gap cannot explain away verse 30, which says, “Gather ye together first the tares (the wicked).” According to Jesus, the wheat is not harvested before the tares.

          5. I Thessalonians 4:15-18 talks about the rapture of those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord. The Greek word for remain is “perileipo.” According to Strong’s, it can also be translated as “survive.” This is not surprising, because the word “peril” is at the root of “perileipo.” Remain means “remain as in surviving the peril.” This does not seem to support a pre-tribulation rapture theory.

          6. In Revelation 13:7, the Antichrist makes war against saints who are from all kindreds, tongues, and nations. That does not describe Jews-only.

          7. I Corinthians 15:51-54 speaks of the last trump. Revelation 11:15-19 speaks of the last trump. The description of what happens at the last trump in each of these passages is the same.

          8. Every prophecy student would agree that the rapture is when the Lord comes as a thief. Many warnings are given of this in the New Testament, among them Matthew 24:42-43, I Thessalonians 5:2, and II Peter 3:10. One such warning is given in Revelation 16:15. It’s the final, last minute warning: “Behold, I come as a thief.” But notice the context. The following verse is the Battle of Armageddon – the 7th Vial. Why would God be issuing a warning that He will be coming as a thief right up until Armageddon, if He came as a thief seven years prior to this? The answer is, of course, He wouldn’t.

          9. It has been theorized that when the Lord comes as a thief in the night, this speaks of a Secret Coming. I Thessalonians 5:1-8 clearly teaches, however, that the church will know when He is coming. The Church will not be taken by surprise. Only the unsaved will be taken by surprise. It is hard to understand where the Secret Coming theory was even conceived.

          10. It has been commonly taught that the Great Tribulation is the Wrath of God. The Bible teaches the opposite. When the Great Tribulation ends, this is when the God’s Wrath begins. Proof: One of the events that takes place during the Wrath of God is that the sun, moon, and stars will go dark. It is described in the 6th Seal – Revelation 6:12-17. It specifically calls it the Wrath of God. The sun, moon, and stars going dark is also spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:29, only Jesus gives us the timing. He says that it occurs after the Great Tribulation. According to Jesus, the Wrath of God is not the Great Tribulation, but rather, the Wrath of God occurs after the Great Tribulation. To operate under the wrong assumption that God’s Wrath is the Tribulation results in nothing but confusion.

          11. Revelation 12:7-17 describes the events of the Great Tribulation. This can be proven by comparing it with all other passages in the Bible that speak of a three and one-half year period of time (1,260 days, 42 months, “time, times, and half a time”). Verse 12 calls the Great Tribulation the time of Satan’s Wrath. After all, God does not persecute His own people. Satan does.

          12. I Thessalonians 5:9 teaches that God’s people are not appointed unto God’s Wrath. The post-tribulation rapture teaching agrees with this. As stated above, the Great Tribulation is not God’s Wrath. It is Satan’s Wrath. History records that 11 of the 12 apostles were martyred. Saints today are not immune from the trials, temptations, and persecutions of Satan. It has been said that God wouldn’t beat up His bride before marrying her. That is certainly true. He wouldn’t. But Satan would.

          13. The pre-tribulation rapture theory states that there is one Second Coming, but that it happens in two phases. (We find this premise to be a stretch.) It is said that the first phase is for His church. It’s the rapture, also called the Secret Coming. The second phase is Matthew 24:31’s gathering of the Jews, which they call the Glorious Appearing. It occurs at the end of the final seven years. There are some scriptures which are in conflict with this theory. Here are two: Titus 2:11-13 instructs the church to live righteously in this present world right up until, not the Secret Coming, but the Glorious Appearing. I Peter 1:5-7 teaches that trials and temptations will continue for the church all the way up until, not the Secret Coming, but the Glorious Appearing.

          14. In order to know the timing of the rapture, you must of course understand how the book of Revelation is structured. The pre-tribulation rapture theory is based on the assumption that Revelation was written in a chronological sequence. This means, it is assumed that the events of the endtime are recorded in Revelation in the order they will happen: First the Seals, then the Trumpets, and then the Vials. If it can be proven, however, that Revelation was not written in chronological order, then the house of cards falls. And it does. A simple comparison between the 7th Trumpet (Chapter 11) and 7th Vial (Chapter 16) reveals that they are the same, singular event. Add to this comparison the 6th Seal (Chapter 6), Ezekiel 38:18-22, and Matthew 24:29 and we find that all five of these passages describe the exact same event. The 6th Seal, 7th Trumpet, and 7th Vial is one event that is described in Chapter 6, again in Chapter 11, and again in 16. Obviously, Revelation is not in the assumed chronological sequence. This is one of several proofs that Revelation is not sequential from front to back. And with this understanding, the underlying assumption upon which the pre-tribulation rapture is based collapses.

          15. It has been commonly accepted that in order for the Antichrist to rise to power, the Holy Ghost must be removed from the earth. The basis for this conclusion is II Thessalonians 2:7. There are a few problems with the theory. First and foremost, we already demonstrated above that the first 4 verses of this same chapter mandate the revelation of the Antichrist before the rapture, not after. Paul would not reverse his position so radically three verses later. Second, it is assumed that the “he” in verse 7 is the Holy Ghost, but there is no proof whatsoever for this. And finally, if there is no Holy Ghost on earth during the Great Tribulation, then what power is being used by the Two Witnesses to perform all of their miracles. Revelation 13:5-7 and other passages describe people on earth during the Tribulation who are born again. How can a person be born again without the Holy Ghost? The pre-tribulation rapture theory states that those who are left behind will have a second chance at salvation. The parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) teaches that He comes once and there is no second chance to make the rapture.

          16. Some have taught a mid-tribulation rapture. However, this position is impossible since it assumes that the Tribulation lasts for seven years. Yet, there is not one scripture in the entire Bible that describes a seven-year tribulation. Every description of the Tribulation in the Bible teaches that it lasts for three and one-half years. Daniel 7:25, 12:1-7, Revelation 11:3-12, 12:6, 12:7-12, 12:13-17, and 13:5-7. The misunderstanding about a seven-year tribulation comes from Daniel 9:27, which speaks of a covenant that will be confirmed for seven years. This verse teaches that the abomination of desolation will occur halfway through the seven-year period. Jesus said that the abomination of desolation would mark the beginning of the great tribulation (Matthew 24:15-21). From this we know that the great tribulation only lasts for three and one-half years.

          17. Many have taught that the rapture is described in Revelation 4:1. John is told to “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” This passage has nothing to do with the rapture. It simply means what it says: “I will show you things that must be hereafter.” This is simply the point in John’s writings when he begins recording the events of the future.
          In Revelation 1:19, John is told to write three things: “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” Chapters 1-3 contain “…the things thou hast seen, and the things which are.” Chapter 4, verse 1 simply moves into “… the things which shall be hereafter.”

          18. Revelation 3:10 is cited by some as proof of a pre-tribulation rapture. The passage says: “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.” Some contend that as God protected the church of Philadelphia from temptations that would come upon the world, so shall He protect us from the Great Tribulation. This passage was simply a message to the Philadelphian church that John had oversight of after he was released from the exile on the Isle of Patmos. A similar message was written to the church of Smyrna in Revelation 2:10: “…the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days…” Does this mean that the great tribulation will only last ten days? Of course not. Again, this is a message to one of the seven churches of Asia Minor, which John would overseer after his release from exile.

          19. Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noah were so shall the coming of the Son of man be,” is offered as proof of a pre-tribulation rapture by some. It is explained that God helped His chosen escape the great tribulation of the flood, and so likewise shall He rapture His church from the coming tribulation. However, it should be noticed that God protected Noah through the flood. He did not bring Noah into heaven to avoid the flood.
          Furthermore, the coming of the Son of man to which the days of Noah were being compared was the coming just described in verses 29-31, which the passage specifically says will take place immediately after the tribulation.