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The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events

 
keeplookinup
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05/22/2010 02:03 PM
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The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ
by Pastor Mike Stine


The differences between the rapture and the Second Coming of Christ have confused a lot of Christians. Scripture describes several differences between the two events. Because most post-tribulationists lump the two events together, sometimes as one event, sometimes as consecutive events, this may appear to be an attack on the post-tribulational position. Likewise, it may appear to have a pre-tribulationist slant to it but the truth is, these arguments may be used in favor of both the pre or mid tribulation views of the rapture. It is not meant as an attack on the post-tribulation position but simply an attempt to separate the two events.

There are four main passages to read when looking at differences between the events of the rapture and the events of our Lordís Second Coming. The rapture passages are 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15. The passages concerning the Second Coming are Zechariah 14 and Revelation 19. These passages wonít be cited for each difference looked at but anything outside of these passages will be cited with each point.

See a quick chart comparing the two events:

in pdf format
in excel format

Location of Christians

The first difference to observe is the location of Christians for the events. In the rapture, believers are called to meet Christ in the air. In an instant the dead in Christ will rise and the believers who are left will then be called away. In the case of the Second Coming, Christ returns with angels and thousands upon thousands of His holy ones. He sets foot on the Mount of Olives and Battles the armies gathered against Him in the Valley of Armageddon. This can be derived from Rev 16:16, 17:14, 19:11-19.

If not for other descriptions of these two events, it would be feasible that Christians are raptured to meet the Lord in the air and then immediately descend to earth with Him. This is a mistake many make because they do not look at the other differences surrounding the two events.

Who does He return with?

The next difference is who will be with Christ. When the rapture is described we are lead to believe that Christ returns alone. It is an argument from silence because nothing is mentioned one way or another. When the Second Coming occurs, Christ returns with angels and other Christians. Jude 14-15 describes this in addition to Zechariah.

Purpose Ė mercy or judgment?

The purpose of the rapture and the Second Coming must be examined as well. The rapture is viewed as an act of deliverance as believers are taken from a fallen world to dwell with Christ forever. The Second Coming will be an act of judgment however. This is the advent of the conquering king that the Jews looked for in His first coming while missing the suffering servant aspect of His mission. When Christ returns it will be a glorious day for those who belong to Him as He establishes His kingdom on earth but it will be a dreadful day for all those who stand opposed to Him.

The key to understanding the rapture revolves around Godís mercy and His wrath. Scripture makes it clear that Christians will not suffer Godís wrath. In addition to 1 Thessalonians is Revelation 3:10, Luke 21:36, and Romans 5:9. Many have drawn the conclusion that the Rapture is Godís way to prevent Christians from suffering His wrath.

Who is taken?

The focus of the rapture and the Second Coming is placed upon two different sets of people. The rapture focuses on Christians as ones who are looking for and awaiting the Lordís return. In addition to 1 Thessalonians 4, Matthew 25:1-13 tells the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Those who had extra oil and were waiting and prepared for the return of the bridegroom were taken while those who were foolish and ran out of oil were left.

The Second Coming paints just the opposite picture. It is the foolish unrepentant ones who did not anticipate the Lordís return who are taken. In the parable of the weeds in Matthew 13, Jesus instructs that harvesters to allow the weeds to grow among the wheat until the time of the harvest. Then the weeds are gathered together and thrown into the fire to be burned. We see a similar picture of judgment in Matthew 24:37-39. Here Jesus speaks of the how the days will be like that of Noah and His coming would be unexpected. Many have mistakenly interpreted this passage to be in reference to the rapture. However, the subjects of the illustration are important. In the days of Noah, it was the unrighteous who were not looking for the Lord and went about as they pleased. These people were swept away in the flood while righteous Noah and his family were all that remained. The coming of the Lord will be like the flood and will sweep away the wicked.

Who will see it?

From our passage in 1 Corinthians we find that the rapture will be instant and ďsecret.Ē No one will be able to witness it, only the effects afterward. On the other hand, the Lordís return to the earth will be very visible. Matthew 24:27 & 30 and Revelation 1:7 declare that all will see him as He returns. The people of the earth will mourn as they witness the Lordís return.

We also learn that Jesus will return in the same way in which he left. Acts 1:11 tells us that Jesus ďwill come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.Ē The prior verses tell of a slow return that was visible as the disciples watched until He was hidden by the clouds.

The timing

It is clear from scripture that no one knows when the Lordís return will be in regards to both His return in the air and His coming to earth. However, we find from scripture that the rapture is imminent while Christís Second Coming follows certain events.

Our rapture passages make it clear that the Lordís return is imminent. We find from Matthew 24:43-44 and Revelation 3:3 that the Lordís return will also be like a thief in the night. Those who are not watching will be surprised.

The Lordís Second Coming must be preceded by certain events however. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 we learn that the man of lawlessness must first be revealed. He will then be destroyed by the splendor of Christís coming.

The events of Matthew 24:4-30 need to take place before Christís Second Coming as well. This passage is often used as ďproofĒ that we are living in the end times and that Christ will soon return. Indeed we have seen a rise in many of these things in our very lifetimes. However, there will be a much greater increase during the days of the tribulation. We know that this passage is not simply referring to the days before the rapture because in verse 15 it speaks of the abomination that causes desolation. We learn from Daniel chapters 9:27 that this abomination occurs in the middle of the final ďsevenĒ Ė the middle of the tribulation. Likewise, the return of the Lord at verse 30 refers to the Second Coming as we saw above.

The Lordís return will occur 1260 days after the abomination that causes desolation. (Daniel 9:24-27& 12:11-12.) Likewise, it will occur after the final 42 months (1260 days or ďtime, times and half a timeĒ depending on the wording) according to Rev 12:6,14 & 13:5.

Finally, perhaps the weakest argument in favor of events that must precede the Lordís return to earth Ė but still in need of mentioning Ė is the fact that numerous events are recorded in Revelation chapters 6-19 before the Lordís Second Coming is recorded. Often prophecy is not recorded chronologically as from our human perspective, but this is still worth mentioning as these are events that must take place and most understand that they will occur before Christís return.

The Millennial Kingdom

The Millennial Kingdom follows the Second Coming according to a literal interpretation of scripture. This causes problems for putting the rapture and the Second Coming together or immediately one after the other. At the rapture, Christians are immediately changed, made imperishable. This is found in the discussion of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 as well as 1 John 3:2 which tells us we will be like Christ. We know that Christís resurrected body is not like His earthly body but rather it was changed.

On the other hand, those who are in the Millennium have very mortal bodies as they have not yet been changed. Isaiah 65:20 records that death will still occur, even if it is at a much slower rate than we presently see.

If the rapture occurs at the same time of Christís Second Coming, all Christians will be changed. This begs the question of who enters the Millennial Kingdom if not the saints who survived the tribulation. These people would likewise have been raised imperishable and death would not affect them. Nor would they have children who would be subject to death as Mat 22:30 instructs that there will be no marriage.

It should be noted however, that this is only applicable if one takes a pre-millennial view of the return of Christ. Other views see the millennium to be figurative rather than literal. To some, we are living in the millennium currently as the church has inherited the blessings promised to Israel. According to others of the amillennial view, there is no literal Millennium at all.

The conclusion

This is just one piece of the puzzle in the mystery of what will occur during the end times. This is not an attempt to persuade one to a certain point of view but rather to show the differences between the rapture and Christís Second Coming. One should educate themselves on the views of the rapture as well as what will occur during the Millennial Kingdom and when it will occur. (See more on the Millennial Kingdom.)

If scripture were clearer on these issues, there would be less room for argument. However, this does not excuse us for holding to a certain view and knowing why we believe what we believe.

As Christians we have every reason for hope for the future and we should look forward to the day that the Lord returns for us.
Anonymous Coward
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05/22/2010 02:04 PM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
putin
spiritnut

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05/22/2010 02:18 PM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
QUOTE:
"The people of the earth will mourn as they witness the Lordís return."

This does not sound like a good thing for "christians" to be looking forward to... imo
hf
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Rev. Moon Jew

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05/22/2010 02:25 PM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
Read Matthew 24

Yashuah tells us exactly what to look for and what will happen

never once does he mention a seperate "rapture" event

stop following he doctrines of men
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

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Rev. Moon Jew

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05/22/2010 02:25 PM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
Sorry - double post

Last Edited by Mrs. Smith on 05/22/2010 02:26 PM
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

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05/22/2010 02:51 PM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
I would like to make one observation. You wrote about the "days of Noah" in reference to the general attitudes of the populace:

"Here Jesus speaks of the how the days will be like that of Noah and His coming would be unexpected. Many have mistakenly interpreted this passage to be in reference to the rapture. However, the subjects of the illustration are important. In the days of Noah, it was the unrighteous who were not looking for the Lord and went about as they pleased. These people were swept away in the flood while righteous Noah and his family were all that remained. The coming of the Lord will be like the flood and will sweep away the wicked."
 Quoting: keeplookinup 853973


I would like to point out a very interesting point made by Chuck Missler (source: [link to www.khouse.org] He refers to the same scripture and poses some very interesting and plausible theories. Basically, in the days of Noah, the Nephilim were a hugely prevalent race brought on by Satan mingling with humans. The very reason for the flood was to cleanse our DNA! In order for Jesus to have a clean blood lineage, this had to take place. The link I provided gives a very intelligent synopsis of what I believe are the most probable meanings to these particular scriptures as well as explaining what seems to be a very odd action by God (causing/allowing the flood).

Last Edited by YHWHer on 05/22/2010 02:51 PM
Jesus is the man!
suppressedbooks

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05/23/2010 10:55 AM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
the coming of the lord and the rapture happen on the same day and mark the day of the lord

the coming does not mean he sets foot on earth straight away
the literal rendering is "presence of the lord" not "coming" of the lord, and the context is the presence of the lord with his saints

paul said in thessalonians that the day of christ will not come until the man of sin is revealed first

when is the day of the lord?


REV 6:12 And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and lo, a great earthquake came, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood,
REV 6:13 and the stars of the heaven fell to the earth -- as a fig-tree doth cast her winter figs, by a great wind being shaken --....................

REV 6:16 and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, `Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of Him who is sitting upon the throne, and from the anger of the Lamb,'
REV 6:17 because come did the great day of His anger, and who is able to stand?


the day of the lord starts here and is not a 24 hour day, but a period of time

christ is not mentioned as coming to the earth here but is seen in the heavens, this is the parrallel to matthew 24 when the saints are gathered which is seen in revelation 7

1THESS 4:15 for this to you we say in the word of the Lord, that we who are living -- who do remain over to the coming of the Lord -- may not precede those asleep,
1THESS 4:16 because the Lord himself, in a shout, in the voice of a chief-messenger, and in the trump of God, shall come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ shall rise first,
1THESS 4:17 then we who are living, who are remaining over, together with them shall be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in air, and so always with the Lord we shall be;
1THESS 4:18 so, then, comfort ye one another in these words.

as you can see here the "coming" and "catching up" are on the same day, they cannot be seperated, and following this Gods wrath begins

the 6th seal signs are after the tribulation of those days, after the man of sin is revealed
Anonymous Coward
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05/23/2010 10:57 AM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
They are two separate events. They are both fantasies but they are two separate fantasies.

Actually the rapture isn't even in the bible. Not anywhere. It was all thought up by British Christian zionists to fool everyone. You know ... like you guys.
suppressedbooks

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05/23/2010 11:17 AM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
2nd coming, day of the lord, rapture all start on the same day

1 thess 4 makes it clear beyond doubt that the "coming" and "catching up" happen on the same day, yet pre tribbers deliberately ignore this WHY?

in other words the sky is brown and 2+2= 7

the day of the lord will be an unknown day and hour because christ said this;

MT 24:22 And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would have been saved; but because of the chosen, shall those days be shortened.

the tribulation period will be cut short , meaning that christ comes for his saints before the end of the last 42 months which is why we cannot set dates or times

jesus said the day of the lord will be like lot leaving sodom and fire raining down, also like the flood in noahs time

LK 17:29 and on the day Lot went forth from Sodom, He rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed all.

LK 17:27 they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were given in marriage, till the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the deluge came, and destroyed all;

LK 17:30 `According to these things it shall be, in the day the Son of Man is revealed;

there will be qa parallel to the above when the day of the lord starts at the 6th seal with the first 2 trumpet judgments

REV 8:7 and the first messenger did sound, and there came hail and fire, mingled with blood, and it was cast to the land, and the third of the trees was burnt up, and all the green grass was burnt up.

REV 8:8 And the second messenger did sound, and as it were a great mountain with fire burning was cast into the sea, and the third of the sea became blood,
REV 8:9 and die did the third of the creatures that `are' in the sea, those having life, and the third of the ships were destroyed.
this would without a doubt cause massive floods and would also serve to put out the fires previously, because there will not be any rain because of the 2 witnesses
suppressedbooks

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05/23/2010 11:19 AM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
They are two separate events. They are both fantasies but they are two separate fantasies.

Actually the rapture isn't even in the bible. Not anywhere. It was all thought up by British Christian zionists to fool everyone. You know ... like you guys.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 978251



forget the word rapture then it doesn't matter
call it "gathering" or "catching up" which are in the bible
Anonymous Coward
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05/23/2010 12:51 PM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
For all you ignorant ones the rapture is not what you think. The ones raptured actually donot go to heaven. They go to over third dimensional worlds to continue growing spiritually. The ones who are ready to ascend will continue on in the 5th dimension on earth. This is when heaven comes to earth and it will happen before mid 2013.

Many ancient civilizations did know the timing of this event. If you are an ignorant christian or fooolish muslim now is the time to take giant steps out of your beliefs. Angry, fearful and ignirant people will not ascend. No God ever judges anyone as you do this yourself in spirit. You will either be ready to ascend soon or you won't. Do not worry about family members or others. Get your own thought right and grow a loving heart before it is too late. The so called religous and rightous ones will be leaving here in larger numbers than the people in jail.

Tghe dark ones have infiltrated your churches, corporations and governments. Forget about the New World order as these scum have controlled you like sheep for 12,000 years now. Most were just to stupid or busy to realize their lives are not about liberty and freedom.
Anonymous Coward
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05/23/2010 12:58 PM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
There is NO rapture. There are two meaning of 2nd Coming, one being the coming to God knowingness to human, which isn't there anywhere near yet, and the other is an actual return of the many masters which will occur later.
The Rapture is completely misunderstood. There are two it is confused with. #1 is actual evacuation of a sick planet, and all are offered this but many will not board craft or not survive the beam to get them on craft.

The other is that at the end of EVERY age, and we are at those times, the evolving souls are sorted for who fails and who is successful and the successful go to the heaven worlds at some point. Any soul since the pouring of the Spirit of Truth, who reaches 3rd circle spirituality goes directly to "heaven" upon death, without having to wait until the end of an age. The end of an age is a judgement time for a civilization and we didn't do very well. Planets are always cleansed and a new civilization started at the end of every age.

yea are all reincarnating since 13000 years ago, the last end of the age, whose souls came into being during this time. You now face judgement as to progress and are sorted up, down or laterally according to the level of your soul.

robot peoples are cleansed completely from the planet as they pass. They rarely get father fragments, they are automatons.
UnderConstruction

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05/23/2010 12:59 PM
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Re: The Rapture and the Second Coming are two seperate events
So many rapture experts in one place.

Amazing. bike





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