The Rapture and its Differences from the Return of Christ


Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

I Thessalonians 4:17


In closing, it’s important to understand the unique difference between the rapture and the second coming of Christ. While you could say it’s one event in being that Jesus’s rapture is at the beginning of his return and the arrival on earth after the tribulation is the second half of his return. It’s still important to distinguish between the two.  As Dr. Mark Hitchcock has done in his book titled, The End.

At the Rapture

  • Christ comes in the air (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
  • Christ comes for His Saints (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
  • Movement from earth to heaven
  • No signs needed
  • Time of blessing (I Thessalonians 4:18)
  • Involves believers (John 14:1-3, I Corinthians 15:51-55, I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
  • Will occur in the blink of the eye (I Corinthians 15:51-52)

At the Return

  • Christ comes to earth (Zechariah 14:4)
  • Christ comes with His Saints (I Thessalonians 3:13, Jude 14)
  • Movement from Heaven to earth
  • Many signs (Matthew 24:4-29)
  • Time of destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)
  • Involves Israel, Gentiles nations (Matthew 24, 25)
  • Will be visible to the entire world (Matthew 24:27, Revelation 1:7) 


Take some time to look up the differences between the first and second coming of Christ.



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