This morning I will be preaching on the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, commonly referred to as the Rapture. Sometimes we speak of the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ as the same thing or same event when they are really two separate events. This morning I plan to speak more specifically on Christ’s coming to receive or remove all His believers from the earth. The primary texts will be from I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:5-54. These passages tell us that the bodies of believers who have died will be resurrected and that the believers who are still on earth will meet Jesus in the air. This will be a sudden event—in the twinkling of an eye.
The Second Coming is the event when Jesus will return to destroy His enemy the antichrist. He will then establish His Millennial Kingdom (Revelation19:11-16). Listed below are several important differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming:
- During the Rapture, believers in Christ will join the Lord in the air (I Thessalonians4:17. During the Second Coming, believers return with the Lord to the earth (Revelation19:14).
- The Second Coming will take place after the great Tribulation (Revelation 6-19), while the rapture occurs before the Tribulation (I Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation3:10). This is known as the pre-millennial position.
- The Rapture is the time when believers will be removed or delivered from the earth (I Thessalonians4:13-17; 5:9).
- The Rapture will happen in an instant (I Corinthians15:50-54). The Second Coming will be visible to all (Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:29-30).
Although the Rapture and Second Coming are similar, they are separate events.
Hopefully, this information will be helpful as we examine Christ’ return in this morning’s sermon.