Significant Differences Between What the Bible Reveals
About The Rapture Compared to Christ’s Second Coming
– Which Clarify that These are Two Separate Events

If one compares what happens at The Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 with what happens in the final events of Christ’s Second Coming in Matthew 24-25, at least eight significant contrasts or differences can be observed. These differences demand that The Rapture occur at a significantly different time than the final event of Christ’s Second Coming.

  • At The Rapture Christ comes in the air and returns to heaven (1 Thess. 4:17), while at the final event of the Second Coming Christ comes to the earth to dwell and reign (Matt. 25:31-32).
  • At The Rapture, Christ gathers His own (1 Thess. 4:16-17), while at the final event of the Second Coming angels gather the elect (Matt. 24:31).
  • At The Rapture, Christ comes to reward (1 Thess. 4:17), while at the final event of the Second Coming Christ comes to judge (Matt. 25:31-46).
  • At The Rapture, resurrection is prominent (1 Thess. 4:15-16), while at the final event of the Second Coming resurrection is not mentioned.
  • At The Rapture, believers depart the earth (1 Thess. 4:15-17), while at the final event of the Second Coming unbelievers are taken away from the earth (Matt. 24:37-41).
  • At The Rapture, unbelievers remain on earth (implied), while at the final event of the Second Coming believers remain on earth (Matt. 25:34).
  • At The Rapture, there is no mention of establishing Christ’s kingdom on earth, while at the final event of the Second Coming Christ has come to set up His kingdom on earth (Matt. 25:31, 34).
  • At The Rapture, believers will receive glorified bodies (cf. 1 Cor. 15:51-57), while at the final event of the Second Coming no one will receive glorified bodies.

Additionally, several of Christ’s parables in Matthew 13 confirm differences between The Rapture, and the final event of Christ’s Second Coming.

  • In the parable of the wheat and tares, the tares (unbelievers) are taken out from among the wheat (believers) at the climax of the Second Coming (Matt. 13:30, 40), while believers are removed from among unbelievers at The Rapture, (1 Thess. 4:15-17).
  • In the parable of the dragnet, the bad fish (unbelievers) are taken out from among the good fish (believers) at the culmination of Christ’s Second Coming (Matt. 13:48-50), while believers are removed from among unbelievers at The Rapture, (1 Thess. 4:15-17).

Finally, there is no mention of The Rapture in either of the most detailed Second Coming texts—Matthew 24 and Revelation 19. This is to be expected in light of the observations above that compellingly point to a pre-tribulational rapture.

(John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue. Christ’s Prophetic Plans (pp. 93-94). Moody Publishers.)

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