Rapture or Second Coming
Is there a Difference?
By Dennis Huebshman
It’s really becoming evident that many who study the Bible on a regular basis are recognizing and reporting on a definite shift to what’s called the “End Times”. Before I get further into this message, I AM NOT and WILL NOT set any date or time, but I do believe we are at least to the point where Jesus said we should know the Season.
The Bible has 320+ references to the return of the Messiah, and one has to read carefully to discern whether a passage refers to the RAPTURE or HIS GLORIOUS APPEARING (2nd. Coming). In no way can I reference every verse, however I believe I have selected some that are relevant for this message. I sincerely invite everyone to read what is provided and look into God’s word further.
You will quickly observe I am a believer in a Pre-trib Rapture. When He takes His Church Home, it will be ALL believers regardless of religious affiliation. Our Savior did not want to set up an “organized” religion, as He wants all who call on Him to believe He gave the perfect sacrifice and paid our fare in full and to accept the Free Gift. Most of His major opponents were the religious leaders of His day who would not accept Him because He didn’t fit their idea of what a “conquering” Messiah would be. I encourage everyone to form a personal relationship with Him and leave out all man-made requirements.
I posted a message recently about WRATH, however we need to review it, so we can determine what is Rapture and what is Second Coming.
Christians have had tribulations from the very start. However, this does not refer to “The Tribulation” or “The Wrath” which will be a final 7 period on this earth. Tribulation is defined as suffering, distress, trouble, misery, unhappiness, etc. Wrath is Anger, Rage, Fury, Outrage and so forth. The GREAT WRATH will be the final 3 ½ year period and all who are in it will be at peril. During the Tribulation, it is estimated that over two thirds of the world’s population will die.
Jesus said we would experience tribulations just because we are His followers. This is evident today with groups trying to remove Jesus’ name from just about everything; prayer in school has all but become forbidden and even traditional holidays to celebrate Jesus are under attack. Right is considered wrong, and wrong considered right. Worshipers of Islam try to say we worship the same God, and Jesus was just a prophet that will come back with Mohammad at his return and serve him. Those who accept “Chrislim” are unwittingly subscribing to this.
Let me give you what 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 says: The natural person (unbeliever) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are Spiritually discerned. The Spiritual person (believer) judges all things but in himself judged by no one. The end of verse 16 says: We have the mind of Christ. (All emphasis is mine – and any reference that are male include females as well.)
The Bible is explicit as to who Jesus is. John 14:6 clearly states He is “The Way, The Truth, and The Life”, and no one goes to the Father except by Him. Jesus said in John 14:3…”and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself that where I am you may be also.” This is definitely considered a RAPTURE verse.
To speak of WRATH increases the level of tribulation and will be applied by God to unbelievers. One of the best verses for this is Ephesians 5:6 – Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things, the WRATH OF GOD comes upon the sons of disobedience. No where in the Bible does God put His faithful followers through His wrath. He punishes the unrighteous, but the Faithful He protects.
Some have said the Wrath of God starts at the 6th. Trumpet Judgment. I believe a verse used for this theory is 1 Corinthians 15: 51-53 which speaks of a “Last Trumpet. The trumpet mentioned here has nothing to do with the Trumpet Judgments presented in Revelation. This trumpet is an “Announcing” trumpet which Jewish People have recognized throughout their history. Shofars (trumpets) have been used to announce holidays, special events or to call to assemble and many other events from the very beginning. To say this particular trumpet is part of the judgment is a misinterpretation. This one goes along with 1 Thessalonians 4:15 that Announces Jesus is calling His Church Home (all believers). The dead in Christ will rise first and then all who are alive will…this is important…will RISE UP to meet Him in the clouds. This is definitely a RAPTURE verse. At this time, Jesus doesn’t step physically on earth.
To say the WRATH of God does not start until the 6th. Trumpet or at any other point during the Tribulation does not hold true. The judgments actually start with the opening of the 1st. Seal. Revelation 6 starts the 7 Seal judgments which are the First series of WRATH. The first 4 seals are the releasing of the 4 horses that bring different miseries on the earth. Who opens the seals to release this WRATH? Jesus. So if Jesus is setting WRATH loose on the earth, and if His Church is not with Him, then He is causing His followers to go through WRATH. All seal judgments, trumpet judgments and bowl judgments are part of GOD’s WRATH. It increases in intensity as they progress
I have heard some say the 1st. part of the Tribulation is satan’s wrath, but all events are controlled by the Father. Satan could not do anything without God’s approval, and God is approving the discipline of this earth through him.
Consider these reference verses: Hebrews 9:28: So Christ having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time – not to deal with sin – but to save those who are eagerly awaiting Him.
1 Thessalonians 1:10: to wait for His Son from Heaven whom He raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the WRATH TO COME.
Romans 5:9 – Since therefore we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the WRATH OF GOD.
Finally, Revelation 3:10: Because you have kept My word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming to the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth.
Some Bible verses deal with the actual 2nd. Coming of he Lord when He will physically stand on the earth. This will be at the end of the Great Tribulation/Wrath period and at the battle of Armageddon. (Daniel 12: 1-3; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 24: 15-31)
1 Thessalonians 3: 12-13…and may the Lord make you increase and abound in Love for one another and for all, as we do for you so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at…the coming of our Lord Jesus with ALL His Saints.
Who are these Saints? All that were Ruptured earlier. So this would be the actual touch earth or return of Jesus. 2 Thessalonians 1: 6-10 also magnify this.
Therefore, the RAPTURE and Second Coming are two separate events. I believe for God not to lie (Hebrews 6:18), believers from EVERY walk of life will be taken from this planet to meet Jesus in the clouds prior to the release of the first seal which is the antichrist which is the start of the final Tribulation.
When Jesus actually returns to set foot on earth, it is to close out that period, and to begin the millennium period where He will rule and reign from Jerusalem. Those coming back with Him are those of us who accepted Him before the RAPTURE took place. There is plenty of room for ALL who would accept Him, but he day is coming where the opportunity will be gone with the Church.
One second after the RAPTURE occurs, there will be a myriad of people who will know they missed it and will suffer needlessly. I have provided verses below for anyone to read and learn of the coming times. I am hoping and praying everyone reading this will be encouraged to explore further. To not accept this is to invite the worst times you can imagine into your life.
John 14: 1-3; 1 Corinthians 1: 7-8; 1 Corinthians 15: 51-53; Philippians 3: 20-21; Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; 1 Thessalonians 5: 9, 23; 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3; 1 Timothy 6: 13-15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5: 7-9; 1 Peter 1: 7,13: 1 John 2:28; Jude 21; Revelation 2: 25 and 3:10.
Second Coming Verses:
Daniel 2: 44-45; Daniel 7: 9-14; Daniel 12: 1-3; Zechariah 12: 10, 14: 1-15; Matthew 13: 39-43; Matthew 24: 15-31; Matthew 25: 31-46; Mark 13: 14-27; Mark 14:62; Luke 21: 25-28; Acts 1: 9-11; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1: 6-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 2 Peter 3: 1-14; Jude 14-15; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 19: 11-20 and Revelation 22: 7, 12, 20.
RAPTURE – translation of all believers (translated – go to Heaven). Earth not judged at this time. The event is imminent – at any moment.
This is not in the Old Testament and is Believers only. It is before the Day of Wrath and no reference to satan. Jesus comes for His own, in the Air, claims His Bride, and only His own see Him.
Tribulation will start soon after this event.
Second Coming – No translation – earth is judged for its unrighteousness and follows definite prophesied signs.
Numerous tribulations. Predicted often in the Old Testament and affects everyone left on the earth. Concluding with binding of satan for 1000 years and the defeat of the antichrist and his false prophet.
Christ comes to earth where ALL see Him arriving with His own. Millennial kingdom begins.
John 14:6 – Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except by Me.
There’s no third option. No one will be exempt from what’s coming, however all believers – true believers – will avoid the final 7 years of this earth. It is not a guessing game.
John 8: 32 – You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
John 8: 36 – If the Son therefore sets you free, you will be free indeed.
All you have to do is accept Jesus to assure yourself you will not go through the terrible time coming to this earth.