September 2013

The Rapture is Not the 2nd Coming

 1.   CLOUDS:  Clouds denote important Biblical events.  Thus they are mentioned at both the rapture and 2nd coming.  But the differences between the rapture and the 2nd Coming compel a conclusion that the two are separate. [1 Thess 4:17; Dan 7:13; Matt 24:30; 2.  Rev 1:7]          

 2.   TRUMPETS:  The Last Trumpet”   is specific in contrast to “a last trumpet” which is one of many trumpets of God in the Word.  [1 Thess 4:16-17; 1 Cor 15:52; Ex 19:16]  A Great Trumpet” of the 2nd coming occurs after “the last trumpet”, before the 7 trumpets within the 7 years of tribulation, and prior to the many trumpets of the millennial kingdom with which God likely calls His people to assemble for worship.  [Matt 24:31; Rev 8:7-9:20, 11:15+] 

 3.   A SHOUT:  The shout of the Lord which snatches up the church at the rapture.  The texts of the 2nd coming make no reference to the Lord’s shout.  [John 11:43; 1 Thess 4:16]   

4.      4.   ANGELS :  A voice of an archangel joins the Lord’s shout to call for the rapture while there is no such angelic voice in the 2nd coming texts.  The passages of the 2nd coming instead focus on the presence of many “harvesting angels”.  [1 Thess 4:16; Matt 13:40-43, 24:31]  

5.      5. 5.  THE LORD VS. “THE SON OF MAN”:   “Jesus” and “Lord” are used to describe the rapture; but there is no reference to the “Son of Man” in these texts.  Rather the “Son of Man” is a distinctive title used for Christ at His 2nd coming.  [1 Cor 15:50-58; 1 Thess 4:13-18; Dan 7:13-14; Matt 16:27; 24:37; Rev 1:13; 14:14]   

 6.    MOURNING:  The rapture texts provide promises of blessing and comfort, and there is an absence of mourning.  But mourning is a  key feature at the 2nd comingIt is the response of Israel and all the nations of the earth to the glorious radiance of the Lord when He returns.  [Matt 24:30; Rev 1:7; Zech 12:10]   

 7.    MYSTERY:   Because the rapture is linked specially to the church, it is described as a “mystery” [truths hidden from the prophets of the OT].  But the arrival of Christ on earth is at the summit of OT End Time prophecy; it thus is not described as a mystery.  [Eph 3:4-6; 1 Cor 15:51-52]          

 8.    GLORIFICATION:  At the rapture, all the saints will be glorified. 1.    But at the 2nd coming, the millennial saints will not have been resurrected physically.  They will enter the Davidic kingdom redeemed.  But they will not yet be glorified.  [1 Cor 15:50-52; Rev 17:14; 19:8-9, 14; Luke 16:23-24; Zech 14:16-19; Is 65:19-25; Ezek 36:35-58; Rev 20:7-8] 

 9.     LOCATION:  

Of the SavedAt the rapture, the church is transported to heaven.  But at the 2nd coming, the saved remain on earth[John 14:1-3; 1 Thess 4:17; Rev 3:10-11; Ezek 36:22-30; 37:11-14; 40-48; Zech 12-14; Rev 19-20].  

Of the Unsaved:  At the rapture, the lost are “left behind” on earth.  At the 2nd coming, the souls of the lost are taken by the harvesting angels and cast into Hades.  [John 14:1-3; 1 Cor 15:50-58; 1 Thess 4:13-18; Rev 3:10-11; 2 Thess 2:1-3; Matt 13:36-43; Matt 24:36-41; Luke 17:34-36]   

10.   JUDGMENT:  Both comfort and blessing are key features of the rapture, but the 2nd coming passages focus on the wrath of God’s judgment upon the unsaved.  [John 14:1-3; 1 Cor 15:50-58; 1 Thess 4:13-18; Rev 3:10-11; Is  2:10-22; 10:4; 11:6-13;Joel 2-3; Zech 1:14-18; 13:8; Zech 12:9; 14:3-4; Mal 4:5; Matt 24:27-28; Mark 13:3-37; Luke 21:5-37; Rev 19:11, 15, 17-21] 

11.   THE DAVIDIC COVENANT:  [millennial kingdom, Rev 20:1-10]:  There is no reference to the Davidic kingdom in the rapture texts.  In contrast, the focus of the 2nd coming is not on the church, but the nations who constitute the restored kingdom of David throughout the millennial kingdom. [Is 9:6-7; 10:20-23; 11:1-10; Jer 23:5-8; 31-33; Ezek 36-48; Zech 12-14; Dan 7:9-11, 13-14; Rev 19:20; Matt 24:21-31; 25:31; Rev 7-19] 

12.   IMMINENCE:  Imminence is a pivotal and practical aspect of the rapture because there are no prophetic events in Scripture which must be fulfilled prior to its occurrence.  It is thus at hand, and the believers are therefore commanded to be transformed continually in daily anticipation that the rapture is ready to take place at any moment.

In contrast, the 2nd coming is preceded by the prophetic signs within the 70th week of Daniel, the seven year tribulation.  It thus will not become imminent until the end of this “week” is at hand at which time all the inhabitants upon the earth are commanded to anticipate the imminence of the 2nd coming which then will arrive unexpectedly like a “thief in the night”. The rapture is presently imminent while imminence is a prophetic feature of the 2nd coming that has not yet arrived.  [Phil 3:20; James 5:8-9; 1 Cor 1:7; 1 Cor 15:51; 1 Thess 4:15; Titus 2:13; Rom 13:11-12; Phil 4:4-5; Rev 3:11]


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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427