Matthew 24:29-31 is the hands down favorite passage of Pretribulation Rapture deniers, yet contained in those passages is the very proof that the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming are two separate events
The Bible gives Christians in the Church Age a clear command to study the word of God. Not only that, we are also commanded to ‘rightly divide’ what we read there. There are 3 groups in the Bible that God can be talking to any any given time, they are not the same. First you have the Jews and Israel as one group, the redeemed Church as the second group, and the unsaved gentiles which make up the rest of the world population at any given time.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Today we present for your consideration a second installment of our Bible Believers Guide To Understanding The Differences Between The Rapture And The Second Coming. Enjoy!
#1. The 24 elders are wearing their crowns before the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble
Paul says in 2 Timothy that believers will receive crowns in ‘that day’ that takes place at the time of the Rapture of the Church. John, in Revelation 4, is taken up in type in the Rapture and when he gets there he witnesses elders with crowns 2 chapters before the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble in Revelation 6.
- “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8 (KJV)
- “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” Revelation 4:4 (KJV)
#2. The Bible doesn’t mention a resurrection at the Second Coming but it does for the Rapture
In Revelation 19:11-21, we clearly see the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the Battle of Armageddon. Church saints mount up on white horses and return with Him. Nowhere in the passage does it mention a resurrection will take place at this time, in stark contrast to the resurrection of Church saints Paul talks about in 1 Thessalonians 4.
- “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and 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: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 (KJV)
#3. Matthew 24 says at the Second Coming the world will mourn, but Paul says at the Rapture it’s a time of rejoicing
Matthew 24:29-31 is the hands down favorite passage of Pretrib Rapture deniers, yet contained in those passages is the very proof that the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming are two separate events. Matthew paints a picture of stark terror and physical judgments falling upon the Earth, and then people shall see the ‘Son of man’ coming down from Heaven. Paul on the other hand, talks about none of these things being connected with the Rapture of the Church. Furthermore, Paul says in the Rapture that Jesus comes for us personally and pulls us up into the clouds with Him, but Matthew says Jesus sends His angels for His elect at the Second Coming.
- “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.” Matthew 24:29-31 (KJV) – Second Coming
- “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 (KJV) – The Pretribulation Rapture
#4. The very name given to the time of great tribulation is a direct reference to national Israel and the Jews
In Matthew 24, Jesus says that there will be a time of ‘great tribulation’, but He does not call it so. The actual name for this 7 year period of time is found in Jeremiah 30, where the prophet tells us clearly who this time of trial and testing is for. It’s for Israel. Jacob’s name was changed from Jacob, his name when he was lost and in rebellion to God, to Israel, the name God gave him after he ‘wrestled with God’ and got right. The Bible says that after the physical regathering of Israel, which took place in 1948, the Jews and Israel would be in the land but far from God in their hearts and minds. This is the exact condition we see today in places like Tel Aviv, which is the Sodomite capital of the world.
- “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7 (KJV)
#5. At the time of the Second Coming, Jesus returns from a wedding
Luke says that when Jesus returns for His people Israel at the Second Coming, He has already been to a wedding. Paul tells us that after the Rapture of the Church we meet the Lord for the great Marriage of the Lamb wedding supper. This event has nothing to do with Israel and is for the Church only. At the Second Coming this event has already taken place.
- “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” Luke 12:35-40 (KJV) – Second Coming
- “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV) – The Pretribulation Rapture
- “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:9 (KJV)
#6. The two openings of the door in Heaven
In the book of Revelation, Heaven is opened two times, and both of them are connected with the Church. In the first one, John, who is a type of the Church, is taken up to Heaven in a type of the Rapture. The second time occurs in Revelation 19 where the redeemed saints already in Heaven mount up on white horses and return with Jesus at the Second Coming.
- “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Revelation 4:1 (KJV)
- “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Revelation 19:11 (KJV)
#7. The day of the Rapture of the Church is unknown while the day the Lord returns at the Second Coming is mentioned specifically
Nowhere in Paul’s writings does he mention the date that the Rapture of the Church will take place. He gives us time clues in 2 Thessalonians, but no actual day. John, on the other hand, tells us in Revelation precisely when the Day of the Lord will occur. He says that the Second Coming happens 1,260 days (three and a half years) after the Jews flee to the Red Rock City of Selah Petra to hide from the Antichrist.
- “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. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 2:2,3 (KJV) – The Pretribulation Rapture
- “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Revelation 12:6 (KJV) – Second Coming
#8. The Lord returns to the Earth with His Church not for His Church
Jude talks about Enoch who is a type of a Christian living in the days before the Law of Moses. Enoch walks with God and then one day God takes him up and out of here in a type of the Rapture. Enoch was not Jewish and had no connection to Israel of any kind. That same Enoch prophesied that at the Second Coming, Jesus Christ will return with His redeemed saints already in tow.
- “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,” Jude 1:14 (KJV)
#9. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb happens in Heaven before the Second Coming
A spectacular event happens in Heaven right before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the Battle of Armageddon, the great Wedding Supper of Jesus and his Bride, the blood-washed redeemed Church. You will take careful note that if the Wedding Supper happens before the Second Coming, then it must be that the Church is already up in Heaven with Jesus. Where do we go on our ‘honeymoon’? We take a Joy ride on white horse and return to the Earth in the triumphal Second Coming. Revelation 19:11 starts the ‘honeymoon’ in amazing fashion! These passages alone show proof positive that the Church is already in heaven prior to the Second Coming, there is no other way the marriage could take place.
- “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:9 (KJV) – first the wedding
- “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Revelation 19:11,14 (KJV) – then the honeymoon
#10. As it was in the days of Noah and Lot so shall it be in the end times
Jesus in the gospels says this time period will be like the days of Noah, and like the days of Lot. Wow, talk about conflicting events! In the days of Noah, a very small group of people are told to ‘get in the ark’, and are saved when the Door closes to shut them in. Jesus in John 10 says that He is the door, thus we see that being in the ark is a type picture of the born again believer being ‘in Christ Jesus’. Not only that, before the judgment falls, the people in the ark are taken ‘up and out’ as they rise above what rages below. So we see that this is a type picture of the Church, redeemed in Jesus the Door, being removed prior to judgement.
In Lot’s day, the opposite happens. Lot is not taken out, he is told to run away! And where does he flee to? Why, he is told to ‘flee to the mountain’. Where do the Jews in the time of Jacob’s trouble flee to? They run and hide to the Selah Petra, where they wait 3.5 years, 1,260 days, for the Lord to come get them at the Revelation 19:14 Second Coming. Who does the Lord come with? Us, the Church.
- “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37 (KJV)
- “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:28,29 (KJV)
Noah and Lot represent two very different events that have two very different conclusions. So it is with the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming. They are two remarkably distinct and different events with two polar opposite conclusions.
We hope this Bible study has been a blessing to you, please pray over it and be a ‘workman’ as we are commanded to be and run all the references listed here. If you allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you, it will become apparent that the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming represent two different groups of people that cannot be mashed together without massive contradictions.
Keep looking up, Jesus is coming to get us soon!
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)