TEXT: 1 THESSALONIANS 4: 16- 17
The rapture of the church, the body of Christ from the earth has for centuries remained a subject of argument in the church world. Some schools of thought believe and teach that the Rapture and the second coming of Christ to earth are the same events. However, a careful study of the scriptures relating to the Rapture shows that the second coming of Christ and the Rapture are two separate events with different timelines.
In the Rapture, Christ is coming for the saints, all eyes shall not see him, his feet shall not touch the earth, while in the second coming He is coming with the Saints, all eyes shall see him, his feet shall touch the earth – the Olivet Mountain. Here are some scriptures describing the Rapture.
- Pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all those things… and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21: 36).
- Christ loved the church…that He might present it to Himself (Ephesian 5: 25 – 27).
- When Christ shall appear then shall ye also appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3: 4; 1 John 2:28; 3:2, 1 Peter 5:4).
- “For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven…the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (not on the earth, to go back to heaven with Him) – 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; 2: 19; 3: 13; 5: 9,23).
- “In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14: 1-3). Read also the following scriptures for more information and better understanding on the subject. (1 Corinthians 5: 1-9; 2 Thessalonians 2: 1; 7-8; James 5: 7-8).
For the Second Advent or the coming of Christ to earth – which some schools of thought refer to as “The Revelation of Christ”, the following scriptures are very relevant:
- Immediately after the tribulation…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 (Mathew 24: 29-31).
The great tribulation shall be the time of God’s wrath or judgment upon the ungodly world. Before this terrible period, the church shall have left the earth in the Rapture because God has not appointed the church unto wrath, but to obtain salvation through Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5: 8-9)
- When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations (Matthew 25: 31-46).
- The Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude 14 – 15)
- “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall be ….when he shall come to be glorified in his Saints… (2 Thessalonians 1: 7-10). See also the following Scriptures on the second coming of Christ: (Rev. 1: 7; 19:11 – 21; 20: 1-3; Isaiah 63: 1- 6; Zechariah 14: 1 – 5; 9, 16 – 21; Daniel 2: 44 – 45; 7: 13-14; 18, 27)
May the Holy Spirit bring you to a place of total surrender to Jesus Christ and help you to prepare for the Rapture which in turn will qualify you to return with Christ on His second coming to rule the world at God’s appointed time.